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August 11, 2019

New Zealand Police Recruitment Video

August 11, 2019 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Experts' Expert: Honoré de Balzac on how to prepare coffee

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From the New Yorker: "Honoré de Balzac is said to have consumed the equivalent of fifty cups of coffee a day at his peak. He did not drink coffee, though — he pulverized coffee beans into a fine dust and ingested the dry powder on an empty stomach. He described the approach as 'horrible, rather brutal,' to be tried only by men of 'excessive vigor.'"

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"He documented the effects of the process in his 1839 essay 'Traité des Excitants Modernes' ('Treatise on Modern Stimulants')."

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Excerpts above.

August 11, 2019 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

A coin toss is not random

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From NPR:

Flipping a coin may not be the fairest way to settle disputes.

Around the mid-90s, statistician Persi Diaconis started to wonder if the outcome of a coin flip really is just a matter of chance.

He had Harvard University engineers build him a mechanical coin flipper (above and below).

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Diaconis, now at Stanford University, found that if a coin is launched exactly the same way, it lands exactly the same way.

The randomness in a coin toss, it appears, is introduced by sloppy humans.

Each human-generated flip has a different height and speed, and is caught at a different angle, giving different outcomes.

But using high speed cameras and equations, Diaconis and colleagues have now found that even though humans are largely unpredictable coin flippers, there's still a bias built in: If a coin starts out heads, it ends up heads when caught more often than it does tails.

*Note: In football's kickoff coin toss, the coin is not caught but allowed to bounce on the ground. That introduces an extra complication, one mathematicians have yet to sort out.

August 11, 2019 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Experts' Expert: How a mathematician converts miles to kilometers

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• 1 mi ≈ 1.609 km

• The ratio of consecutive Fibonacci numbers Fₙ₊₁/Fₙ tends to the golden ratio φ ≈ 1.618 as n increases

• So Fₙ mi ≈ Fₙ₊₁ km

[via Tamás Görbe]

August 11, 2019 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Adversarial Fashion

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From Adversarial Fashion:

The patterns on the goods in this shop are designed to trigger Automated License Plate Readers, injecting junk data into the systems used by the State and its contractors to monitor and track civilians and their locations.

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How it works:

The patterns on this page were generated by testing a series of modified license plate images with commercial ALPR APIs, working to generate aesthetic fabric patterns that read into devices and services as if they were real plates.

August 11, 2019 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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