Tuesday, April 24, 2007

John Pratt

The picture of Solomon's Temple in the previous post comes from an article by John Pratt which I discovered on the Net. But who is John Pratt? He tells us that he loves 'puzzles, science, math, calendars, and enjoy connecting ideas from a wide varienty of disciplines.' He has degrees in physics and math from the University of Utah, and a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Arizona. He teaches astronomy at a state college and keep notes for that class on this web site. He also does computer programming, has three software patents, and hosts a few websites such as for the Utah Table Tennis Clubs.

(By the way, my wife and I purchased a table tennis table - and bats and balls, of course - last Christmas, and have it set up in our upstairs lounge. We've played heaps, and get plenty of exercise rescuing the balls from under tables and chairs and sofas. I've actually improved, and can almost give my wife as good as she gives me.)

To continue on about Mr Pratt. Most of his publications have been about chronology, and he says it's unlikely you'll want to read them. (The sort of thing that most people would take as a challenge, I suspect!) He's also written a calendar conversion program to convert from our calendar to others.

On top of this he's invented a pictorial periodic table which he hopes might make chemistry more fun. It can be used as memory pegs for memorizing long lists of other items too. (There you go, another reason to check Mr Pratt out further. Anything to do with memory is always of interest to me.)

He finishes by saying, 'If you like tough brain teasers, I think I have found a great logic puzzle in the Bible which you might want to try.'

I've just had a very quick look at his memory pegs idea, and it's very sensible. As he points out, most memory pegs are random, whereas his approach is more intelligent. Good on him!
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