### New Additions to the Johnson Family

Introducing our new fish tank and fish!

Erin, our resourceful American picker, found a very nice fish take for, like, a dollar. Those are two Ikea tables for support. It works surprisingly well! The tank is in Marcus' room. I have no idea how we negotiated that setup without Owen's strenuous protestation...

This is Owen's fish, Squirty Spark. S.S. likes to sleep during the day perched under the green fake plant, which initially had us very worried that he was dying. But watching him squirt and spark around the tank at night squelched our fears. Squirty Spark is the fastest fish in the tank, and his specialty is doing "face plants" in the early evening while searching for food among the rocks.

This is Mar's fish, Nemo-Dory.  N.D. swims around non-stop, making clear photography very difficult. Nemo-Dory has no respect for territory, and cares not for sleeping or sleeping fish. N.D.'s specialty is searching for and eating food near the surface.

This is Dad's fish, Genevieve. Genevieve is the prettiest fish in the tank, with her red fins and tail. Her territory is in the "cave," as pictured above. Like Squirty Spark, her specialty is searching for and eating food among the pink rocks at the bottom of the tank, which generally comprises particulate matter falling down from Nemo-Dory's feeding frenzies.

Sadly, Mom's fish He-Ra Princess of Power died soon after introduction to the tank. May He-Ra rest in peace.

Anonymous said…
Such creative names for the fish! Sad to hear Erin's didn't make it... :(
kel said…
Congratulations! I especially love the names and how you already know their unique personalities so well : )
Amy P said…
Don't forget about the new-new additions. Did you name the 5 Tiger Barbs? How's Dyson doing? :-)

### 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…

### 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…