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Včera vo veku 40 rokov na rakovinu zomrela Maryam Mirzakhani, matematička iránskeho pôvodu, jediná žena, ktorá dostala Fieldsovu medailu (keď sa dávali naposledy, v roku 2014). Mala českého manžela a malú dcéru.

To her dismay, Mirzakhani did poorly in her mathematics class that year. Her math teacher didn’t think she was particularly talented, which undermined her confidence. At that age, “it’s so important what others see in you,” Mirzakhani said. “I lost my interest in math.” The following year, Mirzakhani had a more encouraging teacher, however, and her performance improved enormously. “Starting from the second year, she was a star,” Beheshti said.

A Path Less Taken to the Peak of the Math World

When you teach, you do something useful. When you do research, most days you don’t.

That Huh would achieve this status after starting mathematics so late is almost as improbable as if he had picked up a tennis racket at 18 and won Wimbledon at 20. It’s the kind of out-of-nowhere journey that simply doesn’t happen in mathematics today, where it usually takes years of specialized training even to be in a position to make new discoveries. Yet it would be a mistake to see Huh’s breakthroughs as having come in spite of his unorthodox beginning. In many ways they’re a product of his unique history — a direct result of his chance encounter, in his last year of college, with a legendary mathematician who somehow recognized a gift in Huh that Huh had never perceived himself.

Teaching to fail – vďaka Ondrovi za linku

The most common errors in undergraduate mathematics – aj táto je dobrá a tiež Ondrova

You Don’t Need Blue Apron to Teach You to Turn On Your Oven

Whenever I write a recipe for a magazine or newspaper my editors demand more measurements and cooking times. This phony precision undermines the heart, and joy, of cooking. Chefs sample their dishes multiple times as they cook because cooking happens by taste and by eye, not by time and temperature. Baking is the fussy one where you need measurements, while cooking is for slobs like me.

Does that look like enough pasta? Does this taste as salty as you like? That sauce looks thin — let’s throw in some more tomatoes. People become dependent on cooking times and temperatures because they don’t understand how cooking works, they know only how to follow a recipe.

Datascapes – atlas for the end of the world; somewhat related: Summary of Solutions by Overall Rank

The tragedy of men

The biggest problem with masculinity, Perry proffers, is that it’s based on a model that’s several thousands of years old, when survival depended on physical strength and male power. Or, as he puts it, “masculinity is to chase things and fight things and to fuck. Everything else is a bit of a mismatch.” This framework for men has remained remarkably persistent even as society has evolved past it, with modern jobs and relationships requiring a very different set of skills. Feminism, Perry observes, is forward-thinking, wondering how women can change themselves and their lives for the better. But masculinity is regressive, always “harking back to some mythical golden age (for men), when men were ‘men.’” The easiest thing in the world to sell to men who feel disenfranchised from modern life, he says, is nostalgia—a promise that the world can change to fit them rather than the other way around. That men can be great again.

s kým trávime čas – trochu smutné grafy; zaujímavé by bolo pozrieť, či/ako sa slovenské podobajú na tie americké

meet Ruby and her friends

Snow leopard

About me: I’m the most beautiful, polite and well-mannered Snow leopard I know. I often have fights with the robots. (Which is kind of pointless, since we are similar in the end.) 
Birthday: June 8th
Interests: Solitude, Zen, and pirates
Pet peeve: People think I’m tough, but I’m really cuddly. 
Favorite expression: Think different
Secret superpower: Boundless beauty

Mladá osobnosť vedy Tomáš Bertók: Ľuďom chýba súdnosť a kritické myslenie

what bullets do to bodies

Early in my medical training, I learned that it is not the bullet that kills you, but the path the bullet takes. A non-expanding (or full-metal-jacket) bullet often enters the body in a straight line. Like a knife, it damages the organs and tissues directly in its path, and then it either exits the body or, if it is traveling at a slower velocity, is stopped by bone, tissue or skin.

This is in contrast to expanding bullets, especially if shot from an assault rifle, which can discharge bullets much faster than a handgun. Once they enter the body, they fragment and explode, pulverizing bones, tearing blood vessels and liquefying organs…

Two years ago, a group of doctors wrote in the Annals of Internal Medicine: “It does not matter whether we believe that guns kill people or that people kill people with guns — the result is the same: a public health crisis.” In the war zone of the E.R., we don’t see partisanship or politics. We see the devastation that happens when our society normalizes tools of total bodily destruction.

este raz (dlhšie a ťažké čítanie)… a tu je to celé v dvoch vetách

She started talking about the 2012 murder of 20 schoolchildren and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Goldberg said that if people had been shown the autopsy photos of the kids, the gun debate would have been transformed. “The fact that not a single one of those kids was able to be transported to a hospital, tells me that they were not just dead, but really really really really dead.

akčné fotky a fotky spod mikroskopu

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Greetings, E.T. (Please Don’t Murder Us.)

