How to tell which tablet gives you which Easter egg color


Three years ago I got annoyed enough with not knowing which color dye came from which Paas egg-dye tablet to do something. That something was taking notes. Last year, I posted the results. So you could know which of the nearly-identical-looking tablets is which color. Also so the one tablet which had to be mixed with vinegar instead of water — unless that was the one that had to be mixed with water instead of vinegar — could be told from the rest.

Also two years ago when we dyed eggs we found they’d changed the formula and now they all need vinegar. Or they all don’t need vinegar. I forget which. But now you have to work at it to get that wrong. I just remember being annoyed that they double-crossed me like that. Still, I hope the pictures at the link above help you with your egg-dye plans.

And over on my mathematics blog I worked out how often Easter would happen on each day that it could happen. (This for the Western tradition, on the Gregorian calendar.) So if you’d lke to know when’s the next time we’ll see Easter on the 25th of April? Here’s your chance to find out,

Neither Loud nor Square. Maybe Square.


I don’t want to sound too much the Beau Brummel, but I’d like to point out that I now have the same shirt in four slightly different shades of blue. This is a big improvement on my old wardrobe, which had the same shirt in several different colors none of which seem to have been actually made by any shirt-making company on purpose (“Is that an off-grey?” “I think so”). I’m not really bad at dressing myself, in that I nearly always get the shirt and the pants on the correct body (mine), but selecting what to wear has been a problem. My Dearly Beloved has this very kind amused expression on noticing I’ve dressed myself, kind of the one you might give a Labrador retriever who’s just turned in a calculus final. Anyway, Brummel died penniless and insane and played cricket, so I’m ahead on those counts too.

Plaid Skies Over Petaluma


What can be quite so comforting as looking out the window to see a sunny, blue sky? Knowing it’s doing so during regularly scheduled daylight hours, for one. If you keep finding the sun glaring down on you at hours like 3 am, for example 2:45 am, it’s possible that you’re accidentally on the wrong side of the planet. Check again, from the outside. But spotting the sun and the blue sky is a good way of telling that this is a slow day.

And yet there are portions of the world that don’t have a day or a night. The sun just shuffles around, hesitantly, apologizing right before bumping into things and leaving people with no idea how they’re supposed to react or how far they should rebound. Residents look out to the sky and it’s not blue or gray or even black, but just this vast wash of light fuchsia. This produces considerable tension among the residents because nobody can ever fully escape the feeling that “fuchsia” is spelled incorrectly. Teams of expert spellers have been working on the problem for decades now and they still look over the word, and into dictionaries, and back again, and sigh and ask for a couple months yet to figure things out.

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