Linkage
In which I discover kramdown’s inability to pass raw verticalbar characters to MathJax… (workaround: use \vert
)

Turkish arrest of Betül Tanbay (\(\mathbb{M}\), G+, via). Tanbay is the former president of the Turkish Mathematical Society, and was accused of implausible crimes, but released the next day after an international furor. Many of the other academics Turkey has done the same to in their totalitarian clampdown haven’t fared as well.

Lior Pachter fesses up to once being juvenile about names of mathematics theorems, and connects it to the recent kerfuffle over whether the NIPS conference should change its name to something that isn’t simultaneously a reference to female anatomy and an antiasian slur (\(\mathbb{M}\), G+, via).

Baking Babylonian cuneiform tablets in gingerbread (\(\mathbb{M}\)). It’s a gingerbread replica of YBC 7289! This Babylonian tablet shows a highly accurate sexagesimal representation of the square root of two as the diagonal of a unit square.

A note on universal point sets for planar graphs (\(\mathbb{M}\)). A universal point set is a set of points that can be used as the vertices for straightline drawings of every \(n\)vertex planar graph. We still don’t know how big they have to be, as the best lower bounds are only a little more than \(n\) while the best upper bounds are quadratic, but now the best lower bounds are a little bigger than they were thanks to this new preprint by Scheucher, Schrezenmaier, and Steiner.

Survey on fusible numbers (\(\mathbb{M}\), via). Fusible numbers are what you get from \(0\) by operations \(f(x,y)=(x+y+1)/2\) restricted to \(\left\vert xy\right\vert \lt 1\). They model a puzzle of measuring time intervals using \(1\)minute fuses whose ends you can light when another fuse burns out, and are wellordered with unknown order type. In the via link, Jeff Erickson calls his (wrong) conjecture “one of my bugs that really should be better known” and points out the lack of progress since 2012.

Robert Langlands, Edward Frenkel, and their differing approaches to the Langlands program (\(\mathbb{M}\), G+, via).

Duchamp’s Fountain, again (\(\mathbb{M}\), G+). This time, the question isn’t who actually created it, but how to describe its change of orientation from a normally positioned urinal.

Handmade paper toys by Haruki Nakamura spring, fold, and jump into action (\(\mathbb{M}\)).

TCS aggregator for collecting new theoretical computer science content as a twitter stream (\(\mathbb{M}\)), newly handed over from its creator Arvind Narayanan to Suresh Venkatasubramanian.
While I’m posting about feeds, here are some instructions for obtaining RSS feeds for Mastodon accounts.

Academic freedom and Derek Pyne (\(\mathbb{M}\)). Unless the story has another side that we haven’t heard, it’s quite disturbing: Pyne, an econ professor at Thompson Rivers University in Canada, published a peerreviewed study showing that many of his colleagues had been using predatory publishers, and rather than addressing the issue the campus administrators suspended him and banned him from campus for being a troublemaker.

Stories About a “Seagull” (\(\mathbb{M}\), via). UCI librarian John Sisson posts scans of a 1966 Soviet children’s book about astronaut Valentina Tereshkova.

In a ball of paper, scientists discover a landscape of surprising mathematical order (\(\mathbb{M}\), G+, via). Siobhan Roberts in the NYT writes about Omer Gottesman’s discovery that when repeatedly crumpling paper, the total length of the creases is surprisingly predictable.

Tadashi Tokieda discovers new physical phenomena by looking at the everyday world with the eyes of a child (\(\mathbb{M}\)).

Choose your own adventure (\(\mathbb{M}\), G+). Alison Marr and two students visualize the graph structures of chooseyourownadventure books.

Larry Lessig on how “industry influence can affect even the ethically engaged professional” (\(\mathbb{M}\), G+). And how this corruption can lead to antiscientific popular backlashes such as the antiGMO movement. Excerpt from his book America, Compromised in The Chronicle of Higher Education; may require subscription for access.