Yellow Pig Day. What's that about? I certainly didn't know why one would feel the yellow pig as opposed to the pink variety or other colored pig would be important enough to have a special day. So I Googled. I found that the doesn't celebrate a pig at all but celebrates the number 17 and all of its special properties..
There were two mathematicians. David C. Kelly and Mike Spivak. They were graduate students together at Princeton in the 1960's. .Legend has it that "Yellow Pig" refers to David Kelly's collection of yellow pigs. The mascot of the holiday, the yellow pig, has 17 toes, 17 eyelashes, and 17 teeth.
A Number With Special Properties
17 is a prime number that has significance in mathematics. It is the sum of the first four prime numbers - 2, 3, 5, and 7. A prime number is a number that can only be divided by 1 and by itself. Several studies have shown that when people are asked to choose a number between 1 and 20, a majority of people choose the number 17.
17 is not always a special number. In Italy, for example, 17 is considered to an unlucky number.
How to Celebrate?
Gift the mathematicians in your life marzipan Yellow Pig candies or yellow pig plush toys.
Do 17 acts of kindness during the day.
Sing Yellow Pig carols.
Did You Know...
...that the fear of the number 17 is called heptadecaphobia.
About those Prime Numbers - it was in Ancient Egypt...
Here's what Wiki says. The early Egyptians settled along the fertile Nile valley as early as about 6000 BCE. Because the phases of the moon and the passage of the seasons were mysterious and because they affected the crops, Egyptians began to record the patterns these events created. It became part of the religion.
The Pharaoh’s surveyors used measurements based on body parts (a palm was the width of the hand, a cubit the measurement from elbow to fingertips) to measure land and buildings very early in Egyptian history, and a decimal numeric system was developed based on our ten fingers.
It is thought that the Egyptians introduced the earliest fully-developed base 10 numeration system at least as early as 2700 BCE (and probably much early). Written numbers used a stroke for units, a heel-bone symbol for tens, a coil of rope for hundreds and a lotus plant for thousands, as well as other hieroglyphic symbols for higher powers of ten up to a million.
Practical problems of trade and the market led to the development of a notation for fractions. The papyri which have come down to us demonstrate the use of unit fractions based on the symbol of the Eye of Horus, where each part of the eye represented a different fraction, each half of the previous one (i.e. half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth, thirty-second, sixty-fourth), so that the total was one-sixty-fourth short of a whole, the first known example of a geometric series.
Ancient Egyptian method of division Unit fractions could also be used for simple division sums. For example, if they needed to divide 3 loaves among 5 people, they would first divide two of the loaves into thirds and the third loaf into fifths, then they would divide the left over third from the second loaf into five pieces. Thus, each person would receive one-third plus one-fifth plus one-fifteenth (which totals three-fifths, as we would expect). The Egyptians approximated the area of a circle by using shapes whose area they did know. They observed that the area of a circle of diameter 9 units, for example, was very close to the area of a square with sides of 8 units, so that the area of circles of other diameters could be obtained by multiplying the diameter by 8⁄9 and then squaring it. This gives an effective approximation of π accurate to within less than one percent. The pyramids themselves are another indication of the sophistication of Egyptian mathematics.
There is certainly evidence that they knew the formula for the volume of a pyramid - 1⁄3 times the height times the length times the width - as well as of a truncated or clipped pyramid. They were also aware, long before Pythagoras, of the rule that a triangle with sides 3, 4 and 5 units yields a perfect right angle, and Egyptian builders used ropes knotted at intervals of 3, 4 and 5 units in order to ensure exact right angles for their stonework (in fact, the 3-4-5 right triangle is often called "Egyptian").
If you have kids, or grandkids, learning math, buy some pita bread and try this fraction lesson! Mine are in town this week and next. If we do this I'll post pictures next week.
Last week we met Erin McIntyre a YA author. Today we meet her character Rory. Before we do, however, here's a review of her book.
My favorite review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
TOP NOTCH YA FICTION
By Peteron October 6, 2016 Format: Kindle Edition
This magical, intriguing, and utterly unique story is a seamless blend of modern fantasy and old world legend. With the loss of her mother, Abby moves to the U.S. for a change of place, change of pace, and a new beginning. Upon her return to Scotland, however, she meets an enchanted dog -- and the story blossoms from there. This is top notch YA fiction: clever, well-written, charming, and sophisticated. I found myself rooting for Abby every step of the way -- and marveling at the author's attention to detail and nuance. The final clues/riddle/solutions to the mystery at the center of this story (which would criminal to spoil) is a special treat. Not to be missed.
