Book Review: The Music of the Primes, by Marcus du Sautoy (Nov '13)

What a cool book! A highly readable yet mathematically meaty tour of the history of the Riemann Hypothesis, with detours into prime numbers, internet encryption, and quantum mechanics. And that's just my review! The book is even cooler!

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New Article: The Most Awesomely-Named Things Ever (Sept '13)

Trying to come up with a name for your new invention? Learn from the best — check out this list of the most amazing badass names ever coined in the realms of science, history, and culture. What was the “Zanclean Flood”? What’s a “Hapax Legomenon”? Who cares, they have awesome names!!!

New Article: The Strangest Attemps Ever At Communicating With Aliens (August '13)

We learned in Paul Davies' book (see book reviews) why we haven't heard much from alien intelligence elsewhere in the universe. But we keep trying -- oh, we keep trying. Aside from the plain-vanilla messages (the Pioneer Plaque, the Arecibo Message), we've sent some strange stuff into space. Embarrassing stuff. Gross stuff. Read on to hear about my favorites, including one message that constitutes the single strangest topic I've written about on this entire site!

TimeBlimp: Get Your Geek On

Welcome to Timeblimp!

“Oh hey, I didn’t see you there!  Welcome!”

Ugh, that kind of intro is so hackneyed, that making fun of it is now also hackneyed.

You’ve found one of the foremost sites on the web for information you really don’t need.  This is where people go to arm themselves with facts to annoy others at parties.  No, we don’t mean political discussions, or how to make a better faux-hawk — the harmless facts, the interesting trivia that make life interesting.  The facts that sound better described using a nasal voice.  The dorky facts.

Math          Yeah, that’s right.  Math.
Science     She blinded me with bursts of coherent photons to the face!
Nature      That’s why we call them animals!
History     And leather elbow patches.
People      Feeling good about yourself lately?  Cut that crap out.
Culture     We drain the fun out of the art you love.
Opinion     Opinions are like mitochondria, everyone’s got about 10 billion.
Original Research    Why yes, that is a Macarthur Genius Grant that I’m picking my teeth with.
    We’ve hunted around for the interesting stories that we think are really cool.  Not just what techno-geeks and supreme academics will think of as cool  — I for one have heard how the transistor works one too many times — but the really cool stories about the world that even the algebra-disadvantaged could appreciate.And we’ve tried to find relatively obscure topics, stuff not covered by yer typical PBS show or Popular Mechanics article.  You’re not going to see much here on the causes of the Civil War, or on Relativity Theory.  The History Channel has pretty much wrote the book on World War II, and I think everyone on earth now knows that to a topologist, a doughnut is identical to a coffee cup.  But did you hear about the insects that understand prime numbers?  Or the day that America had no government at all?


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