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# Posts

### November 28, 2014

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Nous présentons le livre « Fous d'équations. Les 24 plus belles équations de l'univers » de Dana Mackenzie. - Billets des habitués
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Voici une présentation du problème de la fin heureuse, plus connu en français (et sans doute en hongrois) sous le nom du happy end problem. - Echos de la recherche / Piste rouge, featured
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Chaque semaine, un défi du calendrier mathématique 2014... - Défis du Calendrier Mathématique 2014 / Carrousel

### November 27, 2014

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Sheets of single-atom thick carbon absorb the impact of bullets more efficiently than steel, paving the way for lightweight, super-strong bulletproof vests
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Physicist: As long as the person who cut the straws: 1) takes the last remaining straw and 2) has a decent poker face (or doesn’t know which is which), then it’s completely fair.  If they have a bad poker face, … Continue reading →
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non sempre le cose sono come sembrano. Prendiamo l'esempio del liceo classico....statistica, bias, correlazione, Piero AngelaThe post Cause, effetti e bias appeared first on Il Post.
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A retraction has appeared for Jens Förster, the former University of Amsterdam social psychologist whose work has come under serious scrutiny by two official committees. Here’s the notice for 2012’s “Sense Creative! The Impact of Global and Local Vision, Hearing, Touching, Tasting and Smelling on Creative and Analytic Thought,” a paper which first appeared in […]
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Time in the pub led to the realisation that beer spills less easily than coffee, and time in the lab helped explain why
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If you watch this and you could swear you remember Johnny and Mr. Carlson discussing Pink Floyd, you're not imagining things. Hulu uses the DVD edit which cuts out almost all of the copyrighted music. . As for my favorite line, it comes from the Buffy episode "Pangs" and it requires a bit of a set up (which is a pain because it makes it next to impossible to work into a conversation).Buffy's luckless friend Xander had accidentally violated a native American grave yard and, in addition to […]

### November 26, 2014

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In this week's Statshot: net neutrality, reusable letters and Lionel Messi
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Yesterday, we reported on the discovery by BioMed Central that there were about 50 papers in their editorial system whose authors had recommended fake peer reviewers. Those “reviewers” had submitted reviews of a number of manuscripts, and five of the papers had been published. (BMC posted a blog examining the case this morning.) For some […]
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A one-time media favorite is being accused of serious misconduct in three cases where he inserted artificial windpipes into patients and treated them with stem cells. Two of the patients have died; one survives, but needs her airway cleaned every four hours by hospital staff to keep her alive. A little over two years ago, thoracic […]
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Given some recent discussions, I perhaps ought to go back and clarify my position on Google's driverless cars. The Google part is important. Lots of companies, particularly big auto makers like GM and Nissan, are seriously pursuing this research. However, when you read a news account about autonomous vehicles, most of the time it's a story about Google which is troublesome for at least two reasons: first because there are some big concerns that are particularly applicable to Google's approach; […]
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A few years ago, I developed this checkers variant based on non-transitive relationships to help my students get some experience working with the concept. I'll talk more about the game and its development later, but in the meantime, here's a link to the webstore at Amazon.For another example of non-transitive play, check this out. If nothing else, it will give you something to talk about if you ever meet Warren Buffet.
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This is an excellent time to go back and reread "Against Law, For Order" by Mike Konczal. Since this essay appeared in April of 2012, we've seen the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the grand jury ruling on Darren Wilson and any number of additional incidents that support Konczal's troubling but convincing argument.

