## What I learned on Twitter yesterday

Yesterday’s Google doodle got science people fired up.

I got the periodic/wave/Hertz thing. But I tried to see “Google” in it and failed. So I tuned out, feeling annoyed.

Then Frank Noschese, high school physics (etc.) teacher and all around smart person stepped in:

Conversation ensued. Basically, Chris Lusto (high school math teacher and all around smart person) and Frank went back and forth on what exactly constitutes a sinusoidal curve.

Now I was interested. Lusto’s question prompted me to respond:

And then this question got inside my head. Is it still sinusoidal if it’s composed of an infinite series of sinusoids?

I didn’t care even a little bit what the formal definition would be. I was struggling with the spirit of things. Does it make sense to call this thing sinusoidal?

And then walking to the parking lot at 9:00 at night, it struck me.

## How did you make your way here? or The Joy of Google

My absolute favorite part of the WordPress dashboard is the list of search engine terms.

How many ways can 7 peanuts be shared among three people? Huh? Did one of my colleagues in mathematics teaching assign this nonsense to a student?

Truly hours of amusement can be had here. Two examples.

### example 1: Rational expressions

Someone stopped by today after searching for

journal about difficulties one can experience if he/she does not know how o [sic] solve raional [sic] algebraic expressions

So I’m wondering what sorts of difficulties this person had in mind. Life difficulties? Medical? Relationship perhaps.

I’m pretty sure that rational expressions are self-contained. Not being able to solve rational expressions will likely only have an impact on your life inasmuch as that life involves actual rational expressions.

So your career as a high school math instructor might need to be reconsidered.

But that goal of raising happy, healthy children? This won’t be a setback. Ditto your professional football career, employment in the service sector and probably even most jobs in the burgeoning social media industry.

And FYI (in case you stop by again), most math teachers consider an expression to be something with an equal sign, and therefore not something one solves. It’s rational equations you’re concerned with.

But again, this is unlikely to matter very much outside of math class.

### Example 2 online lovers

So I thought I was being really cute when I wrote about a learning management system called Canvas. The post’s title was “Meet my new online lover“.

And then I started getting hits from people searching the term “online lover”. And I kept picturing their disappointed faces. And I felt guilty.

### BOnus example: Wu

Someone (possibly the man himself) has been searching the exact phrase “hung-hsi wu phoenix rising” every few days for the last couple of weeks. Never capitalized, always with the hyphen, always in that order.

I’m on the first page of results for that one.