Yikes! I meant to post this a month ago. Here are a few (dated) links:
- Carl Bialik at the WSJ analyzes how the top four seeds have performed at major tennis tournaments. Fewer unseeded men have reached the semifinals in the men’s tournament in recent years, meaning that the top seeds are very strong. This hasn’t always been the case: the strength of the top seeds have waxed and waned over time.
- How many moves does it take to solve a Rubik’s cube? No matter how scrambled a Rubik’s cube is, it can be solved in 20 moves or less (not by me, but by somebody who knows what they are doing). This is surprising, and much lower than I would have expected.
- An NSF funded study shoes that routine weather events such as deviations in temperature and precipitation have a $485B impact on the economy. The economy is fairly sensitive to minor changes in the weather. Now I wonder how extreme weather events affect the economy relative to routine weather events. Any thoughts?
- I saw an episode of TLC’s Extreme Couponing and instantly wanted to become an extreme couponer (I’m already a pretty good one). Here are eight rules to take your couponing game to the next level. Sadly, I’ll have to be a non-extreme couponer.
- Do Americans prefer to have girl or boy babies? Polling results show that the preference depends on gender and has been surprisingly invariant over time. This may be meaningless since it polls people who are not necessarily trying to have kids. Other anecdotal evidence from parents actively trying to conceive or adopt paints a different picture.
- How to make a Darth Vader carrot.
August 2nd, 2011 at 9:24 am
Just a quick note on “God’s number”: Rokicki/Kociemba/Davidson/Dethridge had already proven Rubik’s cube’s solvability in 20 moves or less (via enumeration) [http://cube20.org/]. Demaine et al. provide a formal proof which holds for generalized n × n × n cubes and show that those can be solved optimally in Θ(n^2 / log n) moves.
August 2nd, 2011 at 9:51 am
Thanks for the great references!