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POTW 7 Posted

The latest Problem of the Week has now been posted. This one (and next week’s as well) involve calculus. Fun!

Sunday Chess Problem

I have something a little different for you this week. Normally I show you composed positions in my Sunday Chess Problem posts. But this week I’d like to show you two shocking moves that occurred in actual games. The first comes from another of Aviv Friedman’s videos. He did not mention the players in the…

To Minnesota!

I’m heading off to Minnesota for the weekend. Bemidji, Minnesota, to be exact. I’m giving one of the invited talks at the big MAA Section Meeting they’re having at Bemidji State University. Should be fun! Looks like I’m picking the right weekend to get out of town. It’s going to be a zoo around here!

POTW 6 Posted

After taking last week off, Problem of the Week makes a triumphant return. Problem Six has now been posted. Enjoy!

The Democratic Debate

I’ve gotten very cynical about political debates. They’ve become asinine reality TV shows, with preening moderators asking silly gotcha questions to people who just pivot to their talking points at every opportunity. But I did have a big pile of grading to get through last night and having the debate on in the background seemed…

Sunday Chess Problem

This week I have another short, one-liner for you. It is another one I found at the end of one of Aviv Friedman’s videos. He did not mention the composer, but I got a real kick out of it. The solution is short, but there is a lot of strategy packed into it. It is…

There is no longer any need for the phrase “gay marriage.” There is just “marriage.” For a while we shall still have to put up with an occasional Kim Davis or right-wing judge who gets mopey about it, but most people have simply moved on. They either don’t have a problem with marriage equality, or…

POTW 5

The fifth Problem of the Week has now been posted. This one is probably my favorite of the term. I think it’s fairly challenging. It will have to hold you for a while, though, since POTW will be taking next week off. I’ve also posted a solution to POTW 4. Enjoy!

Sunday Chess Problem

Many years ago, as a middle-schooler, I attended a one-week summer chess camp in New York state. There were many excellent instructors at the camp, but my favorite was Aviv Friedman, a FIDE master originally from Israel. He had a real knack for finding interesting and instructive positions to show us, and he always presented…

The Big Bobby Fischer Movie

I saw the film Pawn Sacrifice the other day. It stars Tobey Maguire and Liev Schrieber as Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky. Serious chess movies don’t come along very often, so I was excited to see it. I liked it! What’s not to like about a movie where the actors deliver lines like, “They’re playing…

Sensible people understand that there is little connection between belief in God and moral conduct. As has wisely been noted, with or without religion good people will do good, and evil people will do evil. On the other hand, we could survey the nations of the world and note a strong inverse correlation between the…

How to Lie With Statistics

Did you watch the big hearing in Congress the other day? Congressional Republicans, having failed completely with their plan of holding their breath until the Democrats and Obama agreed to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood, had to settle for the consolation prize. They hauled up Cecile Richards, PP’s president, so they could browbeat her…

POTW 3!

The third Problem of the Week has now been posted. Enjoy!

Sunday Chess Problem

I only have time for a quickie this week. Here’s another Troitzky study, simple by his standards but charming nonetheless. It’s white to play and win. This is actually a one-liner in which black’s moves are all essentially forced, so you might want to have a go at solving it before reading on. We’re going…

An Essay on Simplicity

Granville Sewell has a new post up at Uncommon Descent. It’s short, but if you don’t want to read it, then rest assured it’s just the same post he always writes. Could the four fundamental forces of physics assemble iPhones or nuclear power plants? Absurd! The post is framed in the context of an imaginary…