Stephen Wolfram, Introduction to "A New Kind of Science"

8 weeks ago by kevan

"Well, in the actual [snail] shell, the pattern is laid down by a line of pigment-producing cells on the growing edge of the shell. And it seems that what happens can be captured rather well by a cellular automaton rule."

emergence
maths
snails
8 weeks ago by kevan

How many colours would you need to make London’s bus network more comprehensible? | CityMetric

10 weeks ago by kevan

"The first thing our colour system lets you do is dump bus numbers above 100 and use colours as a replacement for the first digit."

transport
colour
london
maths
10 weeks ago by kevan

A bot crawled thousands of studies looking for simple math errors. The results are concerning. - Vox

november 2016 by kevan

"...they’re 'typos,' errors in transferring data from one program to another, she says. But because academic journals are more likely to publish significant results, these erroneous findings may be more likely to find themselves in the published literature."

maths
mutation
science
software
november 2016 by kevan

What are the odds of one vote changing the US presidential election? - 80,000 Hours

november 2016 by kevan

"[A] vote with a 1 in 10 million chance of changing the election outcome would be worth $25,000 to your fellow citizens just through its effects on the likelihood of a nuclear war."

politics
maths
november 2016 by kevan

Paris car ban: Pollution forces authorities to halt even-numbered plates

march 2015 by kevan

"City mayor Anne Hidalgo had asked authorities to prevent one in every two cars from taking to the capital’s streets and make all public transport temporarily free in a bid to drive down pollution."

paris
pollution
transport
maths
march 2015 by kevan

Dictionary of Numbers, Putting numbers in human terms.

may 2013 by kevan

"Dictionary of Numbers searches through the page for numbers it can understand, and when it finds one, adds an inline explanation for that number in human terms."

maths
language
via:danielle
may 2013 by kevan

Sicherman dice - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

january 2013 by kevan

"Crazy dice is a standard mathematical problem or puzzle in elementary combinatorics, involving a re-labeling of the faces of a pair of six-sided dice to reproduce the same frequency of sums as the standard labeling."

dice
maths
january 2013 by kevan

Moving sofa problem - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

july 2012 by kevan

"The problem is a two-dimensional idealisation of real-life furniture moving problems, and asks for the rigid two-dimensional shape of largest area A that can be maneuvered through an L-shaped planar region with legs of unit width. The area A thus obtained is referred to as the sofa constant."

furniture
maths
july 2012 by kevan

Statistics and Scrabble, Together At Last - A.C. Thomas, Scientist

january 2012 by kevan

"One goal of this was to figure out how much of the variance in score comes from the tile order and how much comes from the board, given that a tile order would be expected. It turns out to be about half-bag, half-board. [...] The blank is worth about 30 points to a good player. [...] The Q is a burden to whichever player receives it, effectively serving as a 5 point penalty."

games
scrabble
maths
via:mattgreen
january 2012 by kevan

Loaded Dice: Ratings

august 2011 by kevan

Leonard analyses BGG ratings. "A game with a 7.5 rating sounds pretty good, but as you can see from this table, it's actually really good: in the top ten percent of games. Similarly, a game with a 4.75 rating sounds kind of bad, but it's actually really bad: in the bottom twenty-five percent."

games
board
maths
august 2011 by kevan

Deaths per TWH by energy source

march 2011 by kevan

"The fifty actual deaths from [solar panel] roof installation accidents for 1.5 million roof installations is equal to the actual deaths experienced so far from Chernobyl."

electricity
death
maths
via:amuchmoreexotic
march 2011 by kevan

Cracking the Scratch Lottery Code | Magazine

february 2011 by kevan

"Srivastava’s startling insight was that he could separate the winning tickets from the losing tickets by looking at the number of times each of the digits occurred on the [unscratched] tic-tac-toe boards."

money
maths
via:waxy
february 2011 by kevan

BoardGameGeek rating correlation

january 2011 by kevan

"Type a BGG username in each box to calculate the correlation between the ratings of the two users. Type a BGG username in the first box and leave the second box empty to match that user against everybody in the cache."

