Linkage

Hoffman’s packing puzzle, and its connection to the inequality of arithmetic and geometric means (\(\mathbb{M}\)). The one I have is not quite so colorful as the illustration for this new Wikipedia article. My fatherinlaw made it for me some 30 years ago; you can see it in a corner of the photo at this post. I don’t unpack it very often, though, because I lost track of the handwritten table of solutions that I made when I first got it and it’s quite difficult to repack.

How the Iranian government shut off the internet (\(\mathbb{M}\)). According to this story, they have effected “a neartotal internet and mobile data blackout” in an attempt to quell gasolineprice protests.

A Market for TCS Papers?? (\(\mathbb{M}\), with Vijay Vazirani, on the “Turing’s Invisible Hand” blog.) The current situation with theoretical computer science conference reviewing is a mess of long publication delays and reviewer overload caused by repeated submissions and rejections. Vijay and I argue that it should instead be treated as a matching market with pooled submissions and stable matching, getting better results for less time and effort.

SODA 2020 accepted papers (\(\mathbb{M}\)). It only lists titles and authors, but if you notice a title you find intriguing you can find find more detail elsewhere. However, this depends on avoiding obscure titles; if, say, you found a breakthrough on clustered planarity showing that it’s in polynomial time, but you titled your paper “Atomic Embeddability, Clustered Planarity, and Thickenability”, others might not notice.

Did you know that William Chapple (\(\mathbb{M}\)) discovered Euler’s formula for circumcenterincenter distance before Euler, Poncelet’s porism on families of triangles inscribed and circumscribed by the same two circles before Poncelet, and was the first to publish a proof that Euclid missed, on the existence of orthocenters of triangles? Did you know that a street in Witheridge is named for him? Have you even heard of William Chapple before? Or Witheridge? Now you have.

Portal Icosahedron by Anthony James (\(\mathbb{M}\)). An icosahedral frame, infinity mirrors, and LED lighting create a view into an infinite icosahedral grid, creating an effect that, in the jargon of the art world, “is both esoteric and industrial, orphic and distinctly concrete”. Whatever that’s supposed to mean.

Get ready to change all of your bookmarks for nonprofit organizations (\(\mathbb{M}\), via) as the toplevel .org domain name registry is sold to profiteers, drops its own nonprofit status, and eliminates price caps on domain name renewals.

Ian Wanless on mathematician Eliyahu Rips and his Ig Nobel Prize for Literature (\(\mathbb{M}\)). An entertaining generalaudience talk; audio only.

Charles Darwin’s first drawing of an evolutionary tree (\(\mathbb{M}\)).

Bechdelgrams illustrate of whether a movie passes the Bechdel test (\(\mathbb{M}\)). A nice use of color to highlight the information you’re looking for in a social network: Here, the network consists of interactions between characters in a film, and the women and conversations not about men are given distinctive colors to show the test criteria: does the film have at least two named female characters, who speak to each other, about something other than men?

Rogan Brown creates intricate paper sculptures inspired by microorganisms (\(\mathbb{M}\)).

Some recent openaccess conference proceedings (\(\mathbb{M}\)): 27th European Symp. on Algorithms (ESA); 30th Int. Symp. on Algorithms and Computation (ISAAC); 22nd Japan Conf. on Discrete and Computational Geometry, Graphs, and Games (JCDCGGG). JCDCGGG is not very selective (think CCCG but more so), but I have a paper there with several coauthors on ununfoldable polyhedra with few vertices.

The Nefertiti bust meets the 21st century (\(\mathbb{M}\), via). Interesting essay on claims of intellectual property on ancient artifacts (in this case a highresolution 3d scan of a bust of Nefertiti), clearly invalid under both US law and stillbeingimplemented EU law and “dangerously close to committing copy fraud”.