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Monthly Archive for July, 2004

Competitive Scrabble

A good read, filled with an obligingly weird cast of characters. There is something deeply appealing about a bruising, trash-talking pro tour for Scrabble heads. The author, Stefan Fatsis, goes native and eventually becomes an expert player himself as he tells his story. I like the part where he’s talking to the former world champ, […]

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EE Times – Experts worry that synthetic biology may spawn biohackers

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Bureau de change ici

Suppose your Rodian character in the online game Star Wars Galaxies has banked a small fortune of 10 million credits. But you’re also playing an impoverished pauper of a halfling in Everquest. If only there were a way to distribute Star Wars largesse to the Everquest needy. This is exactly the problem that IGE’s Virtual […]

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A game called Nash

I’m reading Sylvia Nasar’s A Beautiful Mind, the biography of the schizophrenic Nobel Prize winner John Nash, and I’ve just reached a point where, as a graduate student at Princeton, he invents a little game to illustrate game theory. This game, which captivates the math department, is called Nash in honor of the creator. It […]

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The coming electric navy

One hundred years or so ago, Winston Churchill, in his capacity as the First Lord of the Admiralty, worked vigorously to convert the old coal-burning Royal Navy to a newer and more efficient oil-burning fleet. This turned out to be a strategically sound decision despite the fact that it entailed a new dependence on oil […]

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France 1940

Hard to believe now, but the French army was widely considered the greatest in the world at the beginning of 1940. It is painful and eye-opening to see how quickly it was punctured, deflated, and slashed to ribbons by a smaller but infinitely better armed and trained German force in May and June of that […]

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The guy in the red Civic

Today my good friend Jay Czarnecki (who has guest-blogged here before) joins us once again with some rambles of his own about rambling across the Maryland countryside in a red Honda Civic. Leave a comment for him and tell him what you think. Here’s what he has to say… These days I have an hour-long […]

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