Sunday, April 06, 2008

Mathematics, Lubbock AJ, Movie Reviews

Math or mathematics is defined as the science of numbers. No wonder I have never been very good at it since I have never considered myself a scientist; however, over the years I have grown fond of math in its’ simplest forms. For example, algebra, geometry, and trigonometry leave me totally speechless after trying to go to the nearest tenth and then trying to go on further with it. It is amazing to me how these formulas lead to anything important. I had a close friend who was an absolute genius at math and actually made the statement that everything in life revolves around it and if you don’t know math or can use it to the highest degree you are actually quite stupid. Obviously he went on to become a scientist and nuclear physics engineer so I guess he proved his point. What I have learned about math is that he is right, it is a very important aspect of our lives but I would argue with him that you are not totally stupid if you cannot work all of the magical and mystical aspects of this science. The main formula I have learned over the years is how to figure my sales commission after selling something, i.e. sell a piece of equipment for $100,000.00 at a 5% commission I have just made $5,000.00, etc. So, in my many years of selling products I have found that figuring commissions has been very enjoyable math. One year my commissions went to over $400,000.00 so I really enjoyed this science that particular year. What I have always heard when it comes to numbers is that numbers don’t lie but people doing the numbers do lie. So, what that means is that some accountant can put a twist on the actual numbers that make them come out looking like something else. A good example is the Enron fabrication of multi-billions a few years ago that swindled employees out of their pensions and jobs. They had bad numbers but manipulated them to look good, while management got rich and the working class was robbed of their earnings, etc. As I watch the current political campaigns for president I stand all amazed as the population of the United States is 303,792,259(and growing as this is being written) and we only have the 3 choices to elect as our next president. While I will admit it is a diversified group, one black-American, one female and one senior citizen, I think our choices really suck considering there is over 300 million to choose from. But what it really boils down to now in politics is that the person who can raise the most money for the election and has the “connections” is the one who will have the opportunity to run for president. Even Mitt Romney (my favorite) who put his own money in the campaign (imagine that) dropped out fairly early because he didn’t have the right connection and was way over qualified for the job. So, God forbid that he would get the nomination. I could also say the same for Edwards, a good man with limited money and the same for connections. So, we see that numbers and math have a lot of influence on everything that we do. When you take a physical exam the first rattle out of the box relates to numbers, i.e. date of birth, height, weight, phone number, address, etc., etc. Recently I saw a movie and the title was “21” (to be covered in more detail in the movie review section) and it had to do with counting numbers on the blackjack table to take away astronomical winnings. My conclusion here is not really earth shattering or mind bending or even relevant to anything important I would assume, but remember, numbers are a science and you can do with them whatever you please. Go figure!!

Our local newspaper has some of the stupidest statements in its’ reporting that I just start my day off with lots of laughs. Recently there was an article about a guy that was convicted of killing a girl friend. After he knocked her silly he stuffed her in a suitcase and threw the suitcase in a dumpster, where she died. While this is not a funny story the article had the following statement, the forensic examiner made the statement, “that the girl wouldn’t have died if she hadn’t been put in the suitcase and thrown in the dumpster.” Well tell me, how many people can get stuffed in a suitcase, un-conscious, then thrown in a dumpster and still survive?

In the same newspaper there was an article concerning the minister of a very large Baptist Church in Lubbock who announced he was resigning and moving on to greener pastures(not really what he said, I just kind of threw that in because that is what he is doing). While it didn’t say much about his spiritual side of the ministry it did say that he had reduced their debt by $2million, and increased their bank account from $25m to $500,000.00. Oh well so much for preaching the gospel and saving the souls. Again, numbers seem to mean everything.

Movie Reviews: “Drillbit Taylor”, **, Owen Wilson (in between time in the re-hab centers) stars in this movie as a useless bum who is a soldier of fortune wanna be. He is hired by 3 high school seniors to protect them from the class bully. Not much real story here, but fairly harmless. Not prime time viewing, see it on DVD, or $1.00 movie house if you have nothing else to do. Rated PG-13 for crude sexual references throughout, strong bullying, language, drug references and partial nudity (the rating description was better than the movie!)

“21”, ****, This was a very good gambling movie based on the story of a MIT professor(played by Kevin Spacey) who puts together his smartest students(headed up by Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth, Laurence Fisher, Aaron Yoo, Lisa Lapira and Jacob Pitts) as a gambling team to win thousands in the Las Vegas Casinos. It is my understanding that this was based on a true story, even though the movie does not mention it. I did read a book a few years ago about this actually happening, so I assume it is based on that. At any rate, it is a very good movie worth a prime time ticket.



Post a Comment

<< Home