games
board
maths
january 2011 by kevan

Wolfenstein 1-D

january 2011 by kevan

"Now, after decades of development, Wolfenstein 3-D has been converted to breathtaking, epoch-making 1-D. You can now play the game in a single, dazzling one-pixel line."

games
maths
january 2011 by kevan

Frankie Peanuts and Coercive Logic

january 2010 by kevan

Logically exploiting an answer-yes-or-no Magic card (albeit from the joke Unhinged expansion). "Yes or no: You will do the actions in exactly 1 of the two following groups of actions: The first group is answering ‘no.’ The second group is forfeiting this turn but first giving me one rare of my choice from your deck."

games
mtg
maths
january 2010 by kevan

TrueAchievements - Xbox 360 Achievement Tracking

february 2009 by kevan

Adjusting the values of Xbox 360 achievement scores, based on the number of players who actually managed to achieve them. "The 5 points for pressing the Start button in The Simpsons Game are worth exactly the same as the 5 points for completing 10 side missions in Just Cause. It's an outrage." I'm up 3,000.

games
maths
february 2009 by kevan

D-Total™ by Dr. A. F. Simkin - Seventeen Dice in One

january 2009 by kevan

"At 7 o’clock (bottom left) there may be a number (1-7) between the square and diamond shapes. If not, re-roll to get the d7 result." Photo at tinyurl.com/dtotal

dice
maths
via:rwhe
january 2009 by kevan

Project Euler

august 2008 by kevan

"Project Euler is a series of challenging mathematical/computer programming problems that will require more than just mathematical insights to solve. Although mathematics will help you arrive at elegant and efficient methods, the use of a computer and programming skills will be required to solve most problems."

maths
programming
puzzles
august 2008 by kevan

'Cool Cash' card confusion - News - Manchester Evening News

november 2007 by kevan

"A lottery scratchcard has been withdrawn from sale by Camelot - because players couldn't understand it." [...] "The concept of comparing negative numbers proved too difficult for some [and] Camelot received dozens of complaints on the first day."

money
maths
random
education
via:tim
november 2007 by kevan

flatlandproject.com

may 2007 by kevan

"In this semi-extreme performance, 6 curious artists strip away not only most of modern life's familiar structures, but an entire dimension: they have elected to inhabit a structure that effectively forces them to live in 2 dimensions."

art
architecture
maths
via:zarba
may 2007 by kevan

badscience » Maths Professor Divides By Zero, Say BBC

december 2006 by kevan

"Schoolchildren in Caversham have become the first in the country to learn about a new number - ‘nullity’ - which solves maths problems neither Newton nor Pythagoras could conquer."

maths
lunacy
education
programming
pointless
december 2006 by kevan

Swivel - Home

december 2006 by kevan

An infovorous 'YouTube for data', "[transforming] a lonely grid of numbers and letters into hundreds - sometimes thousands - of graphs that can be explored and compared with any other public data in Swivel."

maths
web
december 2006 by kevan

Vampires a Mathematical Impossibility, Scientist Says - Yahoo! News

november 2006 by kevan

"If the first vampire came into existence that day and bit one person a month, there would have been two vampires by Feb 1, 1600. [...] In just two-and-a-half years the original human population would all have become vampires with nobody left to feed on."

monsters
maths
november 2006 by kevan

news @ nature.com - Gazing into the middle distance improves your concentration.

september 2006 by kevan

Compared to 'staring at a human face'. "We are so distracted by the barrage of emotional information transmitted in faces that it stops us from thinking clearly."

brains
faces
psychology
maths
via:mindhacks
september 2006 by kevan

Guardian Unlimited | How a statistical formula won the war

july 2006 by kevan

"The statisticians believed that the Germans [had] logically numbered their tanks in the order in which they were produced. It was enough to enable them to make an estimate of the total number of tanks that had been produced up to any given moment."

war
maths
history
via:qwghlm
july 2006 by kevan

New World Notes: -- And He Rezzed A Crooked House

july 2006 by kevan

A tesseract-shaped house in Second Life, with video clips. "When you step into a room, the other rooms cluster around it so that they're always connected together the right way."

