Friday, May 31, 2019

ASCII Fluid Dynamics

This is really cool.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The Oldest Current Major League Baseball Players

Now that Fernando Rodney is no longer on a roster, the oldest Major Leaguer is Albert Pujols, who is currently 39. Rich Hill is the second-oldest.

I don't know the answer to this, but I wonder how long it's been since there hasn't been anybody who is at least 40 in the Majors?

Friday, May 24, 2019

RIP Murray Gell-Mann (1929–2019)

Nobel Laureate Murray Gell-Mann, one of the giants of theoretical physics (including some work in complex systems, in the later stages of his career) died today.

Update: Here is an obituary from Caltech that focuses on his things like his contributions to particle physics (e.g., his development of quarks and quantum chromodynamics). By contrast, his obituary from Santa Fe Institute focuses on his contributions to the study of complex systems.

Update: The New York Times has now published an obituary.

(Tip of the cap to John Preskill.)

An XKCD Comic about Adjustments for High Altitude

On the heels of my return from the 2019 Snowbird conference late last night (and the fact that, at least for one year, we're finally changing the venue), I am highly amused by the xkcd comic about high altitude.

I especially like the Nena one ("Nuclear war can be triggered with only 94 red balloons") and the Scrabble one ("Scrabble letters are worth 16% more").

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Once More, With Feeling: What Happens in Snowbird Stays in Snowbird

I'm heading to my 10th "Snowbird" conference! (I have missed only the 2005 one since my first one in 1999.)
Counting the 2014 MRC, this is my 11th trip to Snowbird.

This is possibly the last one that will actually be in Snowbird. (I'm looking forward to the conference being in Portland in 2021.)

Let's get this party started.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Schmutzphysik and Schmutzmathematik

(I'm also used to the 'schmutz' from Yiddish from the family.)

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

RIP Tim Conway (1933–2019)

This morning, we lost Tim Conway, one of the world's great comedians. Tim Conway was so funny! I remember seeing some of his skits on The Carol Burnett Show, and I also remember some of his sound bites from Jim Healy's radio show.

A 'Lucky Charms' Plot

I've been wanting to make a 'Lucky Charms' plot for years.

Here is one.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Lego Monuments


Poissonian Fish

After catching a fishy phrase — "fraction of failing breams", which I corrected to "fraction of failing beams" — in my manuscript draft (though Juan G. Restrepo has suggested the dystopian "fraction of failing dreams" as a possible correction), I noticed in a Google Scholar e-mail that my work was cited recently by a paper called The Contact Structure of Great Britain's Salmon and Trout Aquaculture Industry (which has nothing to do with any baseball players on the Angels). This made me think of "failed salmon" and "failed trout" and gives possible inspiration for writing a paper with a title like Percolation on Fish(y) Networks. My mind continued to descend in a fishy direction, so I decided to plot Poisson distributions of fish (as you can see in my tweet).

Friday, May 10, 2019

The Original People of Los Angeles

Here is an online vignette from a Los Angeles Times project about the origins of Los Angeles.

Quoting from the vignette: "The original people of Los Angeles, the Tongva, defined their world as Tovaangar. It extended from Palos Verdes to San Bernardino, from Saddleback Mountain to the San Fernando Valley."

(Tip of the cap to Paulette Steeves.)

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Footnote of the Day

Update: I was point to this document by a friend of mine. He points out that footnotes 1–4 are very amusing, and I especially like number 3: "If large telescope arrays feel they must talk of attojoules per hectare per century, for some reason, they’re going to have to be careful how they do so; it’s probably best not to even think about atto-Henrys."

Old Book Covers: Much Cooler Than Today

Book covers used to be so much cooler than they are now.

(I already knew this, but this is a particularly good example.)

Albert Pujols Becomes Fifth Major Leaguer with 2000 Runs Batted In!

Albert Pujols has become the fifth Major League Baseball player to reach 2000 runs batted in (RBIs). This is quite a rare milestone. Hank Aaron is first on the career RBI list, followed by Babe Ruth (with an estimated total), Alex Rodriguez, Cap Anson (with an estimated total), and then Pujols. Here is the list of career leaders.

The article shouldn't say that Pujols is the "third" player with 2000 or more RBIs. That statement is highly misleading.

RBIs do involve a lot of help from one's friends, but this is still very nice. Pujols is hanging on that this point, but given how RBIs work, hitting a few homers and having people like Mike Trout on base in front of him for three more years could be enough for Pujols to get the record. The chances are pretty good.

Sunday, May 05, 2019

Tales from the ArXiv: Today's Scientific Acronym Award Winner is "STROOPWAFEL"

And today's scientific acronym award goes to... this paper, which introduces the acronym STROOPWAFEL (which stands for "Simulating The Rare Outcomes Of Populations With AIS For Efficient Learning").

I could use a stroopwafel... Yum...

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Friday, May 03, 2019

"Unhappy Meals"

I am highly amused by Burger King's new Unhappy Meals (which are actually called "Real Meals").

I am surprised, given it's appearance as part of George Carlin's seven dirty words, that a "Pissed Meal" is included. (This would have a far different meaning in the United Kingdom, by the way.) I think that a "DGAF Meal", however, would appeal to me. ;P

(Tip of the cap to John Baker.)

The Geometric Art of Saskia Freeke

Saskia Freeke makes some really nice geometric art and posts it regularly on Twitter. I really like today's example.

Thursday, May 02, 2019

An Icosahedral Pecan Pie

In 2009 or thereabouts, Charless Fowlkes and his collaborators made a large icosahedral pecan pie.

Just don't roll a 1 on this 20-sided die.

(Tip of the cap to Karen Kustedjo.)

Topological Trivial Pursuit, Genus VII Edition

The game Trivial Pursuit has a Genus edition (also called "Genus I" edition), Genus II edition, Genus III edition, and so on.

It would have been really nice if they had made topologically correct versions of those various games.

Coming soon: "Topological Trivial Pursuit, Genus VII edition"

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Jigsaw Puzzle Mash-Ups

Apparently, entirely different jigsaw puzzles use pieces of the same shape, so some person created some mash-ups.

I think my favorites are #4 and #11.

"Consider yourself hugged." (You'll know it when you see it.)

(Tip of the cap to Sean Blacklidge.)