“Why is it that mathematicians are such nice people?”

In Edward Nelson’s (2007) review of the book 18 Unconventional Essays on the Nature of Mathematics (American Mathematical Monthly, vol. 114, pp. 843–848), he tries to answer the question in the title.

We [mathematicians] are no respecters of persons (in that curious phrase that means we do respect persons but pay little attention to the trappings of age, position, or prestige), we take equal delight in fierce competition and collaborative effort, and we are quick to say “I was wrong.” Perhaps some of us know an exception that proves the rule, but by and large I speak sooth, especially when one compares mathematicians to our colleagues in the humanities.

How does one explain that we are so lovable? Is there something in the nature of mathematics that attracts gentle souls? Possibly, but another explanation is more convincing. We are singularly blessed in that the worth of a mathematical work is judged largely by whether the proof is correct, and this is something on which we all agree (eventually), despite the fact that we may have divergent views on the nature of mathematics […]. This is a singular fact. In art, projection of personality may prevail; in the humanities, the power of position may prevail; in science, the prevailing fad may prevent the publication even of excellent work—but we are extraordinarily fortunate that in our field none of this matters.

Regional Elementary Schools Press Conference

Last February 5, 2013, my daughter participated in the (Region V) Regional Elementary Schools Press Conference at the Sto. Domingo Central School in Sto. Domingo, Albay.

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According to the Department of Education Region V Regional Memorandum no. 4, s. 2013,

With the theme, Campus Journalists: Championing Ethics in Social Media, the Conference aims to:

  1. promote understanding among campus journalists/participants the importance of journalism by expressing it through different journalistic endeavors and approaches;
  2. sustain advocacy on social consciousness;
  3. provide a venue for an enriching learning experience for pupils interested in pursuing journalism as a career;
  4. promote responsible journalism and fair and ethical use of social media; and
  5. enhance journalistic competence through healthy and friendly competitions.


She joined the individual contest in feature writing (English category), where the participants were asked to write about their personal experiences with social media.

The Cuboid

I like simple vehicles. My parents used to have an Austin Mini and as a child I was very impressed with its simplicity.


Yesterday I found a much simpler vehicle inside the Ateneo de Naga University campus.  It wasn’t there before and it was the first time I had seen it.  I don’t know what the owners call it, but I’m going to call it The Cuboid (even though the front is slightly tapered).


The top of the frame is being used to carry long pipes, and I’m sure it can also be used to carry large flat objects like plywood.


There’s a ladder on the rear right, and at the back there seems to be some provision for some vertical structure.


There’s a winch connected to the vehicle’s engine by universal joints.  The battery is on the driver’s left and the fuel tank is on the driver’s right.  Although there are some broken tail lights at the rear, I don’t think the vehicle was ever roadworthy.

St. Dominic de Guzman Church

Yesterday, I passed by St. Dominic de Guzman Church in Santo Domingo, Albay and below are some pictures I took of it.


I couldn’t find any writing on its outside walls or on the walls surrounding it with any information about it, like its name or its date of construction.


The person at the Parish Office could not provide me any written material about the church.  She didn’t know when the church was built.  Some internet sources give the date as 1820.


The church seemed to be closed, so I didn’t enter it.


Below is an older picture of the church (taken from here).

SIKU: 2013 Catalogue

There were two items in the SIKU 2013 catalogue that caught my attention.  (Both pictures below are from the catalogue.)


Shown above is SIKU Super 1872, a 1:87 heavy haulage truck with tank. Shown below is SIKU World 5501. (The scale is not given, but I suspect it is 1:50.) It includes “1 petrol station with 2 fuel pumps, 8 semi pairing buttons, 4 entire pairing buttons, 9 printed street elements, 6 road signs, 4 traffic lights, 2 adapters, 1 street lamp, 1 sign gastry, and 3 trees.”