Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cool Cover of "Everything Counts"

Here is a funky cover of "Everything Counts". Very cool!

(Tip of the cap to Sunny Park.)

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Muppets Take on Fox News

I can't even begin to describe how many types of WIN this fake press conference by Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy is. Wow.

(Tip of the cap to whoever does the Facebook posts for They Might Be Giants.)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Risk on Matlab

Do you know what's even better than playing Risk? That's right: playing Risk on Matlab.

Does anybody want to play? I swear I that won't betray any alliances...

National Data Privacy Day

Tomorrow is apparently National Data Privacy Day.

Good luck with that.

(Tip of the cap to whoever does the postings for Mathematics Awareness Month.)

Word of the Day: Whelm

There is something about the old English word for 'to bend over' being part of the origin of the word 'overwhelmed' that just feels so damn right.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

20 Visualizations for 2011

I haven't quite finished reading this article yet, but here are 20 visualizations for 2011. These are mostly really good, but a couple of them are so-so.

So far, my favorite one (by leaps and bounds) is the evolution of video game controllers. Notice, for example, the dead end that is the U-Force (which I had the misfortune to choose to buy).

And in case you didn't realize it (though if you know me at all, you should have), I have a particular fondness for visualization.

(Tip of the cap to Jimmy Lin.)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tastes Like Chicken

Here is a dendrogram summarizing what different foods taste like.

(Tip of the cap to the Improbable Research blog.)

Magic Mushrooms

Mario would certainly agree with the premise of this article.

I'm only posting this because the headline immediately made me think of the Super Mario games.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Soap makes you clean. SOPA makes you dirty. :)

And if anybody else came up with this, be it known that I arrived at it independently.

(As if I would have any other stance on this...)

Oh, and don't forget to sign Google's petition!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Movies in an Alternate Universe

Wow, these alternate-universe movie posters are amazing!

I had a couple of Comicbook Guy moments (hint: see the poster for Wolverine), but such trivialities pale in comparison to the massive coolness of these beauties. Very, very sweet!

(Tip of the cap to Gina Hall.)

Don't Try This at Home

About 30 minutes ago, I managed to slam myself in the eye with the edge of the door was opening.

I'm the only one who does these kinds of things, aren't I?

Update: The Facebook conversation related to this post has been pretty amusing. One person asked whether or not I remembered to apologize to the door. I gave the following answer: I didn't apologize to the door, but my loud gut-reaction yelling of "Goddamnit" startled the other don in the room, who (in typical British fashion) immediately apologized to me.

Origin of the Term "Half-Assed"

The term 'half-assed' actually has an interesting origin, though I like the idea that a full ass is what is considered to be good.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Yup, I'm Crazy Enough to Do That. :)

I always knew that I was.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Carl Friedrich "Guass"

According to this BBC article, the mathematician's last name is "Guass". SIGH... and CRINGE.

Also notice the nod to Oxford.

(Tip of the cap to Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Monday, January 09, 2012

Barry Larkin Elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame

In a rather unsurprising development, Barry Larkin was the only player elected to Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame on this years writers ballot. Ron Santo was previously elected by the Veterans Committee, and then of course the awards for writing and broadcasting were also announced previously. Larkin was named on about 62% of the ballots last year but about 86.4% of them this year, which was quite a leap. In an unfortunate sign, Jack Morris has reached 66.7 percent of the vote and will probably make it in the next two years (his last 2 years of eligibility on this ballot), Edgar Martinez was still only named on 36.5% of the ballot instead of taking a great leap forward, and Alan Trammell was only named on 36.8% of the ballots.. However, in a couple of very good signs, Jeff Bagwell is up to 56.0% and (in a particularly excellent sign) Tim Raines is up to 48.7%. I hope Bagwell makes it next year along with Biggio, though the crowded 2013 ballot will make that exceedingly difficult, and it does look like Tim Raines will make it eventually (which is excellent). Alan Trammell's jump was big, but he's probably going to have to wait until the Veterans Committee considers him.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Now I Know How to Get an Erdös Number of 1

The discussion on this web page provides the key for how I can get my Erdös number of 1.

Of course, another alternative will be provided if Paul Erdös ever rises from the dead.

[Tip of the cap to Annals of Improbable Research. Granted, the intention of their post probably wasn't to suggest a mechanism for obtaining an Erdös number of 1 (without Erdös having to rise from the dead), but I'll interpret this any damn way I feel like doing.]

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Nonlinear Progress

This article, which concerns the contract extension just signed by the Angels' Howie Kendrick, includes an absolutely wonderful line:

Kendrick was one of the Angels' brightest prospects through the minor leagues, where he batted .360, but his progress in the majors was far from linear.

This kind of language in an article on a topic like baseball just warms my nonlinear heart.

Friday, January 06, 2012


Eric Kelsic, one of my former students, has helped develop the game Spinpossible. You can read about the some of the mathematics related to the game in a paper posted to the arXiv.

Monday, January 02, 2012

The Most Important Anniversary of 2012

And I bet you know what it is, too?

That's right: 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the release of what is probably George Carlin's most famous skit.

The man was a comic genius, and much of what he had to say back then still rings true today.

How many of those words can you say on television now? :)

In Related News

Thank you, Captain Obvious. In related news, victims of involuntary manslaughter also rarely talk to police.