Category Archives: technology

The 39th Root of 92

My new office space suffers from a shortage of photons, so I’ve been wiring up light fixtures. As I was snaking 14-gauge cable through the ceiling cavity, I began to wonder: Why is it called 14-gauge? I know that the … Continue reading

Posted in computing, mathematics, technology | 12 Comments

The Mother Ditch

I was in Santa Fe for a couple of weeks. When I went out for my morning run, I followed a paved pathway along the “river” (a parched, sandy channel, even in the monsoon season). I found my way back … Continue reading

Posted in off-topic, social science, technology | 2 Comments

Powerlessness

It’s been two weeks since the storm called Sandy hit the East Coast, with devastating effects on both people and infrastructure. I have some remarks to make about just one aspect of the damage: the prolonged power outage in parts … Continue reading

Posted in modern life, technology | 1 Comment

Fly me to the end of the alphabet

When I got to the Raleigh-Durham airport for a flight home last week, I was confronted with the following list of departures—almost half of which were actually nondepartures: I wasn’t surprised by the numerous cancellations and delays (flagged in red). … Continue reading

Posted in computing, statistics, technology | 8 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