Commmunication wells

Wiio's law states that "Communication usually fails, except by accident". To understand what words mean, it's useful to look at their history. Communication means "to make common". Accident comes from ad- "to" and cadere "fall". Taking this humorous saying seriously for a minute, where do we have to fall to make something common? Imagine a cross-section of a landscape, with a number of wells of various depth and breath. A well represents a field, like physics, cooking, or writing. The depth is how specialized the field is. The breadth is how many people are familiar with it. For example, English is quite complex but it's common to a lot of people, so that's a wide but deep well. Obscure trivia is shallow and not very wide. Something like Quantum Field Theory is very deep and not wide at all. As we discover more things, especially in science, wells merge or disappear. Is this an accurate depiction of human knowledge? Probably not, but it gives you a way to communicate complex ideas: (a) understand that you are in a well and (b) make it easy for people to fall into that well. (191 words)

Coin change problem

How many different ways can you make change for $1, given quarters and dimes? What about the general case with some amount and a list of different types of coins? The key observation is that we can divide the solutions into two parts: those that requires the first coin and those that don't. From this observation a recursive function "count" can be devised, with count(money, coins.tail) + count(money-coins.head, coins), together with some common sense base cases, will show how many ways we can make change. (86 words)

How to make scrambled eggs

The most important thing about scrambled eggs is stopping them from overcooking. Start off with eggs in the pan and some butter. Don't salt or whisk the eggs before they get into your pan. Use a spatula. Start on a generous heat. Give them a break from the heat once they get going, so they can combine and avoid drying out, repeat three or four times. Continue stirring, it's a live thing. When it starts to get together, take it off. Put creme fraiche to cool it. Season with salt, peppar and a touch of chives. Recipe by Gordon Ramsay. (100 words)