Yearly Archives: 2014


Pick a number, N, then try searching for it on the web via Bing or Google (or maybe the leet version of Google). What can you expect to learn? I wasn’t quite sure of the answer, so I ran some … Continue reading

Posted in computing, mathematics | 20 Comments

Four Fifths = A Fifth

Browsing in the library stacks the other day, I came upon this passage in a 1970 paper discussing the uses of computers in mathematics: Notice anything fishy about that equation? On the right side of the equal sign we have … Continue reading

Posted in computing, mathematics | 8 Comments


Sifting through the election results last week, I noticed that the precinct where I used to live in Durham, North Carolina, voted 620 to 40 in favor of the Blue candidate in the U.S. Senate race. That’s a margin of … Continue reading

Posted in social science, statistics | 19 Comments

Revised and Updated

The new edition of my big picturebook, Infrastructure: A Guide to the Industrial Landscape, was published October 27th and is now on display in better bookstores everywhere. Above is the cover; below is the book as seen in the wild—on … Continue reading

Posted in books | 2 Comments

Sunshine In = Earthshine Out

No computer simulations have ever had broader consequences for human life than the current generation of climate models. The models tell us that rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases can trigger abrupt shifts in the planet’s … Continue reading

Posted in computing, featured, physics | 3 Comments