Weekend reading (February 28)

February 28, 2014, 11:15 am

This week’s small shiny objects from around the interwebs:

John Cook has an interesting short article on the log semiring. Suitable for nontrivial examples in your next ring theory class.

Here’s a terrific short video that explains the Diffie-Hellman key exchange in terms of color mixing.

Here’s a longer video of John Baez talking about network theory, which we first mentioned a few weeks ago.

And here’s a video by Stephen Wolfram giving an introduction to the Wolfram Language. I’m curious to try this out.

Just in time for the NFL Draft season (OK, it’s still six weeks away, but whatever) here’s an interesting article on how the Dallas Cowboys used statistics and computers to revolutionize their approach to tracking and choosing players. Consider it an early prototype of Big Data.

Are today’s tablet and phone apps turning us into sociopaths? It might be more the case that they are unleashing the inner sociopath in each of us.

At, an article explaining why fear is the root of all your problems. I will refrain from commenting on how some adjunct faculty should put down the blogging software and read this for a minute.

From Lifehacker, some practical advice about how to avoid procrastination in the afternoons. I can attest to the “eating the right kind of sugar” advice – I bring in half-pints of blueberries or blackberries for afternoon snack most days, and that keeps me moving until it’s time to go home.

News you can use: Soaking bacon in water before cooking it reduces shrinkage by 50%.

Finally, something a lot of us knew already: Sriracha sauce makes you happier.

Enjoy your weekend, folks.

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