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Twitter Sort

Cheeky as hell:

Twitter Sort is a sorting algorithm that takes advantage of the Twitter API. You pass the script the numbers you would like sorted and it will tweet a request asking for somebody to sort them. When someone replies with a sorted version of the numbers, it will print them to the console and return.

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Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight Relaunches as NYT Blog

A great pickup for the NYT, and makes a lot of sense for Silver, too. If you’re not familiar with FiveThirtyEight, it is the work of statistician Nate Silver doing his mathamagic on US Politics. He modeled the 2008 US election nearly perfectly. Do yourself a favor and read his introduction post.

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Math advice for paranoid aliens

John August crowd-sources answers to some screenwriting issues in his blog comments.

Far away on a distant planet, an intelligent but very paranoid species is constructing a series of terrestrial watchtowers to scan the heavens, making sure no space-traveling enemies sneak up on them.

You can think of these watchtowers as observatories, each one watching a 180-degree (half-sphere) swath of the sky. For this simplest version, you can ignore complications like atmospheric distortion or possible moons.

Question #1: For complete coverage, what is the minimum number of watchtowers they need to build?

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Bill Simmons on Sabermetrics

Sabermetrics turns Baseball into a math nerd’s game. I find nothing wrong with that whatsoever.