Chris Hawkins

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Cooking with fire is fun, and produces tasty food. That said, the quickest way to ruin any food is to get out near any fire started using lighter fluid. That shit is toxic, and should never be let anywhere near food, especially if set on fire. Your food will smell and taste like a refinery.

If you want to light a fire for a grill, use a chimney starter. These things are inexpensive and effective. Concerned that you can't fit all of the charcoal you want to use in a single chimney starter? First, you're probably using too much charcoal. (Consider using a classic two-zone fire, and never expect to fill an entire grill surface with food at any point.) Also, realize that you don't have to start all of your charcoal at once. Putting unlit coals on lit coals will unsurprisingly result in the fire spreading to all coals.

If you want to light a fire for a grill, use a chimney starter. These things are inexpensive and effective. Concerned that you can't fit all of the charcoal you want to use in a single chimney starter? First, you're probably using too much charcoal. (Consider using a classic two-zone fire, and never expect to fill an entire grill surface with food at any point.) Also, realize that you don't have to start all of your charcoal at once. Putting unlit coals on lit coals will unsurprisingly result in the fire spreading to all coals.

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I'm pretty sure "self diving cars" is a much better technology for ending drunken driving. Although, I did see an interesting argument about the presence of ethanol in gasoline essentially putting a car's own BAC over the legal limit to dive itself. Then again, none of that alcohol should be found in its "breath," thanks to the catalytic converter...

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Think there's little benefit to watching campy 1980's comedies? Wrong. There is a lot of vocabulary to be learned. The generation that has missed out on watching The Three Amigos probably also never learned words like "infamous" and "plethora." Only recent media tidbits like Geico radio commercials have really scratched the surface for "nada." (And really, even Geico missed the mark. Nada is obviously a light chicken gravy...)

An example. This article on Phandroid used "infamous," and a couple comments indicated that they did not know what that word means. They would have been much better off with the 23 peso version.

An example. This article on Phandroid used "infamous," and a couple comments indicated that they did not know what that word means. They would have been much better off with the 23 peso version.

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How to view someones IP address and connection speed!: https://youtu.be/SXmv8quf_xM

How is it that I only learned about this video's existence today?? This gem has been around since 2008! I've learned so much today, including the fact that I've been saying it wrong: "tracer tee!" This video is amazing.

How is it that I only learned about this video's existence today?? This gem has been around since 2008! I've learned so much today, including the fact that I've been saying it wrong: "tracer tee!" This video is amazing.

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People of the media: "pi" is a mathematical concept. As such, those pesky digits actually mean something. Dates actually mean something, too, but that's a completely different concept. Also, "pi" and "pie" share common letters and pronunciation, but have little else in common (other than the fact that many pies are, in one dimension, circular). So "Pi Day" already combines three unrelated things, and is really just a fun thing to do. I support this. It's a great opportunity to focus the public's attention on a math! But, let's take the opportunity to represent the math correctly. Get the word out that the real high-precision Pi Day is next year: 3/14/16.

It is really irritating me that we are so casually saying that this year is a super special one for Pi Day. Why? Because tomorrow is "3/14/15," and pi, to 6 significant digits, is 3.14159. I threw that '9' in there because pi, to 5 significant digits is 3.1416. We have this concept of "rounding" for a good reason. Especially with irrational numbers, there is no way to precisely capture the actual number with digits. With every additional digit, the representation is a bit closer to the actual number, but it never gets there completely. (This is one reason we represent the ratio of a perfect circle's circumference to its diameter with a name -- "pi" -- rather than a digital representation.) Although you can never use digits to perfectly capture pi, you can capture something close, with measurable accuracy. For example, I could say that pi, to 5 significant digits, is 3.4567. That would be much less accurate than using the number 3.1415. It would be more accurate to say that it is 3.1416. This is true for the same reason that the number 59 is closer to the number 60 than it is to 50, or that someone who is 5'11" tall is more likely to say that they are "6 feet tall" rather than "5 feet tall."

So, sure, "Pi Day" is a fun gimmick, but it's one that draws public attention to mathematics in a way that few other other fun things do. Why use the event to spread mathematical ignorance? I'm looking at you, +HuffPost Live...

It is really irritating me that we are so casually saying that this year is a super special one for Pi Day. Why? Because tomorrow is "3/14/15," and pi, to 6 significant digits, is 3.14159. I threw that '9' in there because pi, to 5 significant digits is 3.1416. We have this concept of "rounding" for a good reason. Especially with irrational numbers, there is no way to precisely capture the actual number with digits. With every additional digit, the representation is a bit closer to the actual number, but it never gets there completely. (This is one reason we represent the ratio of a perfect circle's circumference to its diameter with a name -- "pi" -- rather than a digital representation.) Although you can never use digits to perfectly capture pi, you can capture something close, with measurable accuracy. For example, I could say that pi, to 5 significant digits, is 3.4567. That would be much less accurate than using the number 3.1415. It would be more accurate to say that it is 3.1416. This is true for the same reason that the number 59 is closer to the number 60 than it is to 50, or that someone who is 5'11" tall is more likely to say that they are "6 feet tall" rather than "5 feet tall."

So, sure, "Pi Day" is a fun gimmick, but it's one that draws public attention to mathematics in a way that few other other fun things do. Why use the event to spread mathematical ignorance? I'm looking at you, +HuffPost Live...

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