And now, meet Rory
1. Go ahead and introduce yourself.
Me name is Rory MacKay of the Clan MacKay.
2.Tell us where and when were you born.
Was born near the black waters, deep in the heart of the Sutherland’s land before the time of Robert the Bruce.
3. How would you describe yourself?
Trustworthy. Me faither taught me to always be true to me word.
4. Tell us about where you grew up.
Me mither and faither raised me in the same place as I was brought into this life.
5. How old are you?
Have seen the passin’ of sixteen winters.
6. Did you have a happy childhood? Why/why not?
Sadness filled parts of me childhood. Me mither passed when I was just a wee lad. She collapsed with no warnin’ one day, was her time. Me faither never did smile the same after that.
7. What do you value above all else in life?
Kinship and loyalty.
8. What are you obsessed with?
Tasty kinnen. Me mither prepared the best kinnen stew. Once faither gathered enough pelt, she even stitched me a blanket.
9. How do your beliefs make life better for yourself and the people you care about?
Me parents taught me to be a kind and patient lad. This will serve A-by well – she is a peculiar lass.
10. Biggest fear?
11. What line will you never cross?
Betrayal of any form.
12. What is the best thing that ever happened to you? The worst?
Meetin’ A-by seems to be a good thing, though she speaks a strange language and sometimes acts like a witch. Were me faither here, he’d have wise words for me, but he was murdered upon the passing of the last full moon.
13. Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?
Havin’ a lass fall atop me and break me bowe.
14. Biggest secret?
I may be takin’ a likin’ to me new companion.
15. What is your current goal?
Find me faither’s sword and return A-by to her home.
For the past 3 weeks I have been messaging announcing and trying to get support for my entry into Have You Heard Indie Association's competition of 2016. Naysayers often say "These are just popularity contests. I don't want to enter." Several thoughts came to mind on this matter: 1. While it IS true, isn't popularity what often drives sales and later on, success? 2. Isn't announcing that you are running and asking for votes legit?
OF COURSE IT IS.
Thus I did, and thanks to all of you I came in 4th as Fantasy Author and my 2016 novel Book 3 Opener of the Sky came in 4th as Fantasy Book. Although I didn't get more than bragging rights (No blogspot or cudos from the organizers) I'm tolf that 4th in my FIRST attempt is quite miraculous. It gave me courage to present something for the next one. Look out, 2017.
My Good Fortune continues. This week I received Two more 5 star reviews.
On Going Forth By Day.
Another extraordinary serving
ByWC Quickon July 11, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Passionate and creative storytelling, nothing new to readers familiar with Voices in Crystal. Got to root for Marai and the Wives. Another full meal, steaming and romantic, alternate history, science fiction and magic.
And on Opener of the Sky
5 out of 5 stars A storm is rising
ByWC Quickon July 13, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I acknowledge author Mary R Woldering for her skill as a storyteller and student of ancient Egypt and the Middle East. There is more to this series. I eagerly await her next book.
And Now... Award winning Author from Down Under Assaph Mehr
A young man is found dead in his bed, with a look of extreme agony on his face and strange tattoos all over his body. His distraught senator father suspects foul play, and knows who to call on.
Enter Felix the Fox, a professional investigator. In the business of ferreting out dark information for his clients, Felix is neither a traditional detective nor a traditional magician - but something in between.
Drawing on his experience of dealing with the shady elements of society and his aborted education in the magical arts, Felix dons his toga and sets out to discover the young man's killers.
Murder in Absentia is set in a fantasy world. The city of Egretia borrows elements from a thousand years of ancient Roman culture, from the founding of Rome to the late empire, mixed with a judicious amount of magic. This is a story of a cynical, hardboiled detective dealing with anything from daily life to the old forces roaming the world.
This is a story of Togas, Daggers and Magic - for lovers of Murder Mysteries, Ancient Rome and Urban Fantasy.
Today I interview Assaph. Next week we meet Felix.
1. Who are you as a person? (brief bio paragraph)
I have always been fascinated by ancient Rome, from the time I was in primary school and first got my hands on Asterix. This exacerbated when my parents took me on a trip to Rome and Italy - I whinged horribly when they dragged me to "yet another church with baby angels on the ceiling", yet was happy to skip all day around ancient ruins and museums for Etruscan art.
A few years ago I randomly picked a copy of a Lindsay Davis' Marcus Didius Falco novel in a used book fair. I fell in love with Rome all over again, this time from the view-point of a cynical adult. When I decided to sit down and write a novel, the setting was clear in my mind.
I now live in Sydney, Australia with my wife, four kids and two cats. By day I’m a software product manager, bridging the gap between developers and users, and by night I’m writing - I seem to do my best writing after midnight.
