Online Edition
April 27th, 2011

Dating Arithmetics
by Afia VanHorne

You thought he would be your one and only but he ended up being the one that got away. So again you face the daunting task of solving the matrix that is dating, bound by its series of rules that can at times prove more complicated than advanced functions.

Back at square one, your first operation involves securing a suitable match. Sadly, the prospects within your 10-mile radius are relatively minimal. A three-way call with your circle of close friends offers up some additional help. They provide an infinite set of prime candidates and you narrow it down to one. First problem solved.

Digits are exchanged and a plan to meet is set. It will be in two days, at 7 pm, leaving you 48 hours to pull off a much needed style transformation. As the day draws closer, your head fills with multiple thoughts of all the negative directions this event could incur but you regain your rational attitude and hope for the best.

With the countdown over and dressed to the nines, you are grateful for the accurate description of your intended suitor, with whom you are now face to face and his appeal grows exponentially as he wraps his hand around your own in an introductory shake. Meanwhile, you’re trying not to lose your composure as he unabashedly scopes out the slope of your curves, setting the formula for a night that you won’t soon forget.

At dinner, you try to down play your eccentricities yet can’t help but run off on several tangents, and to his surprised pleasure, you seem genuinely intrigued during rants about his choice radical views. The reciprocal degree of attraction is greater than you had hoped and you and you try not to lose your focus during your periodic stares into his deep, discrete eyes.

By the end of the night, you’ve both scratched only the surface of your symmetric tastes and parallel styles, compelling you to postulate the odds of that you could meet someone who complements you so well.

Not wanting to make any default assumptions, you mentally prepare to divide the check in half but are impressed on his insistence to cover it by 100%. A positive experience of extreme proportions describes the sum of the night’s experiences.

Bodies adjacent with gazes fixed, you arrive at the date’s critical point. Accepting that there’s no turning back, you resolve to subtract the no-kiss protocol from the first-date rules, pushing your personal limits further than ever before.

Within a fraction of a second, your lips meet in a high-magnitude kiss executed with expert precision, which keeps you riding a wavelength of pleasure for the rest of the night. With date number two 2 now a finite element, you delight in the decreasing probability of ending up single with 14 cats.

Dating Arithmetics Copyright (C) 2011 Afia VanHorne. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Gucci Mom
by Charles Jeffrey Danoff

Within the past few months the Wall Street Journal ran an excerpt from Amy Chua's book "Tiger Mom" (ISBN: 9781594202841). The snippet titled “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior” generated lots of controversy amongst WSJ readers for Chua's tactics with her children.

My Mother suggested I write an article in response dubbed "Gucci Mom" about my early childhood spent attending playgroups, as opposed to Chua's children who practiced and studied dutifully under their Mother's watchful eye.

I'm not sure, but I believe a big part of playgroups is making sure kids are "well-adjusted" and able to socialize with their peers. 26 years later I can proudly say I have achieved that goal. I have an active, some might opine too active, social life with friends I've maintained since junior-high and high-school.

Beyond that I was able to "adjust" to foreign societies when I spent the past two years living first in Japan and then in China. It should be noted that I spent six years in Japan as a child, which obviously helped, but still I feel it was more due to focus on interacting well with others my Mother gave me from a young age that allowed me to "fit-in" as much as I could in Japan and China.

Of course, part of the Tiger School of Mom-ing is achievement. Don't fret, the Gucci School places emphasis there as well, albeit in a less visceral way. I was always expected to do well in school and a "C" was equivalent to failure. Thankfully I avoided those while living at home,finishing in the top third of a my high-school.

Whilst in college away from watchful eyesI did find new activities that led to one semester with a 2.0 GPA, but that was the low point. I rallied and improved every semester afterwards, graduating from one of America's top liberal arts colleges with a 2.99 and majors in Economics and English. Mom was a double-major, too.

You could say that part of being so well-adjusted and able to socialize is what led to the 2.0 semester and overall 2.99 GPA, and I would agree with you. I absolutely could've done better in college, evidenced by the fact I've gotten 2 A's and one B taking graduate-level courses from Indiana.

But, you know what? I wouldn't trade my college experience for anything. I'll take my lower GPA and the friends I made because I spent my time with them instead of books and the girl I met and had the most intense experience of my life falling in love with. Our relationship didn't work out, and I don't see those friends a lot 'cause they live in "the city", while I reside in Chicagoland, but that's fine.

