Archives for January, 2013

Writing in the online statistics magazine Significance, Angie Wade, of University College London, has posted a review of Taking Sudoku Seriously. That’s the book about the mathematics of Sudoku puzzles that I cowrote with my JMU colleague Laura Taalman, published by Oxford University Press, for those not in the know. Anyway, did Wade like the…

Agnosticism Is For Wimps

Remember that scene in A Fish Called Wanda, where Kevin Kline, talking to a British woman who has cornered him in rhetorical combat, says, with maximal sarcasm, “Oh, you British are soooooo superior.” That’s pretty much how I feel when I read essays written by agnostics. By all means make whatever arguments it amuses you…

One thing I noticed during the years I spent attending YEC conferences was the extent to which pseudointellectualism was an integral part of their culture. The leaders of the movement frequently behaved in ways reminiscent of how non-scientists imagine that scientists behave. This is definitely a point of commonality between YEC and ID. A recent…

Lincoln

I finally got around to seeing Lincoln yesterday. Great movie! Daniel Day-Lewis is as good as you’ve heard. James Spader probably deserved a supporting actor nomination for playing the leader of a group of three people dispatched by Lincoln to encourage, cajole, and openly bribe wavering Democratic representatives. (The Republicans were the good guys in…

Today we have cause to celebrate. I am breaking the months-long chess drought at this blog. You see, the future game of the year was just played in the big chess tournament at Wijk aan Zee in the Netherlands, and I could not live with myself if I did not share it with you. Playing…

As part of their ongoing campaign to botch as many personnel decisions as possible, the Obama administration recently announced that the Reverend Louie Giglio, of Atlanta, would deliver the benediction at the forthcoming inaugural. They rescinded the invitation, however, when an anti-gay sermon preached by Giglio many years ago came to light. The administration should…

What Do Mathematicians Do?

The annual Joint Mathematics Meetings are taking place in San Diego this week. For the first time in more than a decade, they are taking place without me. Well, if I can’t actually go this year, I might as well write about it. I have a guest post up over at the Oxford University Press…

Les Miz

In this post, from last year, I mentioned that I regard Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables as the finest novel ever written. I also think the musical version actually captures the spirit of the novel pretty well, far better than any of the non-musical film adaptations that have appeared over the years. You can imagine, then,…

Who Knew It Was All So Simple?

Yesterday’s mail brought the new issue of “Prayer News,” the newsletter of Creation Ministries International. (What can I say? I’m on several creationist mailing lists. At least it arrived along with the new issue of Free Inquiry to dilute the effect.) The lead article is called “Why Don’t They Get It?” by Scott Gillis, and…

Pruett on Scientism

I am happy to report that my back is now completely healed up from its recent travails, and I can now sit in perfect comfort for arbitrarily long periods of time. So let’s see if we can wake up this sleepy little blog… My friend Dave Pruett, recently retired from a long and successful career…