mmorpgs
architecture
illusions
maths
july 2006 by kevan

Small World: Uncovering Nature's Hidden Networks - Mark Buchanan

july 2006 by kevan

Gripping introduction into network theory, looking at six-degrees-of-separation and social network patterns and explaining them in counter-intuitive terms that quickly become crashingly obvious. Some good worldview-shifting.

booklog
science
society
maths
coincidences
july 2006 by kevan

Guardian Unlimited | Weekend | Call that risky?

april 2006 by kevan

"Hitting a rather macabre note, [energy production] risk is measured in deaths per terawatt year. 'By far the most dangerous is hydro. When a hydro dam goes in a populated area, it can kill 35,000 people in 40 minutes.'"

terrorism
electricity
death
water
maths
future
pestilence
apocalypse
april 2006 by kevan

Schneier on Security: Data Mining for Terrorists

march 2006 by kevan

"This unrealistically-accurate system will generate one billion false alarms for every real terrorist plot it uncovers. Every [day], the police will have to investigate 27 million potential plots in order to find the one real terrorist plot per month."

terrorism
surveillance
maths
march 2006 by kevan

The Physics of Friendship

march 2006 by kevan

"After a collision, a particle moves in a different direction with an updated velocity, just as how an individual's chance of meeting a new person depends on their most recent acquaintances." Not sure how many dimensions they're working in.

society
maths
simulation
march 2006 by kevan

news @ nature.com - Fractals and art

february 2006 by kevan

"[The] fractal dimension of Pollock's works [increases] through the years as the artist refined his technique. It seems that Pollock was honing his ability to generate fractals a full quarter century before fractal geometry was formally described."

art
maths
via:collision
february 2006 by kevan

CombinationLock.com - number puzzle - number game

february 2006 by kevan

Simple algebraic puzzle game where you deduce a padlock combination from a few clues; nice that the clues are infinitely autogenerated, although you occasionally get absurdly easy ones.

puzzles
maths
via:mcios
february 2006 by kevan

How many atoms of Jesus you eat every day@Everything2.com

december 2005 by kevan

"Interestingly, but somewhat off topic, transubstantiation means that eventually the earth's entire biomass will be made out of Jesus."

religion
food
maths
december 2005 by kevan

WSJ.com - The Numbers Guy - How to Split a Shared Cab Ride?

december 2005 by kevan

Conflicting mathematical approaches to splitting a shared cab ride with different drop-off points. "With the numbers I've chosen, this method yields the highly unlikely scenario that B pays $3, C pays $7 and A makes a profit of $1 for his troubles."

money
transport
maths
december 2005 by kevan

NumberSpiral.com

november 2005 by kevan

Finding vague prime-number patterns. "Number spirals are very simple. To make one, we just write the non-negative integers on a ribbon and roll it up with zero at the center."

maths
november 2005 by kevan

The Infinite Book - John D Barrow

november 2005 by kevan

"Is their appearance a sign of success or failure?" The spiritual, psychological and mathematical significance of infinities. More trite than profound, but putting its facts across well.

booklog
maths
religion
psychology
history
november 2005 by kevan

Jerk : Built with Processing

november 2005 by kevan

Ben was wondering how a Thrust game would feel if you controlled "jerk" (acceleration per time) instead of acceleration, so I threw this together. It's quite odd.

simulation
maths
creations
november 2005 by kevan

Wikipedia: Chronogram

november 2005 by kevan

"ChrIstVs DuX ergo trIVMphVs ('Christ the Leader, therefore triumphant'), on a coin struck by Gustavus Adolphus in 1627, gives MDCXVVVII or 1627."

maths
time
history
money
november 2005 by kevan

idiolect.org.uk: The Happiness Maths

june 2005 by kevan

Brilliant extrapolation of a basic happiness/experience equation. "The total happiness is the same, but the arrangement of unpleasant experience before positive makes the peak happiness derived greater. This is why we go camping, I suspect."

maths
depression
psychology
june 2005 by kevan

Discover: Quantum honeybees - research on honeybee behavior

may 2005 by kevan

Slightly loony extrapolation: "[Shipman] suspects that the bees are somehow sensitive to what's going on in the quantum world of quarks, that quantum mechanics is as important to their perception of the world as sight, sound, and smell."

