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(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2008 06:41 pm
From Talk is talk, kill is kill:
Knuth, 4.5.2, theorem D: If u and v are integers chosen at random, the probability that gcd(u,v)=1 is 6/pi^2

So if you give someone an infinite amount of random integers, they can use those to calculate pi by checking how many of those are prime to one another.

Yet another demonstration of the unreasonable rationality of the universe.
From Crypto-Gram's entry Friday Squid Blogging: Dissecting a Giant Squid:
In Santa Barbara.
Among other dissection highlights, Hochberg pulled out plastic-like pieces, which comprised what could be best described as a backbone, as well as a translucent brownish-yellow piece of the beak, which is made of fingernail-like material. The giant squid's anatomy features a mouth at the top of the head, which means the esophagus travels through the brain. "So you have to get very small chunks of food," said Hochberg, "or you'll blow your brains out." The sharp beaks, then, are used to chomp food into tiny pieces before sending it down the esophagus, through the brain, and into the gut.
Any of you bio folks heard about this? Seems up your alley.

Math class

Mar. 8th, 2008 03:35 am
A Mathematician’s Lament:
Sadly, our present system of mathematics education is precisely this kind of nightmare. In fact, if I had to design a mechanism for the express purpose of destroying a child’s natural curiosity and love of pattern-making, I couldn’t possibly do as good a job as is currently being done—I simply wouldn’t have the imagination to come up with the kind of senseless, soul- crushing ideas that constitute contemporary mathematics education.
An interesting article.
If you have a Mac, GLTerminal is really cool. From JWZ.

In other news, I'm stressed. Film at 11.


(no subject)

Dec. 13th, 2005 04:02 pm
Ridiculously overpowered magnets: the really big ones come with important cautionary advisories like this:
Beware - you must think ahead when moving these magnets.

If carrying one into another room, carefully plan the route you will be taking. Computers & monitors will be affected in an entire room. Loose metallic objects and other magnets may become airborne and fly considerable distances - and at great speed - to attach themselves to this magnet. If you get caught in between the two, you can get injured.

Two of these magnets close together can create an almost unbelievable magnetic field that can be very dangerous. Of all the unique items we offer for sale, we consider these two items the most dangerous of all. Our normal packing & shipping personnel refuse to package these magnets - our engineers have to do it. This is no joke and we cannot stress it strongly enough - that you must be extremely careful - and know what you're doing with these magnets. Take Note: Two of the 3" x 1" disc magnets can very easily break your arm if they get out of control.

I also liked "We can only ship these magnets by ground UPS - they cannot be shipped via air as it will interfere with the aircraft's navigational equipment."