The world cup is almost once more amongst us, which means interminable weeks of breathless coverage, punditry, and heartfelt professions that each match will be played at 110%. In an effort to inject some more quantitative rigour to a field which, apparently, could do with some, let’s try and predict how the whole thing will play out.
I recently tried my hand at throwing axes at a wall, courtesy of Whistle Punks in London. While this was a fun and satisfyingly macho activity, I noticed that the attendants were careful to position people at various distances from the target to increase their chances of success. This piqued my curiosity, so here I’ll have a look at why that might be.
Intriguing title, no? These are the first eleven words of Neal Stephenson’s novel Seveneves, which set up the remaining 600 pages as an extended treatise on the future of humanity as it copes with certain annihilation. I thoroughly recommend it, as long as you can deal with hundreds of pages of orbital mechanics. In this post I will numerically explore this post-lunar age, to verify for myself if it would be as deadly as described.
This blog has been getting a bit too pop-science for my tastes recently. Card games? Word clouds? Urgh. Let’s do some proper physics. I hope you’re paying attention at the back.
Holidays are so relaxing. You know the drill: lounge around, eat and drink haphazardly, play card games, simulate several million card games to gain an advantage over your opponents, go for walks, visit the seaside, derive relationships for expected values of card hands, buy chocolates, smash unsuspecting opponents through brute force, send a postcard, etc. etc.