A viral book meme is apparently propagating (thanks Sean):

  1. Grab the nearest book.
  2. Open it to page 56.
  3. Find the fifth sentence.
  4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
  5. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.

Well, I’m going to break the rules slightly, only because I kept thinking I had the closest book, and then finding a closer one (under a pile of paper), and the sequence of three pretty much parallels my career, so it’s both scary and interesting in that way :-)

Anyway, from the real closest, to the one I initially thought was the closest.

  1. “Since interfaces and abstract classes carry with them contracts for behaviour, the interface or abstract class can be used to represent an arbitrary implementation” (no I’m not sure I know what that means either). From Dan Pilone (2003), UML Pocket Reference.
  2. “To jump to the next iteration of a loop (skipping the remainder of the loop body), use the continue statement” From David Beazley (2001), Python Essential Reference (2nd Ed).
  3. “For a finite change of length from Li to Lf, $$ W=\int_{L_i}^{L_f} F dL,

$$ where F indicates the instantaneous value of the force at any moment during the process.” From Mark Zemansky and Richard Dittman (1981), Heat and Thermodynamics.

Of course, being a physicist, I’m going to argue that any of the three could be the closest, because the distance metric is not described accurately enough; closest in what coordinate system, physical distance or accessibility? (With number of pages of paper on top being part of the functional description of the latter.)

(For once I’m taking time to eat lunch and play, had I read Sean’s blog entry any other time I probably wouldn’t have caught the virus).

comments (1)

Sean Gillies (on Friday 14 November, 2008)

Zemansky and Dittman! That silver book (6th ed) finally fell completely apart on me last year after many years of abuse, and I had to discard it.