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A place where learning pi is a piece of cake
By Adrian Apollo
The Fresno Bee, Saturday, March 10, 2007, p. B9.
Posted: September 30, 2014

“Pi Day” is a wonderful new, seriously light-hearted holiday, which is celebrated every year in many Fresno-area math classrooms.

The Exploratorium science museum in San Francisco is the intellectual epicenter of this new, socio-academic phenomenon, which occurs annually on March 14, simply because of the similarity of that date (3/14) and the value of pi, which begins with the digits 3.14.

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Skating in the Winter
By Adrian Apollo
Written: December 16, 2004
Posted: September 29, 2014

As the wobbling earth careens past a winter sun, having shaken off the multicolored leaves of nature’s earnest endeavors, so too is the wintertime and the ushering in of a new year a good time for seeking inspiration and reflecting on one’s place in the world.

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Interview with John Glenn
By Adrian Apollo
Interview: August 16, 2012
Posted: September 29, 2014

ADRIAN APOLLO: I was reading up on some of the things that were written starting in 1974, when it became a popular topic — colonizing space — putting space stations up. What’s your take on humans colonizing space?

JOHN GLENN: Well, I think it’s good to do research first. I think we’re a long ways from really putting colonies of people out there who would live their whole lives out there in space. I don’t see that happening for quite some time. I think that it’s good for us to be able to travel in space and do research in space, and I emphasize the research, because space travel to me is far more than just seeing how far we can go.

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Interview with Steve Wozniak
By Adrian Apollo
Interview: August 16, 2012
Posted: September 29, 2014

APOLLO: Do you think we might have to revamp our general political system in California and the US to improve some of these things that you’re talking about? Like funding for —

WOZ: I don’t see any way to revamp it, so saying “we should” — It’s not just a matter of we make a decision. I think if you ask people: Would you want the political system be really revamped, and here’s few categories and ways, I bet you could get 90 percent of the people to say yeah, they want, but it’s just not gonna happen. I mean, the powers that control what can happen — You can’t move — People actually, you know, believe it or not, as much as they say they want change, they don’t like the way it is, they don’t want very much change at all, ever. They prefer the status quo, the trusted guidelines of life and how it works and what we have and how decisions are made and what we do in life. They really are pretty scared. They don’t want to admit it, but it’s part of that not being as smart as we think we are...

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SpaceShipOne wins X Prize
Rutan designs, Allen pays, Binnie flies and Branson dreams big
By Adrian Apollo
Written: October 8, 2004
Posted: September 29, 2014

It was a day for the kids and the spirit of youthful optimism. Sir Richard Branson was there, speaking about his new Virgin Galactic company and how he has made a deal with Rutan to design a fleet of “spaceliners” that will take ordinary people into space. He’s going to take all the profits from that venture and reinvest them in space travel, doing it “for the kids,” he said. He speculated that there might even be a “moon hotel” someday in the future. I asked him if he felt like he was just a big kid like Rutan. He answered: “Absolutely. Peter Pan is my favorite theatrical. I never want to grow up”...

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Exploring the ARPANET
By Adrian Apollo
Written: September 28, 2005
Posted: September 29, 2014

Anyone who’s ever wanted something really badly, but couldn’t have it, will understand how I felt when, as a sixteen-year-old high school sophomore, I stood in front of a computer terminal at Fresno State, all hot and sweaty from having dropped in through the false ceiling above a locked computer lab. My heart sank when I read the message on the screen: “The PDP 11/45 is closed for the Memorial Day Holiday.”

Trespassing is wrong, of course, but that’s what I did that day, having been influenced by a brilliant seventeen-year-old runaway from L.A. named Ray Cucco (koo SOH, as he pronounced it) who, unbeknownst to me, had a sleeping bag stashed on campus and was sleeping overnight in a different classroom every night to avoid getting caught.

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A grade-school journey reveals sincere gratitude
By Adrian Apollo
Commentary originally published in: The Fresno Bee, Saturday, April 3, 2004, p. B9

Call me sentimental, but in the last several years I’ve managed to find and meet most of my old elementary school teachers, learning a lot about myself and a lot about teachers in the process.

On one trip, I barely made it over the Rockies in my old Toyota Chinook RV, but somehow I managed to crawl into my sleepy old hometown in eastern Illinois. What a shock it was to find my first-grade teacher in the very same classroom where I had known her 28 years before...

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Evolution of ‘The Tonight Show’
By Adrian Apollo
Commentary originally published in: The Fresno Bee, Saturday, June 6, 2009, p. B7

Jay Leno is no longer “The Tonight Show” host, a fact that causes many of us to think of the history of “The Tonight Show” and wax philosophical about it.

For those of us who are old enough to remember Johnny Carson, it was hard to avoid making comparisons between Johnny and Jay...

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