My father spent most of his adult life working as a detective with our local police department. I believe some of the techniques he used at work often overflowed into his family life. I recall him once saying, “I don’t believe in coincidences.” I thought of this when I read something in the news recently.

“Polling shows that a majority of likely Republican presidential primary voters are "birthers"-- they believe that President Obama was born in another country.”

Unless things have changed since I studied Statistics, “Majority” means more than fifty percent. This relates to the Bell Curve which I also learned about in my Statistics class. It also comes into play with the term “average.” For example, when considering the intelligence of any particular group, it will be, by definition, that more than fifty percent of them will be below average intelligence.

I only pose the question: Is it a coincidence that the same percentage who are below average intelligence believe that President Obama was born in another country?

As my Dad used to say, “I don’t believe in coincidences.”

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
February 16, 2011



It has been a tad more than 2 months since The Old Professor has posted a blog. There really was no good reason for the gap except perhaps a lack of inspiration. In other words, I didn’t feel I had anything worthwhile to say.

However, several of you have taken the time to write to me letting me know that having nothing to say never slowed me down in the past and there’s no reason it should now.

However, this time I did find something worth writing about so here I am about to cry out against a huge injustice which has been brought to my attention.

An interesting iPhone application has recently appeared as explained here:


If you check there you will find a report on an application aimed at Catholics preparing for confession. Assistance is given on identifying sins and proper penance for each.

It’s rather interesting in a cute sort of way. However, I wrote a thing I called “Letter to the Pope” in 1985. I suggested the Catholic Church adopt a software program I had created called MicroPOPE. (Papal Optimal Penance Evaluator) and it has been on my web page for many, many years. Luckily I dated it when I wrote it but sadly I did not copyright it.

If you would like to see my 1985 original letter it’s at:


Now the new one is listed as selling for $1.99. If I had carried on with my MicoPOPE program and sold 100,000 of them at $1.99 I would have …

Well, you do the math.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
February 11, 2011