Pythagoras of Samos and his Society

a 2 + b 2 = c 2

Most of us probably know Pythagoras of Samos because of the famous equation above used to solve for the side lengths and angle measurements of right angles.

I had to research and write up on Pythagoras for my paper on the History of Number Theory. Pythagoras and his followers were actually the first one to develop the Number Theory. Anyhow, the more interesting information which I found out was that Pythagoras founded and headed an exclusive secret society of mathematicians.

When he was about 55 years old, Pythagoras established a school in Croton, Italy. His school and teachings focused on mathematics, music, philosophy and astronomy, and the relationship of these fields to religion. Within the school, Pythagoras founded and headed a society composed of both men and women (he was indeed ahead of his time). The members of the society's inner circle were called the mathematikoi. The mathematikoi lived within the school, didn't have any personal possessions and were vegetarians. They were taught personally by Pythagoras. Meanwhile, less restricted members of the outer circle were called akousmatics. They lived outside the school, had their own possessions and were not necessarily vegetarians. The school and the society practiced secrecy and communalism which makes it hard for present mathematicians and historians to determine which works were actually by Pythagoras.

Around 580 BC, the society was attacked by Ceylon, a popular and wealthy Croton of ill-repute. He had wanted to join the society but was rejected by Pythagoras because of his character flaws. Angered by the rejection,Ceylon and his friends violently attacked Pythagoras and the
society. Because of this, the later parts of Pythagoras and the details of his death remain unclear. Some contend that he was able to excape the attacks while other argue that he died during the attacks.

Who said being a mathematician was a safe and boring job??? ;)

Bulaevsky, Jacobo, Arcytech, 2001.
JJ O' Connor and EF Robertson, MacTutor History of Mathematics, 1999.

Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory

The Old Movie
As a kid, one of the very first movies I saw was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory based on Robert Dahl's book. It starred Gene Wilder. I watched this movie for God knows how many times. No matter how many times I have watched it before, I was still entranced by the chocolate river, the lickable wallpapers and the geese (or swans) which laid golden chocolate eggs. I was exspecially fond of the Oompah-Loompas who, in retrospect, were actually freak-looking with their green hair and brown (or was it red) jumpsuits. They were, I guess, my childhood's equivalent of the Teletubbies. Some fo the scenes which stuck to my head are the scenes of Charlie with his four grandparents, Augutus falling on the chocolate river, Violet turning violet, the other kid getting trapped in a television set while wearing an all-white suit, and of course the room with one half of the things. The room had half a table, half a chair and half a lamp. But the most memorable for me was the last scene in which the reason for the tour to the factory was revealed then Charlie and Willy Wonka rode a glass elevator-like vehicle and toured the city on air with the song "Pure Imagination" as the theme song.

Mommy (actually, an aunt of mine) had to repeatedly find betamax copies of the movie because my cousins and I watched it so much that the tape would wear out.

The Remake
When I heard that a remake was going to be done with Johnny Depp and Tim Burton, I had mixed feelings. Because, although Dahl wasn't particularly fond of the first movie, I loved it. Add the fact that I am not a fan of Johnny Depp and although Tim Burton is a great filmmaker, his movies are kinda dark. On the other hand, I was excited to see a fresh take on the story which they say is closer to the book which I still haven't read.

I still haven't watched the new version but I am very much looking forward to it.

Michael Jackson
Two of my cousins recently pointed out what other people have apparently noticed for a long time already: that Willy Wonka very much resembles Michael Jackson. My cousin pointed out some similarities:

  • extreme paleness,
  • wonderland-like place,
  • eccentricity, and
  • weird association with kids.

Me being the loyal fan that I am quickly defended Willy Wonka until I realized that it is a preposterous argument anyway since Willy Wonka is a fictional character. HAH!


My literature teacher once told us that people talk and/or speak at three different levels. According to him, below average people talk about other people, average people talk about experiences while above average people talk about ideas. Since I am a strange mix of all three, I am now going to maintain three separate blogs.

For my below average and average selves who talk about other people and experiences, respectively, I am maintaining my first real blog at LiveJournal.

For my average self who talk about experiences and my above average self (who oftentimes prefer to hide itself) I am creating this blog at Blogger with the heading “Random Thoughts.” (This was supposed to be located at my Friendster but their blog service sucks.)

Finally, for the exclusive use of my reclusive self who talks about ideas, I am maintaining my Alleba Politics blog.

Intiendes? Good! ;)