Archive for the ‘Geek’ Category

Merry Christmas to me!

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

I’m actually starting to get into the spirit of the season, believe it or not.

Part of the reason is that I got an early sort-of-but-not-really “Christmas present” over the weekend, which will be blogged in due time.

And then there’s this, which I think is really cool:

…mathematicians have made the first substantial progress in 76 years on the reverse question: How far apart can consecutive primes be? The average spacing between primes approaches infinity as you travel up the number line, but in any finite list of numbers, the biggest prime gap could be much larger than the average. No one has been able to establish how large these gaps can be.

Besides the fact that I have an amateur interest in prime numbers, this is also a famous Paul Erdős problem.

Even cooler: one of the guys who solved this problem, Terence Tao, has a direct connection to Erdős:

In 1985, Tao, then a 10-year-old prodigy, met Erdős at a math event. “He treated me as an equal,” recalled Tao, who in 2006 won a Fields Medal, widely seen as the highest honor in mathematics. “He talked very serious mathematics to me.” This is the first Erdős prize problem Tao has been able to solve, he said. “So that’s kind of cool.”

(Someone on my Christmas list is getting this as part of their present; I’ll let you know how that goes over.)

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (part 2)

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

The “First Annual Very Nicest Awards” from Very Nice Website (aka John Moltz, one of the four authentic geniuses the Internet has produced).

Won’t you consider murdering and eating a duck this holiday season?

The Incomparable takes on “The Star Wars Holiday Special”.

Random notes: December 5, 2014.

Friday, December 5th, 2014

The 76ers, turning the fundamental belief system of sports on its head, do not mind losing. A lot.

However, they did screw up their chances of going 0-82. Philadelphia is now 1-17.

Anybody out there missing a pony?

Public service announcement: if you get an “order confirmation” email from someplace like Costco or Home Depot, and you didn’t place an online order, and the email doesn’t contain specific details about which store you should pick it up at, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON’T CLICK ON THE LINKS!

I’m sure most of my readers are smart enough to figure this out on their own, but I wanted to mention it here for reasons.

I heartily endorse this event or product. (#12 in a series)

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Spam Nation: The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime-from Global Epidemic to Your Front Door, by Brian Krebs.

Blogger, with occasional Krebs.

Blogger, with occasional Krebs.

I actually haven’t read the book yet. (It is at the top of the pile.) But Krebs did a signing here in Austin last night, and he came across as a really nice affable guy. I didn’t get a chance to talk with him much: I’d estimate there were 150 people there for the signing, many of whom were purchasing multiple copies of the book, so time was limited. But he signed everyone’s book, and even posed for photos with those who wanted, and in general it was just a swell experience. Based on that, I have few qualms about recommending that you purchase the book.

TMQ Watch: November 4, 2014.

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Authentic games. Voting. Space: not a frontier, at least for man. All this and more in this week’s TMQ, after the jump…

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Headline of the day.

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Unexpected Complexity in a Spider’s Tiny Brain

For more information on the crack spider’s bitch, contact the Canadian Wildlife Service in Ottawa.

TMQ Watch: October 21, 2014.

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Pete and Repeat walk into bar in this week’s TMQ, after the jump…

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TMQ Watch: October 14, 2014.

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Not really feeling it this week. Sorry. Let’s just get started and see where this goes. This week’s TMQ, after the jump…

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Random notes: October 16, 2014.

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Obit watch: Elizabeth Pena. The name may not ring a bell at first, but she was in John Sayles’ “Lone Star”, “La Bamba”, “Jacob’s Ladder”, and was the voice of Mirage in “The Incredibles”, among a whole bunch of other credits. And I have to give a shot-out to this bit of trivia:

She also starred in I Married Dora, a sitcom about a green card marriage between an architect and his El Salvadoran housekeeper that aired for 13 episodes in 1987. The show is remembered by fans of obscure and weird TV for the conclusion of its final episode, when the actors announced on camera that the story cliffhanger they’d been building toward had been “resolved” by the series’ cancellation.

(Video at the link.)

People who know me are aware that I’m kind of a map geek. The very small handful of people I’ve let into my apartment can attest to this; my decorating theme is “maps”.

So I think this is kind of cool, for obvious reasons: free downloadable USGS topographic maps.

TMQ Watch: September 23, 2014.

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

What does this have to do with this week’s TMQ? After the jump…

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Instead of actual content…

Friday, September 12th, 2014

…I give you a very silly quiz from the WP:

Is this a line from ‘The Great Gatsby’ or a New York Times profile of Lena Dunham?

I have never seen an episode of “Girls” (since I refuse to have cable). However, I still got a perfect score on the quiz. Which says something: either about my knowledge of Gatsby or about how silly this quiz actually is, I do not know.

Oh, what the heck, I’ll throw this one in, too:

http://www.lingscars.com/

I sent this to Lawrence with the suggestion that it might be worse than Bello De Soto’s website: Lawrence doesn’t think so, and I’m still trying to make up my mind.

There are so many things that push it towards legendary badness for me: the chicken walking around on the live Twitter feed (why?), the auto-play Chinese karaoke (ditto?), the spinning chat avatars, gratuitous abuse of the blink tag…

On the other hand, it hasn’t actually crashed any browser I’ve tried it on so far. On the gripping hand, it is an actually up and (apparently) functional website, as opposed to an archive of one…

Only the finest in geek humor for my readers.

Friday, August 8th, 2014

This made me laugh so hard my cow orkers asked me what was so funny.

And the first response is just the icing on the cake.