Martin C. Winer

This is what happens when Martin gets tired of sending mass emails.

September 2, 2013

Each month Azraa Janmohamed discusses timely topics relevant to teens.

In the world we live in today, it is not hard to access millions of sources of information with the simple push of a virtual button. We are living in the age of information-technology, constantly bombarded with hundreds of messages, each vying against the other for our attention. And we have been left with the difficult task of navigating through this information to find the tidbits of gold we wish to spend our time on.

It is no surprise that with teenagers, the “gold” that I referred to tends to fall within the categories of humor, entertainment and online socialization. Whether it be casually surfing random YouTube videos on a rainy afternoon or posting a viral link on Facebook, there is no doubt that teenagers enjoy a good laugh — and guess what? We are not the first to notice. Millions of people around the world have taken notice of this, and have created websites and businesses in order to profit from teenager’s love of humor in the modern age of technology. It is through this ever-growing list of websites that humor can be further integrated into our virtual universe.

Vine is among the many websites that works to spread humor in the digital age. It is a mobile app owned by the social media giant Twitter that works by enabling users to record and share videos that are up to six seconds in length. The video is then played on a loop for viewers to watch. One of the largest uses of this application is the sharing of funny videos over Twitter and Facebook. In fact, some of the videos shared have garnered so much support and interest that “vine celebrities” have been born. Furthermore, Vine, in its short lifespan, has already been compared to the likes of YouTube — perhaps one of the highest honors in the world of viral media. Vine plays a large role in the topic of humor in a technology-centered time as it allows the comedic events of an individual to be instantly shared with all corners of the globe.

Vine is not alone in taking over conversations shared through social media. Buzzfeed seems to be another heavyweight in the discussion on how comedy is being shared today. Buzzfeed, a website that shares selected current viral material from around the web, is most notably known for its postings by users and staff that take a given topic and portray it in a comedic manner through a series of semi-sarcastic comments followed by appropriate GIFs (moving pictures). Since many of these topics bring about old childhood memories, or simply poke fun at the simple things in life that we can all relate to, they do so in an unforgettably humorous way, making them prime targets for re-distribution over social media.

When the internet started to become a more common phenomenon, there were many disbelievers who warned of the dangers of this new technology. Among their claims was the belief that as the internet became more integrated within our lives, people would forget the power of human interaction and communication — one important facet of which is the sharing of humor. While face-to-face communication is no doubt important, people and groups from around the world have been able, to some extent, to allow aspects of personal communication, such as the sharing of humor, shine through into the world of virtual reality.


Here is my latest mathematical work including a proof of the twin prime conjecture and interesting elucidating the mysteries of prime constellation distributions.



updated Mar 5, 2009

June 7, 2011

Community Effort to Rescue Lost Pet

Recently, I was out for a walk with my dog in my neighbourhood when I came upon an unusual scene. A group of young men were milling around a new house under construction nearby. One young man was halfway up a tree in front of the house, trying to get the attention of an unusual looking bird perched higher up.

Geezy, the pet that mobilized the community

Geezy, the pet that mobilized the community

It was a cold and damp evening and the scared bird refused to respond to commands. When I inquired about the situation, I learned that the bird was a two-and-a-half-year-old pet parrot, worth $4,000, that had flown out of his home nearby and had been missing for about four hours.

The family had been out searching for their pet bird and had found it a short while ago sitting up in this tree. Some of the men were construction workers on the site trying to help out, some were family members, and some, like ourselves, were just gawkers.

One young man was on a cell phone trying to get help from various sources, to no avail. It was his brother who had climbed the tree to try and reach the bird. He was unsuccessful and in fact had gotten himself stuck in the tree, unable to get down. He almost fell at least once while we were there.

Before long, a fire truck arrived to rescue the young man, followed by a couple of police cruisers. Officer Kevin Clarke took charge of the situation and organized everyone so that the firefighters could do their job. Then firefighters Brian White, Michael Boudewyn, and Steve Sheppard got out some ladders and coached the young man down.

A plea to rescue the bird was made next, and the firefighters attempted to do so using the fire truck’s aerial ladder, but couldn’t because of all the overhead wires. They were about to leave when they decided to make one more attempt at rescuing the poor bird. The firefighters got an extra long ladder and a pole with a hook (a pike pole) from their truck. The ladder was extended to its maximum length and leaned against a small fragile branch of the tree. Boudewyn and Sheppard held onto the ladder while White climbed to the top of the ladder and attempted to scoop the bird with the pole. The first two tries resulted in the bird just hopping away. Then, on the third try, the bird flew from its perch and went into the neighbouring yard. While White descended the ladder, constable Dawn Heighton grabbed a blanket from her cruiser, and along with the bird’s owners, ran into the yard. They soon emerged led by Heighton cradling the bird wrapped in the blanket. The bird was returned to its owners, followed by cheering all around from those of us who witnessed the rescue. A “good news” story if I ever heard one!

June 7, 2011

The Kindness Campaign is a social action project organized by Global Awakening In Action and Good News Toronto. This collaborative project seeks to spread more kindness at home, at work, and in the world.

The concept behind the campaign is simple, but powerful:

Each month we feature a suggested act of kindness to help readers consider ways to bring a bit of kindness to an unsuspecting soul. Of course, our monthly suggestion is just that­ — a suggestion. We encourage you to let your spirit soar with possibilities and then put those inspiring ideas into action through your spontaneous good deeds.

You are also invited to leave behind the Kindness Card, provided below. The card explains the campaign and encourages the recipient of your kind act to “pay it forward” in the form of another act of kindness to a stranger.

Kindness Activists are also invited to submit the story of their act of kindness for inclusion in Good News Toronto. If selected and printed, we send you a Good News Toronto t-shirt as a reminder of your good deed and participation in this social action project.

This month’s submission:

This month’s story, submitted by Gael Ross, is about ordinary people urgently doing everything in their power to rescue a lost pet.

This month’s suggestion:

Build a birdfeeder or buy a birdbath for the birds in your neighbourhood.

Kindness Card - click on image and print from your web browser

Kindness Card - click on image and print from your web browser


“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.” – Edmund Burke


Edward Lorenz, the father of chaos theory passed away at 90 years of age.  His theory is colloquially known as “The Butterfly Effect” but is more properly referred to as: ‘deterministic chaos’.  Basically put, it’s the idea that if you take simple building blocks and allow them to self complicate, you get behaviour that is essentially random.

I had heard of Lorenz but never researched his work.  The similarities to my own research in prime numbers are encouraging.  I also speak of a notion of determinism cross recursive self complication as being random. 

Lorenz’s work has a good summation here:

My work has good summaries here:

Prime Constellations

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