Black and White and Black

I was thinking about Google searches. I searched for “Black and White” and “White and Black.” Look at the different suggestions? filters? that Google adds to the search bar.

“Black and White” image filters:

  • woman
  • baby
  • instagram
  • snapchat
  • trippy
  • photoshoot
  • cityscape
  • reflection
  • etc


“White and Black” image filters

  • abstract
  • love
  • romantic
  • clipart
  • rose
  • radha krishna
  • pattern
  • background
  • etc

There was some overlap in the images, though.

Sanford and Son?

You be the judge!


Kos-Kee-OOO-Sko Down!

The Kosciuszko Bridge (pronounced by some as “kos-kee-OOO-sko,” and by others as “kah-SHUS-ko”) connects Brooklyn with Queens. It is miserable. And now it is dead, having been replaced by a newer bridge to the side of it. The City imploded the bridge.

I passed through there last week. The traffic was so slow that I could take these photographs of the sections of the old hulk that was the Kosciuszko.


A Student (okay, my son Sammy, who is a 7th grade student), gave me this math puzzle:

“Use 6ix (sic) nines to equal 100, you can use +, -, x, ÷, ( ). [No exponents]. 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9. Good Luck, Sammy”

Welp, I was stumped and had to have him give me an answer.

This was his solution:

(9 x 9 + 9) + (9 ÷ 9 + 9)

which equals

90 + 10 = 100

I brought the problem to some colleagues of mine, and here are their answers:

Dennis wrote:

(999 – 99) ÷ 9

which equals

900 ÷ 9 = 100

Greg wrote:

(9 ÷ 9 + 9) x (9 ÷ 9 + 9)

which equals

10 x 10 = 100

I don’t remember who gave me this one:

99 + (9 ÷ 9) x (9 ÷ 9)

which equals

99 + 1  x  1

which equals

99 + 1 = 100

I finally came up with my own solution:

(99 ÷ 99) + 99

which equals

1 + 99 = 100


I happen to like my solution, since it uses the same numbers each time (99). However, Dennis’s is lovely, since it goes from three digits (999) to two digits (99) to one digit (9).

Which do you think is the most beautiful solution? The one that uses the most operations, or the one that uses the fewest?

Some Honor

It is common to find that certain enormous high schools have been subdivided into several smaller ones, all housed within the same building. At one such site in the Bronx, I saw these Track and Field awards for a competition that had been held at the University of Pennsylvania. If you zoom in, you can see that these relay runners are completely nekkid, and they seem to be coming up to say hello to Ben Franklin. I know that during the ancient Greek Olympics the athletes were naked, but during the American Revolution too?

STEM at Stuy

I just got back from a 3-day STEM institute at the new Stuyvesant high school (yes, I know it has been in Battery Park City for 20 years already). It ran from August 8-10. Hundreds of others attended, there were dozens of workshop offerings, and even the chancellor herself was there. The keynote speaker was none other than Neil deGrasse Tyson of Hayden Planetarium fame. Clearly a lot of time and hard work went into pulling it off. In fact, my workshop, “We Are having Molecules for Dinner” was superb (more on that later).

My point is, there were so many coordinators and administrators putting together this event, so why did no one catch this mistake on the agenda?

Bathrooms for Special Ed

In 2016, at 176X at Truman high school, I saw these bathroom signs: “Boys Bathroom Special Ed” and “Girls Bathroom Special Ed.” Hmm, segregation much? I alerted a staff member who alerted the custodian.

The signs have since been removed. The real questions is, how come no one else who saw these signs –including the students using the bathrooms — thought it was wrong (and possibly illegal)? How could these signs be up for so long and no one said a thing?


3D Printed Cards for DD

We visited a shop that made concept and object indicators out of cardboard (plus whatever the actual object was). These clever cards can be used as prompts, as labels for storage bins, for the visually impaired, for the developmentally disabled, etc.

It would be cool to 3D print them, although they would have to be hand-painted afterwards.

Useful Information, Chart 5

Product: Tops Marble Composition Book, 7.5 X 9.75 Inches, College Rule, 100 Sheets, White (63796)

Sold by: Tops Products

Cost: out of stock everywhere

I saw this composition book for sale for $8.00. Crazy right? Except this chart really does happen to have Useful Information. It has fractions (and decimals and percents). And temperature conversion. And is written in clear English. For example, under Metric Unit Conversion, the column reads “When You Know: ________ Multiply By: ________ To Find: ________”.

What I do not see are roods (square measure), scruples (Apothecaries’ weight), reams (paper measure), grains (troy weight), or knots (miscellaneous measures). It is also the only chart to include “mass.”

Hidden Highlights

  • 1 hectare = 2.471 acres
  • To write a decimal for a percent, move the decimal point two places to the left. Omit the percent sign;
  • To convert Celsius to Fahrenheit: mutiply by 9, divide by 5 and then add 32.


Metric Unit Conversions (Length and Distance; Surface or Area; Volume and Capacity [Liquid]; Weight and Mass; Termperature)


Decimals and Percents

Multiplication Chart

Useful Information, Chart 4

Product: Staples Graph Composition Book, 9.75 X 7.5 Graph Paper Notebook, Black (not marbled – ed)

Sold by: Staples

cost: $2.00

This Useful Information chart is on the inside back cover of a graph paper composition notebook. The cover is not the typical marble design. Right away I see some cool icons and graphics…the other Useful Information charts 1-3 have only text. Also, this one has a 3-inch ruler! The content is much the same as chart 2.

Hidden Highlights

  • an acre measures ~209 feet on each side
  • A perch of stone is 16 1/2 feet long, by 1 1/2 feet wide, by 1 foot high. (I would call this a low wall, but what do I know?)


Conversion Tables (length, capacity, weight; metric to American standard)

Multiplication Table

Table of Time Measure

Table of Dry Measure

Table of Liquid Measure

Table of Paper Measure

Table of Linear Measure

Miscellaneous Measures

Table of Cubic Measure

Table of Avoirdupois Weight (pounds and ounces: what we use in America)

Table of Troy Weight (for gold, silver, precious metals)

Table of Circular Measure

Table of Apothecaries’ Weight (for medicines)

Table of Surface Measure (as opposed to Square measure)

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