Linkage

Melody Yang explains her bubbleblowing craft. I’m not sure if it’s really accurate to say that this explains “the science behind bubbles”, but it does at least describe how she makes them.

EU copyright reforms draw fire from scientists (via). “Concerns focus on a provision that would let publishers claim royalties for the use of snippets of information, such as tables” … “the proposed rule might even force scientists to pay fees to publishers for references they include”. The publishers’ response, which basically amounts to “don’t be silly, why would you think we would do that” rather than any explanation why they would be prevented from doing that, is not reassuring.

The Meaning of Life is 42 – But the Cost of Living is Capped at
32950 (G+). Anything that can be constructed from gliders in Conway’s Game of Life can be constructed using only 50 gliders. See second post for more details. 
With their move to steal babies from immigrants, the Trump regime upgrades itself from horrible, incompetent, and corrupt to criminals against humanity (G+, more G+ comments). So by now we already have mass ethnic concentration camps, with announced sizes bigger than the ones for the Japanese in WWII. How long until they become literal death camps and we reach an outright existential threat to the free people of the rest of the world?

How much smoothness does the tennis ball theorem need? A followup post on MathOverflow to the new Wikipedia article that I linked to a couple weeks ago.

Penrose tiles in Helsinki (via). Something for the mathematical tourist to see when visiting Helsinki for ALGO 2018 this August. From the via link, here’s a post in Finnish with more detail.

The Golden Samosa. Greg Egan folds a triangle to maximize the doublycovered area.

The July–August 2018 issue of the AWM Newsletter includes the news that Kathryn Mann has been awarded the Birman Research Prize in Topology and Geometry for her work on moduli spaces of group actions on manifolds, and that Pamela Gorkin will be this year’s Falconer lecturer. Also, I have a piece in there about women in mathematics on Wikipedia.

Stepping into a ThreeTorus. I suppose strictly speaking the orbifold you get from mirroring all six sides of a cube isn’t a 3torus, but a quotient of it. In any case Evelyn Lamb reports on an artistic installation that does this, and the effect on the viewer of being placed within this kind of space.

Continuous Line Artist view of Haken’s Gordian Knot. Mick Burton, an artist known for drawings that use a single continuous line to create the impression of complex and naturalistic shapes, looks at knot theory, selfoverlapping curves, and the visualization of Seifert surfaces.

Hoteling (G+). Lance Fortnow blogs about “hoteling”, the practice of not giving employees offices or even cubicles or their own desks but instead making them sit at unreserved tables in an open floor plan. He asks: “Would hoteling work in the academic world?”, and immediately answers “Never”. But, when I recently visited the University of Malmö for SWAT, I learned that they do exactly that.

EU sets Elsevier as the fox to guard the henhouse of open access (G+, via).