2. How long have you been a writer?
For about two years. I had my nose in a book since I was a child, and whilst seeing my name in print was on my bucket-list, I never thought to actually go and do something about it.
I had the idea for a fantasy detective story and for the particular twist ending for a while. Then one hot night in January 2015 my wife complained that she had nothing good left to read, so I just sat down and started writing. And I didn’t stop until I finished the novel.
3. Are you Traditionally or Indie published? If not yet, what are you considering?
Independently published. When I finished the manuscript I took a survey of the publishing industry, and decided that going the traditional route was not for me. I set up publishing house (Purple Toga Publications), and treat it as a business for all intents and purposes. My books are edited, illustrated, and produced by experienced professionals.
4. What writers inspired you? Favorite Authors?
So many! On the Roman historical fiction side, probably Colleen McCullough, Steven Saylor and Lindsey Davis stand out. The last two also cover historical mystery novels, and I will only add the amazing Boris Akunin for his incredible Erast Fandorin series.
On the fantasy side too many to mention, from classics like JRR Tolkein and Fritz Leiber, to modern authors like Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett.
There are other historical fantasy detectives out there too... I'll just mention Barry Hughart, with Bridge of Birds. One of my all-time favourite books!
5. What is your book/series about (elevator speech or quick tweet post)
These are stories about Togas, Daggers, and Magic – for lovers of ancient Rome, detective mysteries, and urban fantasy. If you love at least two out of the three, you’re bound to find something you’ll like.
6. What is the setting and genre?
The setting is historical-fantasy. It’s a made-up world, but the culture and most aspects are based closely on Rome circa 2nd century BCE. I’ve created this setting out of a love for ancient Rome, and out of love for speculative fiction (what if magic was real). However, since the stories themselves are detective mysteries and not tied to a particular era in Rome’s history, I chose to build a fantasy world for the creative freedom it gave me.
As for genre… I go with “Historically-themed Urban High-Fantasy Hard-boiled Detective (with a splash of Horror)”… or historical-fantasy mysteries for short.
7. Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
That would undoubtedly be Felix, the protagonist. In some ways, Felix is an extension of me. The stories are told in first-person, through his eyes. It’s impossible not to identify with him. He’s a bit more brash than me, and definitely more glib. I like to think that I am far more honest than him (his scruples leave a lot to be desired), but we do share a lot of the views about life in general.
8. How are you marketing your book?
I blog occasionally on my marketing strategy. It seems to be working for me so far. In essence, I reach out to potential target audience. I do it across social media, in different forms. Note that “reach out” does not mean advertise. I rely on the social aspect of social media, to engage with potential readers.
Occasionally I run promotions and use advertising for those, but that is usually to coincide with some event, or perhaps as a gentle push for people who have been considering the book to get it. Mostly I rely on interactions and engagements, to reach my niche audience.
These then form the core fans, the ones who spread out the word about my book because they love it. This helps reach larger and larger audiences.
9. A wonderful thing has happened! Hollywood wants to make a movie of your book! You get to pick the actors & actresses. You want________________for your lead characters.
There is some debate amongst fans who would be best (Tom Hiddleston is often mentioned, even
though he’s a bit too tall for Felix), but one thing is certain. Joss Whedon should be the director.
10. What Favorite foods
Here I think Felix and I might disagree. I do a lot of research into historically accurate foods. Felix can keep his fish-sauce…
I do like to cook, however, and especially bake. I grew up on the Mediterranean, and I think it affects my tastes. You can see some of my better dishes on Instagram.
11. Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Between work and family, I don’t have a lot of time for hobbies. When I am not writing (which – until the Hollywood movie deal – is still a hobby), I am reading.
I also practice martial arts, have been on and off for the past 30 years. Currently I practice an internal branch of Wing Chun. Learning fighting in general has impacted how I write fight scenes, but the internal arts I practice (think Tai-chi) have also affected how I treat magic in the world of Egretia.
12. What are you working on right now?
After publishing Murder In Absentia I wrote several short stories with Felix. I wrote them as I was working on editing and book production, but wanted to keep on writing. I use them as introduction to my writing for new readers (they are all freely available on my blog), and to keep existing fans engaged.
Right now I am working on the second full-length Felix mystery. It will be titled In Numina, and will be a high-profile, public case for Felix. It’s a tale of haunted houses and courtroom dramas.
13. What links or website do you have? List them below.
Website, with free short stories and other articles: http://egretia.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/assaph/ Murder In Absentia on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1XbfKN1 Google Plus: http://plus.google.com/+AssaphMehr