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Wolfdog (2)

A source for 531 excellent FPPs

531 of the most interesting articles on Wikipedia covering everything from the linguistic (self-contradicting words in English) to the philosophical (The Ultimate 747 Gambit); from the only German military landing in the Americas (Weather Station Kurt) to the world's only Bigfoot Trap; to oddities both geometric (Gömböc ) and mathematical (Tupper's self-referential formula); great lists of various things (Bible errata, unsolved problems, camouflage patterns, blurred spots on Google Maps, lost art, the last monarchs of the Americas) to things that will make great band names (Orbiting Frog Otolith). [prev, shorter lists]
posted by blahblahblah on Dec 14, 2013 - 17 comments

The strange case of The Pigeon-hole Principle

It's Saturday; why not think about the pigeonhole principle? Here are problems and more problems and what you might call a problem with the principle itself as it is often stated.
posted by Wolfdog on Nov 10, 2012 - 41 comments

Making Math Fun

Is your elementary school youngster struggling with math? Are they a visual person? Would math games and videos help them learn? Enter Math Playground, to assist with problem solving and real world math. Try the enticing logic game Sugar, Sugar or beef up your math word problem skills. There are plenty of games to help educate while entertaining.
posted by netbros on Sep 4, 2012 - 14 comments

The 2012 Internet Problem Solving Contest

The 2012 Internet Problem Solving Contest will begin in a couple of days. Read the rules if you want to join in or perhaps just enjoy delving into the archive of past years' problems.
posted by Wolfdog on May 31, 2012 - 14 comments

A Pain in the Asana

What becomes of your yoga when you are forbidden to do asana? "My chiropractor gave me the ultimate prescription: no asana. Since my practice inspires my teaching, I cut back on my teaching as well, only offering one super gentle community class and working with a few private students. (...) I’ve been in a place of inquiry: What is my practice? What does asana mean to me? What is yoga?"
posted by amusem on Jul 12, 2011 - 65 comments

The freezer makes my ice cream hard to scoop. Why try?

The First World Problems Rap (SLYT)
posted by swift on Jun 24, 2011 - 43 comments

Advance Market Commitments

Inducement Prizes -- Best known for the Ansari X Prize, the DARPA Grand Challenge and the Clay Mathematics Millennium Problems, inducement prizes have a long history, but their recent successes have led to increased government interest, viz. challenge.gov, and resulted in the development of vaccines, thanks in large part to the work of Michael Kremer.* [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 6, 2011 - 8 comments

Games, postmortem, live forever

Games industry news site Gamasutra regularly posts "postmortems," features by game developers talking about what went right and what went wrong during the development of a game. They are remarkably candid and offer a close look at how the games were made, and often focus on awesome obscure and/or independent games. Some of the best: Dejobaan Games' AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! -- A Reckless Disregard for Gravity, Erik Svedäng's Blueberry Garden, ACE Team's Zeno Clash, Square Enix's The World Ends With You, Quantic Dream's Indigo Prophecy, and Defense of the Ancients. The one for Deadly Premonition (previously) is unfortunately not available for free online, but there are highlights and an interview. Also great: Where Realtime Worlds went wrong, a series of blog posts about the problems surrounding the currently-flopping MMO APB. [more inside]
posted by The Devil Tesla on Sep 24, 2010 - 24 comments

Tenant Beware

Moving to or within NYC soon? Check to make sure your potential landlord isn't on this list of 153 by the NYC Public Advocates Office. [more inside]
posted by hal_c_on on Aug 30, 2010 - 32 comments

Stop me if you've heard this joke: DIEBOLD VOTING MACHINES

Once again, The Onion comes a little too close to the truth for comfort. Or in reality, are things working just fine? Security at Diebold is as tight as ever. Concerns (again) in Ohio. Also: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet." (Bill Shakespeare)
posted by spock on Feb 29, 2008 - 33 comments

"Filmmakers like Gilliam keep coming to the Canadian talent trough for child actors because our kids, by all accounts, tend to be easy to direct, manage, and mould.

Sarah Polley, the little girl in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, finds out that another little Canadian girl is about to star in another Terry Gilliam film, and writes--and warns--about her experiences. Gilliam responds.
posted by amberglow on Oct 2, 2005 - 93 comments

A Tangled Tale

Maths puzzles and more problems. Found whilst searching for the fiendish the Monty Hall Problem. A Tangled Tale, indeed.
posted by plep on Sep 24, 2004 - 6 comments

Psychology has failed?

Psychology has failed. It's not often that an entire academic discipline collapses, but according to Peter Watson, author of A Terrible Beauty, that's what is happening to Psychology. "....it has failed technologically, philosophically and is already in an advanced stage of decomposition." [more inside]
posted by grahamwell on May 19, 2003 - 25 comments

'The Poincare Conjecture' Solved?

'The Poincare Conjecture' Solved? "Dr Grigori Perelman, of the Steklov Institute of Mathematics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St Petersburg, claims to have proved the Poincare Conjecture, one of the most famous problems in mathematics. The Poincare Conjecture, an idea about three-dimensional objects, has haunted mathematicians for nearly a century. If it has been solved, the consequences will reverberate throughout geometry and physics."

Also of note is that Perelman's solution is only a benign side effect of his efforts toward defining all three-dimensional surfaces mathematically, which if successful would allow humanity to "produce a catalogue of all possible three-dimensional shapes in the Universe, meaning that [mankind] could ultimately describe the actual shape of the cosmos itself."
posted by eyebeam on May 8, 2003 - 13 comments

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 - 3 comments

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