How much freedom should we trade for our security?
That is the title of this years Economist/Shell essay competition. The winner will receive $20,000 as well as inclusion in The Economist: The World in 2003. The closing date is August 15. Anyone feel like entering? If I can learn to write English in time I may submit an essay that takes the form of a discussion between a 68 year old Japanese American ex-internee and a 7 year old Israeli girl.
posted by RobertLoch
on Apr 22, 2002 -
Remember Zork, Planetfall, and the other creations of late game company Infocom? Well, "interactive fiction," as the format is called, is still alive and well. Every year the IF community -- which is known for releasing work of quality far surpassing even Infocom's masterpieces -- holds a competition for short works, and this year's contestants have been released!
Read this post's comments for more info...
posted by tweebiscuit
on Sep 30, 2001 -
The Poincaré Conjecture
: If we stretch a rubber band around the surface of an apple, then we can shrink it down to a point by moving it slowly, without tearing it and without allowing it to leave the surface. On the other hand, if we imagine that the same rubber band has somehow been stretched in the appropriate direction around a doughnut, then there is no way of shrinking it to a point without breaking either the rubber band or the doughnut. We say the the surface of the apple is ‘simply connected,’ but that the surface of the doughnut is not. Poincaré, almost a hundred years ago, knew that a two dimensional sphere is essentially characterized by this property of simple connectivity, and asked the corresponding question for the three dimensional sphere (the set of points in four dimensional space at unit distance from the origin). This question turned out be be extraordinarily difficult, and mathematicians have been struggling with it ever since.
...but if you can prove it, [or any of six other 'millenium prize problems
'] the clay mathematics institute
wants to line your pockets with $1M
posted by palegirl
on May 24, 2000 -
The Great Blog-Off
is coming- so far 8 bloggers will be madly competing for 24 hours to find the best links on the web on an as-yet-unknown topic. A lesson in futility or potentially dirty, self-absorbed fun? Discuss amongst yourselves.
posted by wisdom
on May 9, 2000 -