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Letters to the Editor, September 2004


This a traditional letter column. You are encouraged to write a letter of comment on anything that you find worthy of comment. It will (may) be published in this column along with my reply. As editor I reserve the right to delete material; however I will not alter the undeleted material. E-mail to me that solely references the contents of this site will be assumed to be publishable mail. All other e-mail is assumed to be private. And, of course, anything marked not for publication is not for publication. Oh yes, letters of appreciation for the scholarly resources provided by this site will be handled very discreetly. This page contains the correspondence for September 2004.

Some of it is a little ancient; I'm slowly catching up - very slowly.

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From: barrister roland umeh
Date: 8/21/2004
Subj: SPECIAL REQUIEST/ Richard Harter

Dear Richard Harter,

I am Barrister Roland, a solicitor at law, personal attorney to Mr.P.B Harter,a national Of your country, who used to work with Shell Development Company in Lome Togo. Here in after shall be referred to as my client. On the 21st of April 2002, my client, his wife and their only daughter were involved in a car accident along Nouvissi express Road. All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost there lives.

[Remainder of the con email deleted]

I thought that using my last name was a nice touch.
Isn't the Nigerian Scam a variant of the Spanish Prisoner con?
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From: Charles Hitchcock
Date: 5/18/2004
Subj: re golf hazard

(don't \think/ I've given you this....)
How do you protect yourself from lightning on a golf course?

Pack a 1-iron.

Why?

Because not even God can hit a 1-iron.

Life had been good up to now, but I thank for sending it. It was really quite thoughtless of you.
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From: Steve Schirripa
Date: 9/4/2004
Subj: Inefficient sorting algorithms comment

Just a comment on your inefficient sorting page:
http://richardhartersworld.com/~cri_d/2001/badsort.html

You stated that O(N * N!) = O(N!). I do not believe this is correct. If it were true, then for all n >= k for some constant k, there would be some constant c such that:

N * N! <= c * N!, implying:

N <= c, which cannot be true for arbitrarily large N.

In fact, when you get into the exponentials, changing of base matters, unlike when you discuss O(log N). This is analogous to multiplying N! by N, which seems insignificant compared to the N!.

Oops, quite right. Mea culpa.

The O() notation isn't quite as useful as it might be when we're talking about exponentials and hyperexponentials. For polynomials and exponentials we have

O(f(n+1)) = O(f(n))
but this doesn't hold for "big" functions like factorials.

Thanx for the correction.

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From: James Chase
Date: 9/8/2004
Subj: Piltdown and Gould

I like the site. As a suggestion, perhaps you could refer people to Gould's Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes as well as Panda's Thumb - that's where his case is most fully set out in his essay collections.

Good suggestion. When I get to it I will add the reference.
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From: Yvette
Date: 8/30/2004
Subj: suggestion

Mark Ventimiglia is a bigot and is NOT to be respected!!!!!! he is a terrible hypocrite. go to http://www.petitiononline.com/q845102/petition.html and see for yourself!

Thank you for your letter. It has been entered in the "flakiest letter of the year" contest where I am sure it will receive the honors it deserves.
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From: Glenn H Reid
Date: 9/9/2004
Subj: Noah

While I enjoyed your Part I, my appreciation was less than 100% because of two errors in grammar: 1) "have ridiculed US scientists," not we, and 2) "had to have occurred OFFAL damn fast." Did you mean "awfully?" Am sure you know the meaning of "offal."

Believe me, I am in synch with you on the whole subject of Biblical literacy and salute you.

As it happens, I am the publisher and not the author of "How the flood really happened"; Gary Bohn is the author. Be that as it may, I am puzzled as to where you found "have ridiculed US scientists" in the text. The closest thing I can find is "ridiculed we poor creationists" in the second paragraph. Can it be that you are reading my web site from a different space-time continuum?

As to "offal", Gary Bohn is given to "offal" puns. It would officious to off his awful offal.

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From: Don at Lightspeed
Date: 8/23/2004
Subj: A former contributor

Hey amigo your site is looking good and obviously getting larger.

It does that. The web is the intellectual scrap heap of the collective mind of humanity. I'm doing my part to help it grow.
I'm no longer editing the pages of maxpatch.com or writing an ezine for them. In the vernacular of American business, I got "downsized".
Funny old country, America. People get supersized and downsized all at the same time.
I moved some of my tutorials and my favorite freeware list to my personal site http://www.don-guitar.com and got myself a new ezine at freelists.org.
Looks good.
I don't get paid for my work anymore but I find I enjoy it as much as I ever did and I've got around 250 readers that followed me from maxpatch.

I'll mention your site again in my next issue.

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This page was last updated September 16, 2004.

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September 2004 TOC
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