The Gucci school believe in rewarding adequate, again defined as B or above, grades with freedom. Its a good trade, I think. I was allowed to play ice hockey as a kid and have sleepovers and play lots and lots of video games. I did also play a classical instrument, the oboe, but Mom never cared if I practiced or not. I managed to stay in the band from 5th through 12th grade and play concerts at Northwestern University and downtown, but always as the last available chair amongst however many oboists there were. Mom figured correctly that the hockey-oboe combo would be attractive to colleges and it must've 'cause I probably didn't have the academic/test score credentials to get into Colgate on my own. Part of it too, was I built a relationship with a Colgate college recruiter, because I ... yup ... am well adjusted and can socialize.

And, despite the lower academic achievement growing up I fell in love with learning. In fact I now have a business I am running devoted to e-learning and Open Education. I have spent countless hours of my free time putting educational materials online for others to use or not, and plan to continue doing so, though now I want to get paid, too.

So, is the Gucci School as successful as the Tiger School? I'm not really in a place to judge, that's your job. An intriguing analogy is Western and Eastern gardening styles. The Wikipedia article on gardens writes “A formal garden in the Persian garden and European garden design traditions is rectilinear and axial in design. The equally formal garden, without axial symmetry (asymmetrical] or other geometries, is the garden design tradition of Chinese gardens and Japanese gardens.” Tiger Mom-ing, from a mother of Eastern descent is far more symmetrical and rigid than Gucci-mom-ing, from a mother of Western descent. Chua had a fixed idea her daughters were going to fit into with little diversion, while my Mom had a vague asymmetrical-vision within which she gave her sons freedom to evolve.

Additionally following a recent Chinese meal, Chua is a Chinese-American, the Gucci school got an endorsement from Chua's homeland as my fortune cookie said “Your enthusiasm inspires people.” During my year living in mainland China I never once got a fortune cookie, but nevermind that now.

As a parting note, I will say, fashion is a natural expected outcome of the Gucci School. I was schooled in Chicago, Tokyo, and London and have done multiple trips to Milan, Paris and “the city”. I have one of the most sophisticated fashion senses of any American male my age I have met. As anecdotal evidence one night at The Boom Boom Room, Chicago's oldest house party, an attractive lady asked if I "paid someone to dress me?" because everything was so coordinated.

I didn't, but I should've said "Nah, I'm just a Gucci School of Mom-ing product."

Gucci Mom Copyright (C) 2011 Charles Jeffrey Danoff. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Introduction to power laws Copyright (C) 2011 Joe Corneli. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Quantum Physics & My Universe
by Marilee Stang

I am not a physicist. I’ve had, or thought I have had, difficulties with Arithmetic, since Kindergarten; I mistook the number marked down by Arthur (who sat next to me) as the correctly drawn numeral, rather than my own. Mine was done correctly, but I changed it. This was during a “learn your numbers” exercise. It turned out that my numeral was correct.

In high school Business English, I had trouble with 60 days at six percent interest. The Dorks all walked around with slide rules and took algebra and calculus. My female colleagues and I had trouble doing the math required to line up a silk screen for printing. This was in a Textiles class in Art School.

Flash ahead to the time I spent earning a M.A. degree in Art Therapy. It was here that I met an astute faculty member, who taught advanced Math classes. She posited that many women become afraid of Mathematics because of the very thing experienced by me during Kindergarten. They don’t trust themselves or their ability to perform higher Math.

Low and behold, in reading “Smarter by Sunday,” a book compiled by The New York Times,* I found that I could understand some higher principles in the realm of Mathematics and Physics. Granted weekend reading about a brief history of Physics does not a genius make.

I did discover that I had been exposed to Physics in my Universe more than I realized. For instance, a professor at Kent State University, where I initially sought an M.F.A. in Theater, used Quantum Physics to explore the energy exchange reaction between an actor on stage and the audience. If things aren’t clicking, or on the same wavelength, people will become bored and start to fidget in their seats, or worse yet, they will leave at intermission. Heisenberg’s Law of Uncertainty could be at work here.

As a painter, (high art, not house painting,) the laws of W and Z particles seem to be present. Some colors are more difficult to work with because of the high energy or wave link, they emit. Yellow and red fall into this category. This phenomenon is very prevalent in the work of Op-Art painting. Hue, value and chroma can be seen as W and Z particles merging together in high energy to emulate a Photon. Chroma is the high saturation of pure color with no black or white added to them.

During a recent argument, well, call it a heated exchange, with a friend, Quarks could explain the high-energy collision of his ideas and mine. Of the six varieties, two are known, as up and down; the other four could be said to be similar to the clash of ideas with my colleague, producing Protons and Neutrons.

Is Physics very simple? Of course, it is not. I, however, have learned that if I extend myself, and not be afraid, I can understand far more of the difficult concepts of my universe. I don’t have to be threatened by Arthur.

Quantum Physics & My Universe Copyright (C) 2011 Marilee Stang. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

All staff and outsider work Copyright (C) the original author.
Everything else Copyright (C) 2011 the Uncertainty Principle. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.