I didn’t know I was gonna be on tv when we started dating. So you started dating her before you got Glee? Oh yeah! We’ve been together a long time.
welcome to the “my shower” production of Les Miserables
starring me as Jean Valjean
me as Javert
me as Cosette
me as Marius
me as Fantine
me as Enjolras
me as Gavroche
me as Eponine
me as Thenardier
me as Madame Thenardier
and in the role of all of the Barricade Boys….me
“I don’t even know where to begin Ann Arbor, it’s so great to be back.”
Here’s the thing.
The parts you play in Glee and Struck by Lightning are similar and close to what you used to be in High School. Would you like to try something else? even play a bad guy?
While the Sumerians were the first to develop a counting system to keep track of their goods and stocks, it was the Babylonians who found a way to mark that a number was absent from a column. However, it would be some time before zero as we understand it today would appear.
Greek mathematicians did not have a name for zero, nor did their system feature a placeholder as did the Babylonian. There is no conclusive evidence to say the symbol even existed in their language. It was the Indians who began to understand zero both as a symbol and as an idea.
Brahmagupta, around 650 AD, was the first to formalize arithmetic operations using zero. He used dots underneath numbers to indicate a zero. These dots were alternately referred to as sunya, which means empty, or kha, which means place. Brahmagupta wrote standard rules for reaching zero through addition and subtraction as well as the results of operations with zero.
The great Arabian voyagers would bring the texts of Brahmagupta to Europe from India. Zero reached Baghdad by 773 AD and would be developed in the Middle East by Arabian mathematicians who would base their numbers on the Indian system. In the 9th century, Mohammed ibn-Musa al-Khowarizmi was the first to work on equations that equaled zero, or algebra as it has come to be known. He also developed quick methods for multiplying and dividing numbers known as algorithms (a corruption of his name). Al-Khowarizmi called zero sifr, from which the word ‘cipher’ is derived. By 879 AD, zero was written almost as we now know it today. Zero finally reached Europe through the conquest of Spain by the Moors.
The Italian mathematician Fibonacci built on Al-Khowarizmi’s work with algorithms in his book Liber Abaci, or The Abacus Book, in 1202. Until that time, the abacus had been the most prevalent tool to perform arithmetic operations. Fibonacci’s developments quickly gained notice by Italian merchants and German bankers, especially the use of zero. Accountants knew their books were balanced when the positive and negative amounts of their assets and liabilities equalled zero. But governments were still suspicious of Arabic numerals because of the ease in which it was possible to change one symbol into another. Though outlawed, merchants continued to use zero in encrypted messages, thus the derivation of the word cipher, meaning code, from the Arabic sifr.
By the 1600’s, through the contributions of Descartes, Newton and Leibniz, calculus was born, which allowed mathematicians to work with smaller and smaller numbers as they approached zero. Without calculus we wouldn’t have physics, engineering, and many aspects of economics and finance.
In the 21st century zero has become an integral part of how we create, process and communicate information, one of its most widespread uses being in computer science.(x)