Boing Boing 

Podcast: Effective Altriusm interview with the author of "Doing Good Better"

Rick Kleffel talks to William MacAskill, the core of Effective Altruism, discussing EA and his book about it. It's much more pragmatic and entirely reasonable, not about extreme statistics and speculations."

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Why the United States refuses to go metric

"Let's be bold -- let's join the rest of the world and go metric," said Democratic presidential candidate Lincoln Chafee when he announced his bid for the Oval Office. CNN interviews John Bemelmans Marciano, author of Whatever Happened to the Metric System?, about why the US is the only industrialized nation not to use the metric system in business, or most other fields. (Above, U.S. Office of Education public service announcement from 1978.) From CNN:

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"People say the metric system makes sense," Marciano says, "But in nature we don't think about dividing things by 10, do we? We think of halves and feet and thirds."

Acres, for instance, were based on the amount of land a man could plow in a day.

"Throughout history we have measured things by ourselves," Marciano says. "We are really losing something with metric."

And another thing: People think the metric system has something to do with science. It doesn't, Marciano says, except that it is used in science and every scientist will probably put forth a convincing argument for why it's silly not to be metric.

"That's the biggest misconception," Marciano says. "The metric system has everything to do with capitalism. It's all about a selling system."

"Refusing to Give an Inch" (CNN)

Whatever Happened to the Metric System?: How America Kept Its Feet (Amazon)

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Donald Duck taught me how to play billiards

Before the age of YouTube, you cherished the chance to see a rerun—and you had to take notes.Read the rest

The geometry of fireworks

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“Enjoy the parabolic envelopes that form while those bright, sparkling, parabolic curves are etched into the sky tonight.” —Visualizing Math.

Video: HOWTO put a Rubik's Cube in a bottle

YouTuber Mathologer shares his technique for reassembling a Rubik's Cube inside a glass container. The secret? Magnets!

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Statistics Done Wrong: The Woefully Complete Guide

From a brilliant Web-rant to an indispensable guide to the perils of statistics and their remedies, Alex Reinhart's Statistics Gone Wrong is a spotter's guide to arrant nonsense cloaked in mathematical respectability.Read the rest

This 'numerical sledding game' is like Skifree, but with math

slopes

If you like math, puzzles or winter sports, you need to play Sinerider, a sledding game where you transform the slope with math equations.

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How to have mind-boggling fun with infinity

The human brain is happy working with nice finite numbers. As soon as you start working with infinity, things start happening that are completely counter-intuitive.Read the rest

Crypto puzzles and games for kids

Dev Gualtieri's newly published Secret Codes & Number Games: Cryptographic Projects & Number Games for Children Ages 5-16 is a thoughtfully designed introduction to crypto for kids.

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The beauty and wisdom of mathematics

Scientist and inventor Cliff Pickover introduces his newest book on the beauty of math, The Mathematics DevotionalRead the rest

Parable of the Polygons: segregation and "slight" racism


Vi Hart and Nicky Case created a brilliant "playable post" that challenges you to arrange two groups of polygons to make them "happy" by ensuring that no more than 2/3 of their neighbors are different.

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Beautiful, easy animations of equations

Max writes, "I made a small 'web-thing' that renders a 100x100 square of colored pixels based on an equation input by the user. You can use it to explore mathematics, or just enjoy the pretty colors. All creations are easily share-able by copying the URL."

WATCH: Origami expert creates "impossible" computer-generated shape

Mathematician and origami expert Tom Hull created this pleated multi-sliced cone from paper, never before accomplished since Robert Lang designed it via computer.

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Pi fleece provides warmth, irrationality


Thinkgeek's Pi Fleece keeps you warm and irrational with the first 413 digits of Pi in machine-washable fleece, measuring 45"x64".

Kickstarting another season of the outstanding Relatively Prime math podcast

Samuel Hansen's fantastic math podcast is everything a technical program should be deep but accessible, thoughtful but funny, and free for all; the new season is on Kickstarter for a few more hours! I put in $35.

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The Math Book: From Pythagoras to the 57th Dimension, 250 Milestones in the History of Mathematics

The astonishingly prolific author/scientist Clifford Pickover (see the review of his Book of Black for a list of some of his other books) is a math enthusiast with a talent for ferreting out fascinating anecdotes about math, and writing them in a way that inspires wonder.

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