Category Archives: science

Running on empty

Driving over the river and through the woods yesterday, I was running low on fuel. My car has two kinds of instruments to tell me that I’ll soon be standing by the side of the road feeling foolish. A conventional … Continue reading

Posted in mathematics, modern life, science | 1 Comment

The figure in the flagstone

The banner image at the top of this page might be taken for an algorithmic attempt to imitate a fern, although in my opinion the pattern bears a closer resemblance to the two-dimensional corals known as sea fans, or gorgonians. … Continue reading

Posted in science | 2 Comments

Empty-niche syndrome

Life has found its way into most of the nooks and crannies of this planet, including some inhospitable ones. Fish with antifreeze in their blood occupy the coldest ocean waters, and whole communities of worms and clams thrive at geothermal … Continue reading

Posted in science | 3 Comments

Setting the river straight

A post here a few weeks ago discussed the late Luna B. Leopold and his work on the shapes of rivers. I mentioned in that item that Leopold collected data on a small stream called Watts Branch, near Washington, DC. … Continue reading

Posted in science | Comments Off

PageRank for physicists

Scientists are selfless seekers after truth, unswayed by worldly emoluments, immune to the tawdry enticements of fame, indifferent to prizes and honors. Thus I can’t quite imagine why anyone would bother ranking a collection of scientific papers by applying the … Continue reading

Posted in modern life, physics, science | 1 Comment