prime sieve

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This morning I created an image to illustrate how a cake can be cut into four equal-sized pieces using a figure-eight cut (never mind that two of the pieces get ALL the side-icing).  And the post took off like none I’ve ever posted.  It’s so hard (for me) to predict what will be popular on Tumblr.  But I’m glad it includes a little subset of what I’m interested in writing/posting about.

For me and this blog, “taking off” means that it had a hundred or so notes in a couple of hours.  I know compared to some this is lots, and I know compared to some this is nothing.  But I judge from my own weight-class.  And it had me thinking about some of my other “successful” posts (warning, I’m talking about note-counts which I have a feeling is a little like talking about sex or politics used to be):

  • A math/computing post about a Prime Sieve that gives an efficient way to search for prime numbers in a given range.  See it here.  The note count is listed as 34.  I’m sure it used to be higher… or maybe just my perspective has changed.

  • A quote from Richard Feynman about science and sex.  Actually, when you think about it the success of this post among the blogs I follow was sort of a foregone conclusion.  Over 100 notes over a couple weeks..

Science is a lot like sex. Sometimes something useful comes of it, but that’s not the reason we’re doing it.

  • Some comic panels on a philosophical topic from Scott McCloud’s “Understanding Comics”.  This had it all: great visuals, great thoughts, and I got to write as myself with a little analysis.  He was talking about why we humans see human faces in things as simple as two dots and a line.  This one garnered 58 notes.

  • Oh, and the cake post that I just made.  Perhaps besides the quote, the most inane post of the bunch.  131 notes and counting.

A pretty mixed bag that I am happy with, in general.  I’d like to see a little philosophy represented, but what can you do?  I’d tell you about all the posts that I worked hard on but I’m afraid nobody read (we all have those, right?)…  but that’s a much longer list, and anyway it’s too depressing!