Numb3rs – one of the best shows ever made

This was, according to me, an iconic show that ran from January, 2005 to March 2010. It was created by Nicholas Falacci and Cheryl Heuton and was basically about a math professor who helped his brother, who’s an FBI agent, solve crimes using mathematics.

The show started off with Professor Charlie using a simple equation for projectile motion to explain how the origin of a point can be traced using the equation. He uses geographic profiling and estimates a hot zone for the residence of a serial killer.

As the show progresses, we get to know about Don and Charlie Eppes’ personal lives. How Charles was a prodigy who attended Princeton at the age of 14. Charles’ personality is daunting, genius and has a level of purity only a few can understand.

The reasons why I particularly loved this show –

1) The application of math so lucidly explained through clever animation :-

The show focused on the application of math in everyday life. Government agencies, financial analysts, stock brokers, IT companies and mechanical engineers, all rely on one thing, math, to do their routine work.

I absolutely loved it whenever Charlie, Amita or Larry started the sentence with, “Imagine a…”

They’ve had some of the best creative visualizations and super cool explanations for complex mathematical terms which could be understood even by a lay person like me.

2) Nicolas Falacci and Cheryl Heuton against Anti-Intellectualism 

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Falacci and Heuton are not just a writer duo, but are also married. Dear God, please find me such a husband! 😉 They wrote the series to combat anti-intellectualism, which I’m strictly against as well. What is the need to chide science and math geniuses in school and college? Why do people make fun of them? Not just because of inferiority complexes but also because of what media has popularly showcased today. Starting from the harassment of “nerds” by other students at school to shows and news reports that focus on the lives of soap opera stars and film actors, the world has transgressed into an anti intellectual environment with the very importance of studies declining.

In this respect, I appreciate the effort put forward by these two gorgeous writers and I wish there were more of such shows! (special mention here – House M.D). They even went on to win the Carl Sagan Award for Public Understanding of Science together.

3) The very character, Charles Eppes – 

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Charles is my all time favourite hero. Really! Not just because he’s a mathematical prodigy, but also because of his loyalty to his brother. His views of the world are so very logical that he negates the common view of people that intellectuals (or rather “nerds”) are easy to fool. Because let me tell you people, you don’t mess with Charlie Eppes.

In addition to this, Charles’ humility is worth accounting for. He is a celebrated scientist who even has NSA security clearance, but is still the students’ favourite. Not because of his ingenuity but also because of how relatable and generally friendly he is! He connects with his students and other people around him. I guess knowledge really does make you humble. Also, Charlie and Amita’s relationship is not just pure,it is a different level! Their love is inexplicable in words.

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4) Brother Bond!

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In today’s day and age where familial relations are on a steep decline and siblings are fighting amongst themselves for selfish desires, this show has shown the relationship of two brothers in a realistic, yet classic style. It is cliché that if there’s a prodigy in the family, the parents have to direct their attention towards him because, they need it! They need the special care for their talents to grow. Which is what Alan and his wife had to do. Don grew apart from his brother but their work together helped their relationship grow. He naturally cared for Charlie but their childhood had messed up their relationship a bit. Yet, the bond that grows between them and the way they look out for each other is not just something to drool over, but is also something to learn from. Rob and David have played this exemplary duo very well, in fact.

5) The math, of course.

The math in this show was very much real. In addition to that, what I loved was that, this show has dedicated blogs that explain all of the math Charlie uses. No doubt, there was a team of mathematicians behind the scenes, working hard to get the math right,but it is amazing how people have come up with so many blogs to actually explain the equations and math in the show. I have added the links to some such blogs –

http://numb3rs.wolfram.com

/http://www.math.cornell.edu/~numb3rs/

https://web.archive.org/web/20070204103725/

http://www.atsweb.neu.edu/math/cp/blog/?month=01&year=2007

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I would like to add a special mention of David Krumholtz, who worked so very hard for this role and looked every bit like my dream math professor and I;d also like to congratulate him on fighting out of the cancer that had engulfed his body at one point of time.

In fact, it is not just him, all the actors Peter MacNicol, Alimi Ballard, Diane Farr Navi Rawat, Dylan Bruno, Judd Hirsch, Aya Sumika, Sophia Brown, Sabrina Lloyd and Michelle Nolden have given commendable performances and have made the show a success. I especially loved how Alimi Ballard was always such a great friend and employee to Rob Morrow.

