After the way 2016 has gone, I plan on eating extra black eyed peas tomorrow. We’re going to need all the good luck we can get. The Internet is unclear on how the black eyed pea became associated with good luck on New Year’s Day. I think the story about Sherman’s March is not […]Read more "Good Luck, We’ll Need It"
Donald Trump gave The Board an early Christmas present last week on his Twitter feed. Like most people, I don’t really think early morning tweets are the best format for communicating nuclear policy. The limitations of Twitter might not have mattered much if the Trump campaign had presented any official position of nuclear weapons policy. Instead […]Read more "Nuclear Friday: The Mission"
I’m late. It’s already Christmas in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Except Kwajalein. That’s among the last places on Earth it will be Christmas since they moved it to the other side of the International Date Line from the rest of the Marshalls back in the sixties. Well, they didn’t move Kwajalein, they moved […]Read more "Christmas Cheer"
Watching It’s a Wonderful Life wasn’t much of a holiday tradition until the early eighties.Thanks to careless paperwork during film studio mergers, this film lapsed into public domain. TV stations that owned or could acquire a print of It’s a Wonderful Life smelled the profits, and thus a tradition of “Special Presentations” was born. As a result, George Bailey […]Read more "Nuclear Friday: George Bailey Wants to Communicate"
Leonard Cohen died a few months ago and in all the excitement of the election season I forgot to go beyond the usual obituaries and read any commentary from his close friends and musical collaborators. Jennifer Warnes probably worked more with Cohen more than any other anyone else. She began singing backup vocals for Cohen […]Read more "Warnes on Cohen"
Carbon, atomic number 6, has three naturally occurring isotopes with atomic masses of 12, 13, and 14. The relative abundance of these three isotopes in a sample of material can reveal many secrets. We can tell how fusion works in stars from carbon isotopes. Carbon can reveal the source and age of organic molecules. Carbon can tell […]Read more "Nuclear Friday: The Three Carbons"
Folks liked my post with Hannah Fry presenting her deranged permutation solution to the Secret Santa problem, so here she is as a guest on Matt Parker’s Standupmaths channel presenting her insights on optimal strategies for Christmas Monopoly games. She’s done a full Markov chain analysis of Monopoly and has confirmed cruder analyses of Monopoly and has […]Read more "Capitalist Christmas"