A friend who knows I’m a geek when it comes to old technical books gave this book to me today. It is the CRC Standard Mathematical Tables, 11th Edition, copyright 1957.

James Oxley was apparently the first owner of this book. When I see a name in an old technical book, I always wonder about the person –what they did, where they worked, their accomplishments, what were they like — as well as how the book ended up with me. Basically all the things that I will probably never find out.

I guess that’s why when I put my name in my reference books, I include my job title and function, place of employment and work address. 50 or 60 years from now, when someone finds one of my books, they won’t have quite so much to wonder about.

Oh, on page 302, is the following nugget.

and you thought it would be a boring book.

I didn’t know that WordPress could understand LaTeX–a pretty cool typesetting language– until I noticed another blogger doing this kind of stuff.

LaTeX is not WYSIWYG, the text to make the above being,

\int_0^\infty x^{n-1} \mathrm {e}^{-x} \mathrm {d}x = \int_0^1 \left( log \frac {1}{x} \right)^{n-1} \mathrm {d}x = \Gamma \left(n\right)

surrounded by tags to tell WordPress to fire up the LaTeX package to do the magic, but it is sure a handy thing to know.

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