## The Big Bang Theory (T.V. Show)

I have been watching some episodes of this show recently and two scenes particularly caught my attention.

Firstly, Sheldon Cooper makes an unexpected reference to Gottlob Frege: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_TQea0aOnE(1:39)

Secondly, here is some dialogue from one scene:

Howard Wolowitz: [after everyone cheers for him and his team design going to space] It gets better! Someone has to go up with the telescope as a payload specialist, and guess who that someone is!
Sheldon Cooper: Mohammed Lee. [everyone’s looking confused]
Howard Wolowitz: Who’s Mohammed Lee?
Sheldon Cooper: Mohammed is the most common first name in the world, and Lee the most common surname. As I didn’t know the answer, I thought that’d give me a mathematical edge.

For someone who is supposed to be a genius, Sheldon seems not to be familiar with basic laws of probability. I think that this scene provides a cool example of the fact that it does not necessarily follow from two things A and B each having a relatively high probability below 1 that their conjunction shares a high probability.

In fact, it can be zero. I wonder if there are any Herman Lee’s out there.

## SQL Server Error Message

Developing some code recently for a local intranet application that uses ASP and SQL Server, I came across the following error:

Error Message: A column has been specified more than once in the order by list. Columns in the order by list must be unique.

So basically, if you give SQL Server a query like

``` SELECT * FROM Example ORDER BY Example_Column1, Example_Column1 ```

you get such a message.

I am wondering, is there any logical reason why SQL Server does not tolerate a column being specified more than once in the ORDER BY clause? I would think that ORDER BY should just obey something like idempotence, so that the above query simply reduces to:

``` SELECT * FROM Example ORDER BY Example_Column1 ```

This doesn’t happen with MySQL. As well as the above example, I also tried the following in MySQL and it didn’t complain:

``` SELECT * FROM Example ORDER BY Example_Column1, Example_Column2, Example_Column1 ```

## The Reasoner — call for papers

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