### Self-Propelled

About a week and a half ago Marcus started doing baby push-ups, and yoga-style child's pose during tummy-time. He was getting ready to be mobile. For too long objects had lain just outside of his reach, taunting him with their crinkly sounds and smooth, cold surfaces. MarMar had decided that no more moss would gather on this stone, he was gonna roll.

It began with gripping the carpet in front of him and pulling forward, progress by the millimeter. Gradually he figured out how to roll from his tummy to his back, and back again, making a sort of herring-bone pattern across the floor. Objective reached, he would promptly need a nap. Far too much friction, not enough strength in his arms. What's this? Oooo, feet can be used to push off! This was the Eureka moment, soon the baby wipe container would be his. All his!

Well, it happened so slowly that it's hard to discern the exact moment MarMar transitioned from lump-o-baby to fully self-propelled. Only one thing is certain: it's time to search for small objects and uncovered wall sockets.

The time-lapse video below was created using Gawker and my ancient G4 PowerBook+external Firewire iSight. Frames were recorded at 0.33 Hz (a frame every 3 seconds) and playback is at 24 frames per second. The entire movie was filmed over the course of 10.8 minutes. The primary objective: Kirkland baby wipes container. The secondary objective: stuffed animal. Target of opportunity: whatever big brother is holding.

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

Amy Pousson said…
Go, MarMar, GO!!!
kel said…
that's AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Julia K said…
He's already faster than I am in the morning.
blissful_e said…
This made Ben and I laugh out loud. Way to capture those early movements in fast-forward!
Bonzer said…
Go Marcus!!!!

### 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 then used the basketball as my metric. Wikipedia states that an NBA basketball is 29.5 inches in circumfe…

### 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…

### The Long Con

Hiding in Plain Sight

ESPN has a series of sports documentaries called 30 For 30. One of my favorites is called Broke which is about how professional athletes often make tens of millions of dollars in their careers yet retire with nothing. One of the major "leaks" turns out to be con artists, who lure athletes into elaborate real estate schemes or business ventures. This naturally raises the question: In a tightly-knit social structure that is a sports team, how can con artists operate so effectively and extensively? The answer is quite simple: very few people taken in by con artists ever tell anyone what happened. Thus, con artists can operate out in the open with little fear of consequences because they are shielded by the collective silence of their victims.
I can empathize with this. I've lost money in two different con schemes. One was when I was in college, and I received a phone call that I had won an all-expenses-paid trip to the Bahamas. All I needed to do was p…