This show is not just a simple series on math and its applications, it is a classic. All of us should take the lesson of hard work from Charlie and more importantly, we must keep in mind what the writers in the show really wanted, a fight against anti-intellectualism. We shouldn’t let ourselves be bogged down by social media and these pointless rants about who has millions or rupees and dollars, instead we should focus on the realm of beautiful books and poetry out there which have been set down in print specifically for us to increase our knowledge, intellect and rationale.

And remember,

Charlie

See you soon!

Love,

Manisha

Why an old, battered Archie Comic made me sad

Archie comics have been around since 1941. The tales of the Riverdale High teenagers who go through simple everyday situations never failed to amuse me. I loved reading these little pieces of delight whenever I got time. They were, and always will be my favourites and always serve to remind me of the good ol’ days.

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Although these comics always bring me good memories, there was one issue in particular that saddened me and got me thinking very deeply.

This issue highlighted a story where Veronica was running for school president. She doesn’t run a campaign and whenever asked about the election, behaves like a snob.

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She treats everybody as if they’re beneath her and says that she deserves the position of president since she’s a Lodge.

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People then start to talk against her and decide to vote against her. Betty doesn’t like that people are talking against her best friend this way and decides to cajole them into voting for her. She tells everybody that Veronica has the right leadership skills and contacts required to be the president. Everybody stares at her in disbelief as she walks away and Midge says,

“Gosh, I can’t believe that Betty’s such a good friend. She’s still vouching for Veronica!”

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Later, Veronica goes on to win the election, all because of Betty’s support.

I have no words to describe such friendship but what I wondered after reading this story was..

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Why don’t we see more people like these? Sure, there are a few nice people in our lives, but when a chance to gossip about a friend is presented, men and women alike, don’t leave the chance behind. They cherish the moment that they get to ruin someone else’s character. Had it been a real person in today’s time instead of in these comics, the person would probably have slaughtered their friend in public and taken their place without even feeling ashamed of their actions.

Today’s corporate rat race has pitted everyone against each other. We take from others and fill up our own bag of success. Why can’t we give for once? Why is it that to get even a little bit of success we have to trample over someone else? We even go to the lengths of making people feel horrid about every little piece of success they have by chiding them.

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Is giving really such an alien concept? Have we so profoundly changed our beliefs that we’ve left behind the true virtues of a human?

See you soon!

Love,

Manisha

Why Meditation is The Answer to Depression

Ever felt like depression is getting the

better of you?

Let me tell you something, I felt the same way a while back. There is no reason for it. It is just a gnawing, irritating feeling of inability to move or just the absence of will to do anything. I used to think that I am being lazy but being lazy doesn’t last more than two or three days, does it? That’s when I discovered this disease…

Depression is a disease but diseases have cures. For me, the cure was meditation.

There will be three stages in your cure to depression if you try meditation

  1. Denial – Because the mind knows that depression can be cured, meditation will be more of an annoyance. For those who can’t sit in one place for long, it will be a forceful way of rooting down to one place. In short, it won’t work at first. But that’s okay. This is just a phase.

This too, shall pass.

  1. Slow Acceptance – This is where you will know that it is supposed to help you but you will think… am I benefitting from this? Or even if it helps for a couple of minutes or couple of hours, depression will recur. You will have depression refluxes that will be bad enough to steer you away. But this is part of the journey. Like I said, this too, shall pass.
  2. Healing – Once your system attenuates to the vibrations of words you chant in your meditation cycles, your body will feel the healing effect of those vibrations.

I once read a study that vibrations can influence the DNA of a person. If they are so powerful, then why not use them to cure diseases?

You see, it is difficult to do so. First of all, there is the placebo effect. We are unable to accept that something like meditation can change us. Or that there can be changes due to vibrations from words.

Secondly, one needs to have a highly disciplined mind to exercise such control over the actions of the brain.

That discipline is the first step to achieving a victory over depression.

There are a number of techniques but the best one involves three stages. If you want to know more, stay tuned to the blog and sign up!

 

Love,

Manisha