Monthly Archives: October 2012

On the sunny side

The invented etymology of posh—which says it’s an acronym for “port out, starboard home”—is utterly bogus. Nevertheless, when I book airline seats I always try to get a window on the shady side. Photography is easier with the sun at … Continue reading

Posted in photography | 3 Comments

Remember the memristor?

Less than two years ago, I was reading and writing about a new kind of passive circuit element—the memristor, a companion to the resistor, the capacitor and the inductor. (See the bit-player coverage, a bit-player followup and my American Scientist … Continue reading

Posted in computing, technology | 5 Comments

Dancing with the Spheres

In my latest American Scientist column I’m packing spheres again. The goal this time is to maximize the number of contact points where spheres touch each other. For example, four spheres in a tetrahedral cluster have six contacts; this is … Continue reading

Posted in computing, featured, mathematics | 5 Comments

College ties

Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight blog for the New York Times applies computational statistics to U.S. presidential politics. A recent post discusses the possibility of a tie vote in the Electoral College. If the votes on November 6 should come out according … Continue reading

Posted in computing, mathematics | 5 Comments