bees
maths
science
may 2005 by kevan

Scientific American: Performance without Anxiety

may 2005 by kevan

Stereotype threat: "When experimenters told white golfers that the quality of their game would reflect 'natural athletic ability' instead of their strategic intellectual prowess, their performance was much worse than that of black players."

psychology
sport
maths
education
via:mindhacks
may 2005 by kevan

Griddlers Net

april 2005 by kevan

Nonogram puzzles, another Japanese non-crossword genre - a grid where each row and column is labelled with the sizes of its pixel clumps, leaving the solver to build up the hidden picture.

puzzles
japan
maths
april 2005 by kevan

Wikipedia: Sudoku

april 2005 by kevan

Grid-filling logic puzzle which is apparently in a few UK newspapers these days, although I'd never heard of it until recently. Invented in America and given popularity and a better name in Japan, where crosswords don't work.

puzzles
maths
japan
crosswords
april 2005 by kevan

Edge: The Mathematics of Love: A Talk with John Gottman

april 2005 by kevan

"We are no less social than bees, and Von Frisch discovered the language of bees by going right to the hive and watching them dance. So we will discover the human dance."

love
science
maths
bees
psychology
sex
via:yoz
april 2005 by kevan

Stanford Humanities Laboratory: Counting Crowds

april 2005 by kevan

"Reporters measured sidewalks and used city maps to calculate that that route could hold exactly 141,436 people. If those standing on side streets and leaning out of office windows were included in the count, participants could number up to 500,000."

crowds
maths
science
april 2005 by kevan

New York Times: The Odds of That

april 2005 by kevan

"Janet Shoemaker [...] heard the tales and points out that her organization alone has 41,000 members, meaning that the deaths of 11 worldwide, most of whom were not technically microbiologists at all, is not statistically surprising."

death
science
maths
coincidences
april 2005 by kevan

The Fair Division Calculator version 3.0

april 2005 by kevan

Java applet which can "help you determine how to divide among n people: a desirable object (such as a cake), an undesirable object (such as a set of chores), or a set of indivisible objects (rooms, desirable) with payments (rent, undesirable)."

maths
food
april 2005 by kevan

Science News Online - Applying the math of cake cutting to conflict resolution

april 2005 by kevan

Mining rights and divorce settlements. "The country seeking to mine would divide that area into two portions. An independent agency representing the developing countries would then choose one of the two tracts, reserving it for future use."

law
maths
love
money
food
april 2005 by kevan

Guardian Unlimited | Life lessons

april 2005 by kevan

Scientists list things that we should all understand, or that we should buy their books about. "Science is not a catalogue of facts, but a search for new mysteries. Science increases the store of wonder and mystery in the world; it does not erode it."

science
education
evolution
maths
memetics
april 2005 by kevan

Fractal Food

march 2005 by kevan

Wonderful photos of fractal Romanesco brocolli, and, er, how to cook it. "Break off the 'level 1' spirals [...], then steam them for between 15-25 minutes."

food
maths
photos
march 2005 by kevan

RedNova News - Can This Black Box See Into the Future?

february 2005 by kevan

Burbling random-number generators that suddenly register "huge deviations from the norm" during (or slightly before) significant world events. Doubtful.

random
future
technology
lunacy
maths
mysteries
february 2005 by kevan

Relative Value of Chess Pieces and Principles of Chess Play

january 2005 by kevan

"Taking the pawn as the unit, the Knight is worth 3.05; the Bishop 3.50; the Rook 5.48; and the Queen 9.94."

chess
board
games
maths
january 2005 by kevan

Daily Mail online | BBC to show Opera despite 5,500 complaints

january 2005 by kevan

Brilliant opera-chorus-swearing logic from the Mail: "The total number of obscenities [3,168] is calculated by multiplying the number of swear-words by the number of people singing them."

lunacy
music
television
theatre
maths
january 2005 by kevan

LEGO Logic Gates

december 2004 by kevan

Insane, bulky, mechanical cog-and-beam logic gates.

