Columns of Numbers

I like columns about numbers. My new favorite columnist is Walter Hickey, who writes Significant Digits for He tweets here and here’s more about him.

Hickey’s list is, of course, one more variation on the classic Harper’s Index list. But he makes it his own. If you aren’t familiar with it, Harper’s magazine crafted the perfect number list feature, with subtle connections between items.

I like columns of numbers, but I even more like math columns, especially math puzzle columns, and the best forever is the “Mathematical Games” column in Scientific American by Martin Gardner. Now you can get all of them on a disc!

Then there’s Dennis Shasha, or Dr. Ecco, whose math puzzles appeared in Dr. Dobb’s and elsewhere.

And keeping us mathematically honest is John Allen Paulos, the tireless campaigner against mathematical illiteracy.

My First 7 Jobs

1. Paperboy
2. Dishwasher
3. Truck washer
4. TV antenna installer
5. Assembly line worker in water heater factory
6. Printer’s helper in box factory
7. Lab assistant in pharmaceutical company

River Walk

I learned the Pomodoro Technique from Staffan Nöteberg’s charming book years ago, and have been using it ever since.

But productivity tools always have to be adapted to your own quirks and internal rhythms, as Belle Beth Cooper recognizes in this article.

I’ve never quite mastered the five-minute breaks every twenty-five minutes, but I’m pretty good at the serious break every two hours. It helps that the dog has figured out the schedule and tells me when it’s time to walk to the river.

It also helps that there’s the river to walk to.