Cool stuff

I’ve been remiss in my “cool stuff” posting, so let’s try to get that running again 🙂

Andy Weir’s Best Seller ‘The Martian’ Gets a Classroom-Friendly Makeover – as someone who swears A Lot, it makes me a bit sad that editing swearwords is deemed necessary; but I still find the whole concept of “wait, that book is actually usable in a classroom, except for the swearwords, let’s see if there’s a way to get an expunged version” pretty neat 🙂

Mambo mit den Schlümpfen – yes, it is Mambo Nr. 5, in German, with Smurfs. Things I didn’t know I needed in my life.

Manim – an animation engine, in Python, for explanatory math videos. I haven’t tested it, but it’s used by 3Blue1Brown – and their videos are cool.

Living Proof: Stories of Resilience along the Mathematical Journey – a collection of short articles about people in math, whose path may not have been as straightforward as it could have been. This sort of things is important – it normalizes the struggle that many people go through, and I believe that it makes it less likely that some people just give up on things because “it shouldn’t be that hard, if it’s that hard I’m not meant for it”.

Sensitivity Conjecture resolved – Aaronson’s post was the first I saw, but all the theoretical CS blogs I follow talked about a very pretty paper that just arrived on ArxiV: Induced subgraphs of hypercubes and a proof of the Sensitivity Conjecture. I didn’t know about the problem, but the paper is very readable (as long as you have some notion of matrix eigenvalues, basically) and the proof is very pretty. I cannot say that I have a good understanding of it (at least not in my definition of understanding maths), but I do understand enough to see that it’s very elegant. So that definitely enters “cool stuff” (if only for the reason “hey I read a (short) paper and I still understood ‘enough’ of it for my own satisfaction” 😉 ).

Cities:Skyline – The Board Game – actually, everything’s in the link title. It’s planned for October (Essen release?), it’s a cooperative, and that’s already enough to get me interested/curious 🙂

SMBC about mind privacy – since my own brain is particularly vulnerable to that attack, this made me laugh a lot 😉

XKCD about predictive models and about coordinate precision – both made me laugh a lot too 🙂

2 thoughts on “Cool stuff

  1. Never told you, but these “cool friday posts” are my preferred ones. Lots of real good nuggets there, I should take some inspiration.
    Out of curiosity, what is your process to go from “this is cool reading in the bus” to “this is a blog post”?


    1. I basically always have a “Cool stuff” blog post open in edit on the blog, and whenever I find something cool I drop a comment about it 🙂 So it basically writes itself. And since I do the very vast majority of my Internet reading on my PC at home, it’s actually even easier because I don’t have to remember or to do it in any delayed fashion.


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