### Dude, where's my laptop?

I received this forwarded email from an astronomy professor who had his computer recently stolen. I've changed his name to protect his identity since I didn't ask for permission to post it in a public forum. I didn't ask for permission because I didn't want him to say no. This is just too good not to share.

Dear Robert,

I'm a student in Singapore, a small country in North West Asia. I am using your notebook, it is Macbook pro Core duo 2.0ghz. I has bought it from Ebay in Singapore last few days. And I found your information here.

But I have a problem that you set password on your computer, and now I cannot install more applications, and I cannot also set my information in this notebook. If you don't mind, would you like send me the password of this notebook, and I can change the information. Thank you very much and nice to see you.

-Danny Cheng

Little Bubu - small company but great desire - Ask 4 more 0908567800

My thesis adviser is also on the list and offered this idea:

Robert,

I'm stunned and speechless. But here's my suggestion.

Dear Danny,

If you send me $100, I will send you the password. best, Robert ### Comments LizRey said… You are right. That *was* too good not to share. I can't imagine having my computer stolen and then getting that email. Unreal. martha said… OK. So did that guy really buy the computer from ebay? He didn't know it was stolen? How Bizarre!! Nanna Martha JohnJohn said… I suspect the guy unwittingly purchased a stolen computer. Pretty fun, overall. It's kind of a feel-good ending to what started out as a really bad story. Well, it felt good to laugh at it, anyway. Still probably sucks to have your computer stolen no matter what funny emails you get afterward. ### Popular posts from this blog ### On the Height of J.J. Barea Dallas Mavericks point guard J.J. Barea standing between two very tall people (from: Picassa user photoasisphoto). Congrats to the Dallas Mavericks, who beat the Miami Heat tonight in game six to win the NBA championship. Okay, with that out of the way, just how tall is the busy-footed Maverick point guard J.J. Barea? He's listed as 6-foot on NBA.com, but no one, not even the sports casters, believes that he can possibly be that tall. He looks like a super-fast Hobbit out there. But could that just be relative scaling, with him standing next to a bunch of extremely tall people? People on Yahoo! Answers think so---I know because I've been Google searching "J.J. Barea Height" for the past 15 minutes. So I decided to find a photo and settle the issue once and for all. I started by downloading a stock photo of J.J. from NBA.com, which I then loaded into OpenOffice Draw: I then used the basketball as my metric. Wikipedia states that an NBA basketball is 29.5 inches in circumfe… ### Finding Blissful Clarity by Tuning Out It's been a minute since I've posted here. My last post was back in April, so it has actually been something like 193,000 minutes, but I like how the kids say "it's been a minute," so I'll stick with that. As I've said before, I use this space to work out the truths in my life. Writing is a valuable way of taking the non-linear jumble of thoughts in my head and linearizing them by putting them down on the page. In short, writing helps me figure things out. However, logical thinking is not the only way of knowing the world. Another way is to recognize, listen to, and trust one's emotions. Yes, emotions are important for figuring things out. Back in April, when I last posted here, my emotions were largely characterized by fear, sadness, anger, frustration, confusion and despair. I say largely, because this is what I was feeling on large scales; the world outside of my immediate influence. On smaller scales, where my wife, children and friends reside, I… ### The Force is strong with this one... Last night we were reviewing multiplication tables with Owen. The family fired off doublets of numbers and Owen confidently multiplied away. In the middle of the review Owen stopped and said, "I noticed something. 2 times 2 is 4. If you subtract 1 it's 3. That's equal to taking 2 and adding 1, and then taking 2 and subtracting 1, and multiplying. So 1 times 3 is 2 times 2 minus 1." I have to admit, that I didn't quite get it at first. I asked him to repeat with another number and he did with six: "6 times 6 is 36. 36 minus 1 is 35. That's the same as 6-1 times 6+1, which is 35." Ummmmm....wait. Huh? Lemme see...oh. OH! WOW! Owen figured out x^2 - 1 = (x - 1) (x +1) So$6 \times 8 = 7 \times 7 - 1 = (7-1) (7+1) = 48\$. That's actually pretty handy!

You can see it in the image above. Look at the elements perpendicular to the diagonal. There's 48 bracketing 49, 35 bracketing 36, etc... After a bit more thought we…