FYI December 22, 2017


1891 – Asteroid 323 Brucia becomes the first asteroid discovered using photography.
Brucia was also the first of over 200 asteroids discovered by Max Wolf, a pioneer in that method of finding astronomical objects. Discovered on December 22, 1891, it was named in honour of Catherine Wolfe Bruce, a noted patroness of the science of astronomy, who had donated $10,000 for the construction of the telescope used by Wolf.[2][15]

The asteroid is a member of the Phocaea family (701),[3] a large family of stony S-type asteroids with nearly two thousand known members.[16]:23 It was an outer Mars-crossing asteroid with perihelion less than 1.666 AU[1] until July 2017. For comparison, asteroid 4222 Nancita will become a Mars-crosser in June 2019. (6454) 1991 UG1 was a Mars-crossing asteroid until January 2016.[17]

Brucia has a synodic rotation period of 9.463 hours (as of 1998).[4] According to the survey carried out by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite, Brucia measures 35.82 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo of 0.1765.[8]

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1887 – Srinivasa Ramanujan, Indian mathematician and theorist (d. 1920)
Srinivasa Ramanujan FRS ( /ˈʃriːniˌvɑːsə ˈrɑːmɑːˌnʊdʒən/ (About this sound listen), /-rɑːˈmɑːnʊdʒən/;[1] 22 December 1887 – 26 April 1920) was an Indian mathematician who lived during the British Rule in India. Though he had almost no formal training in pure mathematics, he made substantial contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions, including solutions to mathematical problems considered to be unsolvable. Ramanujan initially developed his own mathematical research in isolation; it was quickly recognized by Indian mathematicians. Seeking mathematicians who could better understand his work, in 1913 he began a postal partnership with the English mathematician G. H. Hardy at the University of Cambridge, England. Recognizing the extraordinary work sent to him as samples, Hardy arranged travel for Ramanujan to Cambridge. In his notes, Ramanujan had produced groundbreaking new theorems, including some that Hardy stated had ‘defeated [him and his colleagues] completely’, in addition to rediscovering recently proven but highly advanced results.

During his short life, Ramanujan independently compiled nearly 3,900 results (mostly identities and equations).[2] Many were completely novel; his original and highly unconventional results, such as the Ramanujan prime, the Ramanujan theta function, partition formulae, and mock theta functions, have opened entire new areas of work and inspired a vast amount of further research.[3] Nearly all his claims have now been proven correct.[4] The Ramanujan Journal, a peer-reviewed scientific journal, was established to publish work in all areas of mathematics influenced by Ramanujan,[5] and his notebooks – containing summaries of his published and unpublished results – have been analyzed and studied for decades since his death as a source of new mathematical ideas. As late as 2011 and again in 2012, researchers continued to discover that mere comments in his writings about “simple properties” and “similar outputs” for certain findings were themselves profound and subtle number theory results that remained unsuspected until nearly a century after his death and which relied on work published in 2006.[6][7] He became one of the youngest Fellows of the Royal Society and only the second Indian member, and the first Indian to be elected a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Of his original letters, Hardy stated that a ‘single look’ was enough to show they could only have been written by a mathematician of the highest calibre, comparing Ramanujan to other mathematical geniuses such as Euler and Jacobi.

In 1919, ill health – now believed to have been hepatic amoebiasis (a complication from episodes of dysentery many years previously) – compelled Ramanujan’s return to India, where he died in 1920 at the age of 32. His last letters to Hardy, written January 1920, show that he was still continuing to produce new mathematical ideas and theorems. His “lost notebook”, containing discoveries from the last year of his life, caused great excitement among mathematicians when it was rediscovered in 1976.

A deeply religious Hindu,[8] Ramanujan credited his substantial mathematical capacities to divinity, and stated that the mathematical knowledge he displayed was revealed to him by his family goddess. ‘”An equation for me has no meaning,” he once said, “unless it expresses a thought of God.”‘[9]

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By Heather Chapman: An update on a Calif. town’s battle for water access
The town’s lawyers asked California Supreme Court Judge Karen Dixon to dismiss Roseburg’s lawsuit, citing a state law that allows defendants to strike down lawsuits meant to silence criticism. Last week, Judge Dixon ruled in favor of Weed and dismissed Roseburg’s lawsuit, Fuller reports. The battle over who owns the water will continue in court.
 
 
 
 
Beyond Bylines: Year in Review: Our Top 10 Most Viewed Blog Posts of 2017
 
 
 
 
By Christine Cube: Sometimes you need inspiration to write. These writer residencies aim to give you that.
 
 
 
 
By Peter Dunlap-Shohl: Closing the Year on a High Note. International Cooperation to Help People with PD
Anchorage Parkinson’s Disease Support Group
Our Support group meets the third Saturday of each month at 3:30 in the afternoon. The meetings take place at the Anchorage Pioneer Home , 923 West 11th Avenue in downtown Anchorage on the fifth floor in the West lounge. You may call 350-9691 with questions about the group and meetings.
 
 
 
 
Alexis: 5 Reasons to Enter RWA’s Golden Heart Contest
Entry Deadline January 11, 2018
 
 
 
 
By Brian Kahn: Celebrating Christmas and Protesting a Pipeline in Cancer Alley
 
 
 
 
By Maddie Stone: Snowfall Is Getting Weird In Alaska
 
 
 
 
By Emma Baccellieri: Reports: Legendary Broadcaster Dick Enberg Dead At 82

 
 
 
 
By Drew Magery: The Actual Night Before Christmas
‘Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the house…
Not a damn thing was ready.
Not the wrapping, not dinner,
Not even a set table.
The kids were in undies,
And still watching cable.

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AV Club Daily Newsletter December 22, 2017
 
 
 
 
May he burn in the flames of Hell
By Brandon Katz: Real Life Disgraced Archbishop From ‘Spotlight’ Has Died
Cardinal Bernard Law, the former archbishop of Boston who failed to properly address the child molestation claims within the priesthood, passed away early Wednesday, the Vatican announced. He was 86.
 
 
 
 

Today on the Homestead, This Happened… 1st One
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
By Erica Offutt Kinja Deals: Friday’s Best Deals: Cash Back on Select OLED TVs, Shortcut Pro, Aromatherapy Diffusers, and More