lego
maths
programming
december 2004 by kevan

Medieval Demographics Made Easy

december 2004 by kevan

"To find the number of, say, inns in a city, divide the population of the city by the SV value for inns (2,000). For a village of 400 people, this reveals only 20% of an inn! This means that there is a 20% chance of there being one at all."

cities
history
maths
roleplaying
society
december 2004 by kevan

Mathematical Notation: Past and Future

november 2004 by kevan

"I'm told that Russell could actually be seen sometimes wheeling wheelbarrows full of lead type over to the Cambridge University Press so his books could be appropriately typeset."

fonts
history
language
maths
november 2004 by kevan

"End of the World" predictions in our near future

november 2004 by kevan

Apocalypse watch. We survived October the 17th (a date computed from size of Noah's Ark) and should be okay until 2006, if we're not hit by an asteroid this winter.

apocalypse
future
lunacy
maths
religion
november 2004 by kevan

New Scientist: Mathematical "truth serum" promotes honesty

october 2004 by kevan

"The method relies on asking questions in pairs and analysing the relationship between the answers in a so-called Bayesian approach."

brains
lies
maths
psychology
october 2004 by kevan

The Straight Dope: Which will keep you drier, running through the rain or walking?

september 2004 by kevan

"If we ignore aerodynamic effects, we can show mathematically (but won't) that while you'll collect many fewer head drops running rather than walking, you'll get exactly the same number of chest drops, regardless of the speed at which you travel."

maths
walking
weather
september 2004 by kevan

Spurious Correlations

september 2004 by kevan

Some excellent examples. "Because no infant has ever conducted an orchestra, the data from infant mortalities should be excluded from the comparison standard."

cheating
illusions
maths
september 2004 by kevan

Mathematics, marriage and finding somewhere to eat

september 2004 by kevan

Optimal stopping problem: reject the first 37% of candidates and use the gained knowledge to judge the remaining 63%.

love
maths
september 2004 by kevan

Mudd Math Fun Facts: Finding the N-th digit of Pi

september 2004 by kevan

If you work in base 16, you can calculate any specific digit of pi, whether or not you know the previous ones.

cheating
maths
september 2004 by kevan

La Grande Arche Paris by von Spreckelsen

september 2004 by kevan

A giant hypercube in Paris, mentioned on R4 the other morning, that I'd never noticed.

architecture
design
france
maths
september 2004 by kevan

The Hardness of the Lemmings Game (or Oh no, more NP-Completeness Proofs) [PDF]

august 2004 by kevan

"Here we will show that deciding whether a particular level is possible is an NP-Complete problem. However, under some restrictions then the question is decidable in polynomial time."

games
maths
filetype:pdf
media:document
august 2004 by kevan

Researcher Links Storytelling And Mathematical Ability

august 2004 by kevan

"This study suggests that building strong storytelling skills early in the preschool years may be helpful in preparing children for learning mathematics when they enter school."

brains
children
education
maths
august 2004 by kevan

A Turing Machine in Conway's Game of Life

august 2004 by kevan

Vast and organic-looking, with a detailed catalogue of its component parts.

emergence
maths
programming
august 2004 by kevan

Blancmange Function

june 2004 by kevan

"The iterations towards the continuous function are batrachions resembling the Hofstadter-Conway 10,000-Dollar Sequence."

food
maths
june 2004 by kevan

On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences

june 2004 by kevan

Enter the first few digits of a known-to-be-interesting sequence, to discover the rest.

maths
june 2004 by kevan

Yahoo! News - Atkins-Weary Baker Pitches 'Da Vinci Diet'

june 2004 by kevan

Eat lots of... bread. Bizarrely, it uses a "complicated formula" that specifically invokes the Golden Ratio (as used to "build the pyramids", says Yahoo). Perhaps you have to cut your toast into perfect rectangles.

famine
food
history
lunacy
maths
june 2004 by kevan

Devlin's Angle: Golden Ratio Fallacies

june 2004 by kevan

"Numerous tests have failed to show up any one rectangle that most observers prefer."

architecture
art
history
hoaxes
maths
june 2004 by kevan

Complexification | Gallery of Computation

june 2004 by kevan

Wonderful mathematical art. Must get Proce55ing again.

art
maths
june 2004 by kevan

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