Orange Peels and Fresnel Integrals! Train Sets! The Urinal Problem!
January 4, 2019 8:36 AM   Subscribe

Interesting Esoterica - If, perhaps, you enjoyed the recent "Do Dogs Know Calculus" post, you might also enjoy this page full of ...interesting and unusual papers that I have collected over the years. Many of the references are kept here so I can easily find them again when I want to tell someone about the really interesting idea they contain; others are here only because they caught my eye when I first came across them. Christian Lawson-Perfect has been collecting and tagging these articles for years; with more than 500 on offer, you're likely to find an appealing title or two in the pile.
posted by Wolfdog (12 comments total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
Honestly, this site is fun even if you just enjoy it at the level of browsing titles:
  • Missing Data: Instrument-Level Heffalumps and Item-Level Woozles
  • Pancake Flipping is Hard
  • Circular orbits on a warped spandex fabric
  • Does Quantum Interference exist in Twitter?
  • Zaphod Beeblebrox's Brain and the Fifty-ninth Row of Pascal's Triangle
  • How long does it take to catch a wild kangaroo?
Also, the Theoretical Computer Science Cheat Sheet is both useful as a reference and spectacular as a display of TeXpertise.
posted by Wolfdog at 8:42 AM on January 4

It doesn't seem to have anything about cats? I seem to recall a paper proving cats can do math.
posted by Vesihiisi at 8:45 AM on January 4

The urinal problem, I recently discovered, is isomorphic to the "parking at the pediatrician" problem. (You need extra space at the pediatrician to get the kid out of the car seat.)
posted by madcaptenor at 9:52 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]

Honestly, this site is fun even if you just enjoy it at the level of browsing titles:

The best one I've seen on this site is the - I think - quantum physics paper:
  • Have you been using the wrong estimator? These guys bound average fidelity using this one weird trick von Neumann didn't want you to know
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 10:50 AM on January 4 [2 favorites]

"Within a larger experimental series we put a whole bucket of old Lego(TM) bricks
(from the late 1960's and the early 1970's) into our Miele(TM) washing machine
[1]. The bricks were treated for 70 minutes, at 40 degree Celsius, without speed
spinning at the end, without washing powder. "

posted by Pyry at 12:24 PM on January 4

The random Lego buildings remind me of spontaneous knotting of an agitated string.
posted by klausman at 1:00 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]

This is a great find. Thanks for posting.
posted by wittgenstein at 1:18 PM on January 4

Not only interesting content, but what a charming layout.
posted by clew at 1:41 PM on January 4

The random lego constructions should have won an Ignobel Prize!
posted by monotreme at 5:25 PM on January 4

This is truely the best of the web! Thanks for the post.
posted by wires at 7:03 AM on January 5

Math is not my jam, but I did once pick up a book on the strength of the title alone: Marketing the Menacing Fetus in Japan. I was not disappointed.
posted by gusandrews at 2:09 PM on January 5

> The random Lego buildings remind me of spontaneous knotting of an agitated string.

Spontaneous knotting of an agitated string was one of the first things I added.
posted by warpy at 3:19 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]

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