This has been a contentious week, so, if you want to have high-intensity fights not about the presidency, may I suggest the board game Credo? Here’s the description from BoardGameGeek:
Odd premise for a game, players represent early Christians arguing over the actual precepts of their Church. The game mechanism involves collecting worshipers to your side, gaining money and influence over different factions, and you can win by reaching different goals. As the game proceeds, gradually the 10 basic “beliefs” are established.
Still need cheering up? Or more outlets for your joy? The NYT ran an article recently on “jookin” — a hip hop inflected dance style. That article led me to the video below of a jookin dancer performing to live accompaniment by Yo Yo Ma.
It is so hard to watch that and accept that all the moves are done in real time, with no special effects. Even if I believed the dancer was using wires for his gravity-defying moves, I’d still be suspicious that the tape was being sped up and down, since how could anyone move like that, even with support?
Read this quote first with no context:
Ian Stewart wrote about Steve Omohundro’s extension to an arbitrary number of pirates in the May 1999 edition of Scientific American and described the rather intricate pattern that emerges in the solution
I’ll be starting my costume soon for the Hobbit premiere (which we’ll be seeing in 3D since my housemate thinks we need to have faith in Peter Jackson and he did put a lot of thought into the tech). To spell us over, the video below isn’t in 3D or 48 fps, but is quite delightful.
And that’s not the only movie I’m thrilled about this winter. I’ll be recieved into the Catholic Church next Sunday, so this will be the first Christmas that I’ll be attending Mass. On Christmas day, however, I’ll still be loyal to our good New York Jew(ish) tradition of Chinese food and a movie, and oh, what a movie.
(And there was much rejoicing)
I assume, like me, that you’re too suffused by joy (and a desire to relisten to the whole soundtrack and sing all of Jarvert’s bits very loudly and aggressively in the shower) to need any more cheering if your candidate lost, but just in case, I’ve got some math links. The Civil Statistician blog sees an overlap between the skills needed for good science fiction and good empirical thinking:
I think statistics could be presented as a kind of “applied science fiction.” When you perform a hypothesis test of whether some parameter is 0, you
- assume it *is* 0,
- imagine what kinds of data you would probably have seen under that assumption, and then
- if the real data you *did* see is unlikely under that assumption, decide that the assumption is probably wrong.
A New Yorker essay titled “Why Writers Should Learn Math” is total me-bait. Here’s a quote:
What ballet is to football players, mathematics is to writers, a discipline so beguiling and foreign, so close to a taboo, that it actually attracts a few intrepid souls by virtue of its impregnability. The few writers who have ventured headlong into high-level mathematics—Lewis Carroll, Thomas Pynchon, David Foster Wallace—have been among our most inventive in both the sentences they construct and the stories they create.
As anyone who has taken a standardized test in the last half-century knows, math and “language arts” run on parallel tracks for much of one’s school career. Both begin with an emphasis on rote memorization of the basics: sentence diagrams, multiplication tables. Later, though, both disciplines become more heady: English class discards grammar in favor of the ideas lurking beneath textual surfaces, while math leaves off earthbound algebra, soaring along the ranges of calculus.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!