BruceMGF

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    Bruce M

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  1. See this site for even higher numbers, in fact, an extension of the naming conventions to accomodate any number, no matter how high: Dr Math Is there anything that can actually be described using these incredibly big numbers? Well, the highest prime number yet discovered (which changes a couple times a year, usually): Highest Primes The highest prime discovered begins with two hundred ninety nine domilliamilliaquadringentundecmillianongentnovemtillion. To read the whole thing would take a few years, by which time it would be obsolete. Big primes, the bigger the better, are used in encryption methods.
  2. For a non-fiction look at the National Spelling Bee, also see Jeffrey Blitz's Spellbound , a documentary about the 1999 NSB. It's an inside look at eight spellers and their road to the bee: Angela Arenivar, the daughter of illegal immigrants from Mexico (legalized by the Reagan-era amnesty) who never learned English themselves; Ted Brigham, the only smart kid (apparently) in Rolla, Missouri; Nupur Lala, the driven, über-serious daughter of Indian parents; Neil Kadakia, the son of driven, über-serious Indian parents; Ashley White, a black girl from the DC projects with a single mother and two uncles who watch the bee from prison; April DiGideo, the introverted spelling-obsessed daughter of blue-collar Pennsylvania parents who can't quite understand what it's all about; Harry Altman, a hyperactive poster child for the necessity of Ritalin; Emily Stagg, the horse-riding daughter of two Yale college professors who debate whether to take their au pair to the bee.
  3. I'm trying to remember the source of what I *think* is something Nathaniel branden said: "Wanting things - and going after them - is what life is all about." Does anyone remember this one? I thought it was from "The Disowned Self" but I've gone through it and I can't find it.
  4. First of all: I absolutely *love* the National Spelling Bee. "Akeelah and the Bee" is out of theaters now, but available in DVD. Akeelah Anderson (Keke Palmer) is an underachieving middle-school girl from a Los Angeles ghetto. Despite her D grades, her teachers realize she's much smarter - she never misspells a word. Her spelling ability comes from the Scrabble games she played with her recently-dead father (and continues to play on her computer). One day she's forced into a school spelling bee as an alternative to detention, and wins. Her school's principal then introduces her to Dr. Larabee (Laurence Fishburne), an on-sabbatical college professor who grew up in the same neighborhood and participated (with little success) in the National Spelling Bee at Akeelah's age. He's going to coach her through the regional bee, and (he fully intends) into the National Spelling Bee. Akeelah is torn between her "cool" friends who want her to give up on the bee, the stern Dr. Larabee who demands she stop her "ghetto-talk" while studying words, her stressed-out widowed mother who would rather Akeelah devote her time to regular schoolwork ... ... and her own ambition: to win the National Spelling Bee. OK, it's got every sports-movie cliché in the book, and then some (yes, I know, spelling bee isn't a sport). Or you can think of it as tried-and-true plot elements. The ending ... well, I don't want to give it away, but it's a very Objectivist ending. A sacrificial offer is made, and firmly declined - to the benefit of all concerned.
  5. I recall reading (PAR?) that she had already come up with "Atlas Shrugged" as a chapter title and Frank suggested it as a replacement for the always-tentative "The Strike" as the book's title.
  6. In the book "Tsar: the Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra", by Peter Kurth, there is a photo on page 23 showing a figure of Atlas holding up the world. It is at the top of the Singer Building (built 1907) on Nevsky Prospekt in St. Petersburg. I saw this quite a few years ago and wondered if this might have been the item from which AR got her "Atlas" imagery and inspiration. Probably no way to know at this late date. Interesting to speculate, though.
  7. Hello. I've recently started re-reading Ayn Rand, whom I first read back in my college days (familiar story!). I was briefly in a college Objectivist club with Yaron Brook. I understand he's not a member here. I'll be around.