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A Tribute To Richard Feynman: Feynman Point Pilish Poems 2013

Richard Feynman was born on 11 May 1918. Today would have been his 95th birthday. This isn’t...

The Math-e-Monday Puzzle: Squares from a Tetrahedral Die

It isn’t Monday, but I’m puzzled every day of the week.Alice is puzzled too; she’s playing...

The Math-e-Monday Puzzle: Infinite Packings Within Finite Figures

After the scramble to get out of jail, here are some questions about imprisoned shapes! In my last...

Solution to The Jailer's Revenge

The solution to the Jailer’s Revenge question is fairly lengthy, so I think it warrants a separate...

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Richard MankiewiczRSS Feed of this column.

I used to be lots of things, but all people see now is a red man. The universe has gifted me a rare autoimmune skin condition known as erythroderma, or exfoliative dermatitis. The idiopathic version... Read More »

PASADENA, Calif. - New NASA measurements of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, part of the global ocean conveyor belt that helps regulate climate around the North Atlantic, show no significant slowing over the past 15 years. The data suggest the circulation may have even sped up slightly in the recent past.

The findings are the result of a new monitoring technique, developed by oceanographer Josh Willis of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., using measurements from ocean-observing satellites and profiling floats. The findings are reported in the March 25 issue of Geophysical Research Letters.
This must rank up there as the most bizarre holiday destination in the world.

Trinity is the location of the first nuclear test by the Manhattan Project. The world's first plutonium bomb was detonated there on 16 July 1945 - similar to the one dropped on Nagasaki. The site is now part of the White Sands Missile Range, and unbelievably is open to the public.

Well, almost open to the public! The nuclear tourist can visit Trinity on two days of the year; on the first Saturday in April and October. The next visitor day is thus on the 3rd April 2010 which falls on the Easter weekend. Note also that these days coincide with guided tours at the Very Large Array nearby.
Quantum mechanics has been around for a hundred years and continues to fascinate and astonish scientists. It has been phenomenally successful at explaining the microscopic universe at the level of atoms and elementary particles and yet classical mechanics has survived to model the macroscopic world of everyday objects. But at what level do these two theories meet? Is there a region in which they could overlap; that is, can macroscopic objects display quantum behaviour?
Scientists in Russia have been studying how to buy the best possible gift. This coincides with an exhibition of the worst presents received by residents in Yekaterinburg last week.

High on the list of worst presents ever must be the following: "[an] unusual present was the money that belonged to a woman from Yekaterinburg. The woman’s husband was laid off on the eve of her birthday, and she gave him some money so he could get her a birthday present. On her birthday, the woman received a card with her own money enclosed." We don't need much science to calculate the poor woman's reaction.
"Wikileaks.org was founded by Chinese dissidents, journalists, mathematicians, and technologists from the United States, China, Taiwan, Europe, Australia, and South Africa. Its Web site became operational in early 2007. The advisory board for Wikileaks.org includes journalists, cryptographers, a former US intelligence analyst, and expatriates from Chinese, Russian, and Tibetan refugee communities. The ACIC does not have any information to associate or link the former US intelligence analyst on the Wikileaks.org advisory board with the leakage of sensitive or classified DoD documents posted to the Web site."
In 2002 Grigori Perelman started to publish his proof of the Poincare Conjecture. Shunning peer-reviewed journals he published directly on arXiv. In 2006 he was awarded the Fields Medal for his achievement, and became the first ever mathematician to refuse the prize. Last week, the Clay Mathematics Institute awarded him the $1 million that went with cracking one of their seven Millennium Prize Problems. It looks as if he is turning his back on this too.