### Another Black man gunned down by the police

From the NYT:
A white police officer in North Charleston, S.C., was charged with murder on Tuesday after a video surfaced showing him shooting in the back and killing an apparently unarmed black man while the man ran away.

Stay tuned for
• White people wondering if Walter Scott is a good enough Black person to warrant anger over his death. He does, after all, have a criminal record, which the police will no doubt remind us of soon
• White people wondering why Black people don't worry more about Black-on-Black crime (85% of white people are killed by white people)
• A call for Black people to remain calm and follow the law, ignoring the fact that this country was founded based on outrage turning to violence and then revolution. But those people back then were heroes right? Black people now need to settle down, as we'll soon hear
• Arguments among white people about whether this shooting is in any way related to the shooting of Michael Brown, or Eric Garner, or John Crawford, or Ezel Ford, or Dante Parker. Surely this is an isolated incident involving a bad apple. Right? Anyone?
• Even though the cop has been fired, we still have the suspense of the jury's decision in the murder case. You just never know how things go when someone gets shot on camera in the middle of the day with a bunch of witnesses are around...and when the shooter is a cop.
Here's Jay Smooth on the need for every individual to be a "blackbox recorder," so when the airplane called our society crashes on yet another Black head, we'll at least have some clue as to what really happened. You know, like when other crimes and disasters resulting in the loss of life occur, yet totally unlike when police commit crimes that result in the death of (Black) citizens.

### 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…