### November 25, 2014

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BioMed Central has uncovered about fifty manuscripts in their editorial system that involved fake peer reviewers, Retraction Watch has learned. Most of the cases were not published because they were discovered by a manuscript editor on a final pre-publication check. The five or so that have been published will go through some sort of re-review, […]
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A new editorial in the Journal of Patient Safety accuses former editor and patient safety expert Charles Denham of having undeclared conflicts of interest in nine out of ten articles he published in the journal. Denham was at the center of massive controversy earlier this year, when the government accused him of taking more than \$11 million in […]
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By: Samir Chopra Jason Osder's searing Let the Fire Burn--a documentary about the tragic standoff between the radical black liberation group MOVE and the Philadelphia city administration in 1985--is ostensibly a documentary about an America of thirty years ago, but it is also about the America of today. Last night,...
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A nanoparticle article published earlier this year has been retracted by RSC Advances for lack of reproducibility, although we haven’t been able to get more details about what happened. Here’s the notice for “Sonochemical synthesis of poly(methyl methacrylate) core–surfactin shell nanoparticles for recyclable removal of heavy metal ions and its cytotoxicity” (freely available but requires sign-in): We, the named […]
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There's another flight going on between Viacom and a cable provider. Suddenlink, a major provider for much of the middle of the country, has recently dropped all of by a calms basic cable channels. This includes big names such as MTV, Nickelodeon, TVland, and Comedy Central. In Their place Suddenlink has scheduled some decidedly second-tier alternatives. Fans of Jon Stewart now have to make do with Jon Lovitz.The story hasn't gotten a lot of attention (as often happens when you're on Central […]
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One aspect of Nietzsche’s political thought of note is the strong tendency to replace politics with culture as the source of value. Some sense of cultural value as the human goal, or at least a major aspect of flourishing humanity, or some flourishing group of humans, goes back to The...

### November 24, 2014

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Yesterday was 23/11, also known in some parts as 11/23, and you may recognise this as being a date made of the first four Fibonacci numbers. (Such numerical date-based Fibonacci coincidences haven’t been as exciting since 5/8/13, but at least this is one we can celebrate annually.) This meant that mathematicians everywhere got excited about #FibonacciDay, and spent... Read more »
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Want to try your hand at particle physics? The home of the Higgs boson discovery has released data from all its experiments online for anyone to use
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Last week, we wrote about conservationist Stuart Pimm receiving criticism for casual sexism in a recent book review. The journal did not retract the review, but it released an editor’s note condemning the language Pimm used, including quoting a movie scene in which a man told a woman “I don’t take whores in taxis.” Some […]
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Regular Retraction Watch readers may have noticed that legal issues seem to be popping up more often in the cases we cover. There has been a lawsuit filed against PubPeer commenters, for example, and Nature last month blamed lawyers for delayed and opaque retraction notices. It was those cases and others that prompted us to […]
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This is Joseph.As a follow-up to Mark's post, Megan McArdle has this great point:If the left-wing MSM is indeed biased against you, then your strategy needs to take that into account. Do you have a plan for compelling the left-wing MSM to treat you fairly? If not, then you should not settle upon a course of action that would work, if only this fact were not true. You don't launch your cavalry regiment against a Panzer battalion on the grounds that you could beat the Germans if only they […]
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Here’s a small collection of links to articles about Alexandre Grothendieck, French/German mathematician and algebraic geometer, who died on Wednesday 13 November aged 86. He was a pioneer in the field, and has been described as ‘the greatest mathematician of the 20th century’. His obituary in The Telegraph The AMS announcement A New York Times obituary An obituary at Liberation and another obituary... Read more »
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Ralph Waldo Emerson diceva che “Scovare i piccoli errori è la gioia delle piccole menti”. Bene, abbiamo trovato un altro problema che Ghersi ha copiato da qualcun altro (Loyd, chiaro: è lui il “tema” di quest’anno). E siccome lo conoscete, ci prendiamo qualche libertà sarcastica. Questo è un problema classico per i ferrovieri, presentato per mostrare [...]
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Un Congrès excluant les mathématiciens juifs et comment réagir à cette situation ? - Mathématiques ailleurs / Piste verte, featured

### November 23, 2014

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Looking for a gift that says, “Hey, I know you like math”? Look no further. There is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to wonderful mathematical things to give to people, but here are some of... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com