At first I found Junkyard Wars
(imported) and thought it was the funniest show on TV. Then I found Iron Chef
(also imported) and it was even better. I got hooked. Now I've found BattleBots
(homegrown! Buy American!), and I have to wonder if TV has any more pleasant surprises for me. As long as I stay away from the big networks I seem to do fine.
posted by Steven Den Beste
on Feb 25, 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 -