But in all these years, am I really the only one to have noticed that the comic and the T-shirt are wrong? The peak energy density of the cosmic microwave background radiation occurs at 160.2 GHz, not 160.4 GHz as the shirt says.
Many of you are probably familiar with Information is Beautiful, a blog that attempts to demonstrate how complex information can be presented in a clear, transparent and visually pleasing manner. They usually succeed, but the latest entry is an absolute horror: Continue reading “Information is hard” »
More-or-less aimless surfing brought me to an old blog post about math in movies, which mentions Pi and Contact. This mostly coincidental juxtaposition reminded me of the conclusion of the novel behind the latter.
When I first read the book, a zillion years ago, I thought the ending was pretty clever. Then I realized that it was incredibly dumb. It later occurred to me that it might actually be intentionally dumb, and therefore incredibly clever, because Carl Sagan really ought to have known better, but… I don’t know. I think he either genuinely goofed or assumed (probably correctly, in most cases) that his readers wouldn’t notice. Continue reading “Pi” »
Sums it up rather nicely.
My wife is a researcher at the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis. She is currently involved in a project to sequence and annotate the Gadus morhua genome. In case you didn’t know, sequencing a genome requires breaking it into tiny little bits, sequencing the little bits, and assembling the results into a complete genome. This takes time. Lots of time. On Wednesday, K and I were both wearing the same T-shirt, and one of K’s cow-orkers made the obvious pun. I just couldn’t resist running with it:
The original is here.