Thinking of everyone back home

Well, Isaac seems to have picked the worst possible path that a Category 1 storm can take.  It came in just south of New Orleans, causing flooding of the Mississippi just south of the city, and then decided to just sit there.  Normally a tropical storm force winds might have somewhat limited damage, but 40Continue reading “Thinking of everyone back home”

Mathematics as a social entity

One of our greats, Bill Thurston passed away on Tuesday.  Since then my friends have been digging up old writings and discussing the work that he did.  This short essay in response to a Math Overflow question caught my eye though. [quote] It’s not mathematics that you need to contribute to. It’s deeper than that:Continue reading “Mathematics as a social entity”

Landing on Mars looks somewhat difficult

NASA’s newest Mars rover, Curiosity, is apparently the size of a compact car and is due to land August 5. This has got to be the best promotional video I’ve ever seen for anything: “Challenges of Getting to Mars: Curiosity’s Seven Minutes of Terror” Unfortunately, this may be our last rover for a long time.Continue reading “Landing on Mars looks somewhat difficult”