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POTW 4!

It went up a little late this week, because of my recent travels, but we do have a new Problem of the Week. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

Happy Darwin Day!

I’m about to leave town for the weekend, but I did want to poke my head up just long enough to wish everyone a Happy Darwin Day! And just in time for this most wonderful of holidays, my paper on anti-evolutionary mathematics has now been published. In the journal Science and Education, to be precise.…

POTW 2!

The second Problem Of The Week has now been posted, along with an official solution to the first problem. Enjoy!

Sunday Chess Problem

Helpmates occupy a curious position in the world of chess problems. On the one hand, they seem to be the most popular form nowadays for composers. There are just so many possibilities for original content, especially when fairy pieces or conditions are added to the mix. On the other hand, they are sometimes sneered at…

For about a year in graduate school, I was a serious Go player. I read a few books and even played in a tournament. It’s a beautiful game, no question about it, but after wasting so much time just to become a mediocre chess player, I eventually decided not to repeat the process with Go.…

POTW Returns!

Snow? Bah! Problem Of the Week doesn’t care about snow. That’s right, it’s time for another semester of teasers, enigmas, and conundrums. Our theme this term is: NUMBER THEORY, WITH MATH JOKES As always, we start with a fairly easy problem. Overall, though, I think the problems this term are a little more challenging than…

Sunday Chess Problem

Well, the final snow tally in my neck of the woods was a little over two feet. Impressive! On the other hand, there doesn’t seem to have been much damage. There were no strong winds, we never lost power, and all of my trees seem to be intact. And it means I get another snow…

Snow Day!

Here in my little neck of the woods we didn’t get the apocalyptic, world-ending snow you’ve heard about on the news. But it was more than enough to close school for the day, and that’s good enough for me! Meanwhile, here’s Emily the cat staring at the snow while I was working on the computer:

The United Methodist Church has denied an application from the Discovery Institute to set up a table at their upcoming general conference. As you can imagine, the ID folks and their fellow travelers are having a collective freak out about this. Click here for a representative post about the sheer injustice of it all. The…

Science and Religion, Again

In a post from 2012, I wrote the following as part of a discussion about reconciling science and religion: Too often the defender of reconciliation acts as though his job is done as soon as he has tossed off a logically possible scenario that includes both God and evolution. This was specifically in response to…

Sunday Chess Problem

Folks, I entertained tonight. Had actual people over at my house and served them dinner. And quite a dinner it was, if I do say so myself! I prepared filet mignon, with a homemade pan sauce made from balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and chopped onion. For side dishes I roasted some red potatoes and steamed…

Right-Wing Political Correctness

Have you been following the goings-on at Wheaton College? Last week, Wheaton Provost Stanton Jones took the first step toward firing Larycia Hawkins, a political science professor at the college for more than eight years, who posted on Facebook last month her intentions to show support for Muslims feeling besieged after the Paris terrorist attacks.…

Has Philosophy Gone Wrong?

Philosophers Robert Frodeman and Adam Briggle believe that it has. They make their case in this essay, posted at The New York Times. The history of Western philosophy can be presented in a number of ways. It can be told in terms of periods — ancient, medieval and modern. We can divide it into rival…

In a post from four years ago, I wrote this: [A]s a society we do everything in our power to make teaching as unappealing a profession as possible. In most districts the pay and benefits are laughable compared to other professions. Even worse, there is a deep lack of respect for the work that teachers…

Sunday Chess Problem

I picked a charming helpmate for you this week, composed by Edgar Holladay in 1978. He was especially well known for lightweight problems where the pieces formed a recognizable shape on the board. This one looks roughly like an arrow. The stipulation calls for helpmate in eight: Remember that in a helpmate black and white…