Monday, May 7, 2007


I woke up today to an entire troupe of monkeys running back and forth on the roof. That was about 6am. They jump from trees onto our tin roof and chase each other around. Then the bread guy came at about 6:10, which is far too early for anyone to be loafing around the hillside. Joie graciously got the bread, one loaf of brown bread that is usually pretty good. A while later the garbage guys come. We get door-to-door garbage pickup every day of the week. We do not know enough Hindi to say "Please do not come on weekends", so we usually lock the gate to our yard and they get the hint. The garbage guys are part of a program called CLEAN that serves the school environs by collecting garbage to discourage the default Indian solution of throwing it down the cud. Garbage is just a part of the scenery most places around here, but the school makes an admirable effort. Where I come from, the problem is addressed by convincing kids from an early age that littering is wrong because it destroys the environment and eventually you might have to pick it up as part of a school project. People take some ownership and generally acknowledge that rotting refuse is not very nice. Here, that argument will go nowhere with middle class kids who know they will never be asked to pick up garbage. Here, there are entire populations in each town that make their living by picking up garbage and recycling it (and wearing it and eating it and making their homes out of it). Anyway, the CLEAN guys come every morning.

Will, our eighteen month old, has made a habit of barging into Mamma and Pappa's room about half an hour before we would really like to get up. Although he can climb onto the couch, the chairs, and his own bed, he is still too small to make it onto our bed without assistance. He asks Joie, and if that doesn't work, he comes to my side. We have been working on "Up, please, Pappa" but I usually settle for "Up, Pappa" or "Peeze Pappa". Joie's side of the bed is Francophone, so he has to say "S'il te plait" which so far sounds like "tee tee bah". He's coming along.


Use the factorial formula to prove that nCr is an integer whenever n and r are positive integers such that n > r.

Show that the sum of the numbers in any row of Pascal's Triangle is a power of 2.

1 comment:

  1. Have you made (did you make) the connection with the binomial expansion theorem and Pascal's triangle? I am reminded of a funny test answer I saw once where a student had to expand (a+b)^5. He simply wrote
    (a_____________+___________b)^5. (nothing in the ____ though...I couldn't type any spaces here)

    Makes sense to me. I enjoy your blog Nate.