### The NBA's top towel-waver

Every NBA roster has that last dude on the bench. When you think about it, it's not that bad of a job. You get to practice basketball with the best players in the world, you get to travel with the team to various cities, you have one of the best seats in the house, and all without any media pressure and a pretty nice paycheck to boot.

Of course, it's unlikely that many NBA players see things this way. You don't make it to the NBA based on your humility, and the NBA has some of the largest egos in the sports world this side of the NFL.

This is exactly why Kent Bazemore is one of my favorite NBA players. Hailing from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, Bazemore is the backup, backup, backup point guard on the Golden State Warriors (in Oakland, CA), behind Steph Curry, Tony Douglas and Nemanja frikkin' Nedovic. The last time I saw him play was in garbage time with 7 seconds left on the clock, after all of the starters were pulled off the court to standing ovations after a 27-point comeback win against Toronto last Tuesday.

Despite his lowly rank on the Warriors, Bazemore is a big-time player on the bench, where he waves the most effective towel in the league. When Harrison Barnes dunks off a fast-break, there's Bazemore whipping his white towel and yelling like a madman. Ally-oop to Bogut, Bazemore holds the bench back. Hold 'em back, man! When Curry drains a step-back three, Bazemore jumps up, thrusts three fingers in the sky and yells support from the end of the bench. When the other team calls timeout after Klay Thompson sinks consecutive long-balls, Bazemore is the first out on the floor to chest-bump his team mates.

Let's hear it for the Kent Bazemores of the world!

### 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…