The anti-METI movement is predicated on a grim statistical likelihood: If we do ever manage to make contact with another intelligent life-form, then almost by definition, our new pen pals will be far more advanced than we are. The best way to understand this is to consider, on a percentage basis, just how young our own high-tech civilization actually is. We have been sending structured radio signals from Earth for only the last 100 years. If the universe were exactly 14 billion years old, then it would have taken 13,999,999,900 years for radio communication to be harnessed on our planet. The odds that our message would reach a society that had been tinkering with radio for a shorter, or even similar, period of time would be staggeringly long. Imagine another planet that deviates from our timetable by just a tenth of 1 percent: If they are more advanced than us, then they will have been using radio (and successor technologies) for 14 million years. Of course, depending on where they live in the universe, their signals might take millions of years to reach us. But even if you factor in that transmission lag, if we pick up a signal from another galaxy, we will almost certainly find ourselves in conversation with a more advanced civilization.

It is this asymmetry that has convinced so many future-minded thinkers that METI is a bad idea. The history of colonialism here on Earth weighs particularly heavy on the imaginations of the METI critics. Stephen Hawking, for instance, made this observation in a 2010 documentary series: ‘‘If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans.’’ David Brin echoes the Hawking critique: ‘‘Every single case we know of a more technologically advanced culture contacting a less technologically advanced culture resulted at least in pain.’’

Wrestling with the METI question suggests, to me at least, that the one invention human society needs is more conceptual than technological: We need to define a special class of decisions that potentially create extinction-level risk. New technologies (like superintelligent computers) or interventions (like METI) that pose even the slightest risk of causing human extinction would require some novel form of global oversight. And part of that process would entail establishing, as Denning suggests, some measure of risk tolerance on a planetary level. If we don’t, then by default the gamblers will always set the agenda, and the rest of us will have to live with the consequences of their wagers.

America made me a feminist

In America, a woman’s body seemed to belong to everybody but herself. Her sexuality belonged to her husband, her opinion of herself belonged to her social circles, and her uterus belonged to the government. She was supposed to be a mother and a lover and a career woman (at a fraction of the pay) while remaining perpetually youthful and slim. In America, important men were desirable. Important women had to be desirable. That got to me.

Every New York City Subway Line Is Getting Worse

Sci-Hub Ordered to Pay $15 Million in Piracy Damages

Elsevier says: the Sci-Hub activity ’causes irreparable injury to Elsevier, its customers and the public’ and US court agreed. That feels like a perfect crime. If you want to cause an irreparable injury to American public, what do you have to do? Now we know the answer: establish a website where they can read research articles for free,” she adds.

Previously, Elbakyan already confirmed to us that, lawsuit or not, the site is not going anywhere.

Miška píše z Iraku

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A love story – úžasné

When we encounter a mother doing too many things perfectly, smiling as if it were all so easy, so natural, we should feel a civic responsibility to slap her hard across the face and scream the word “Stop!” so many times that the woman begins to chant or whimper the word along with us. Once she has been broken, we may take her in our arms until the trembling and self-hatred leave her body. It is our duty.

When I swim at the public pool, I wear sunglasses so I can admire the hairless chest of the nineteen-year-old lifeguard. I love it that he, a child, really, is guarding me, fiercest of warriors, a mother, strong as stinky cheese, with a ripe, moldy, melted rotten center of such intense complexity and flavor it would kill a boy of his tender age.

The answer is easy in daylight. But the night’s untethering almost always turns me into someone I’m not. I spend nights thinking about the different women I become in the dark. Where am I keeping these women when the sun is up?

The work of organizing everything – celé dobre a aj iné na jej stránke stoja za prozretie

koláčik navyše

I now live in Berkeley, California. A few years ago, just a few blocks from my home, a pair of researchers in the Cal psychology department staged an experiment. They began by grabbing students, as lab rats. Then they broke the students into teams, segregated by sex. Three men, or three women, per team. Then they put these teams of three into a room, and arbitrarily assigned one of the three to act as leader. Then they gave them some complicated moral problem to solve: say what should be done about academic cheating, or how to regulate drinking on campus.

Exactly 30 minutes into the problem-solving the researchers interrupted each group. They entered the room bearing a plate of cookies. Four cookies. The team consisted of three people, but there were these four cookies. Every team member obviously got one cookie, but that left a fourth cookie, just sitting there. It should have been awkward. But it wasn’t. With incredible consistency the person arbitrarily appointed leader of the group grabbed the fourth cookie, and ate it. Not only ate it, but ate it with gusto: lips smacking, mouth open, drool at the corners of their mouths. In the end all that was left of the extra cookie were crumbs on the leader’s shirt.

This leader had performed no special task. He had no special virtue. He’d been chosen at random, 30 minutes earlier. His status was nothing but luck. But it still left him with the sense that the cookie should be his.

This experiment helps to explain Wall Street bonuses and CEO pay, and I’m sure lots of other human behavior. But it also is relevant to new graduates of Princeton University. In a general sort of way you have been appointed the leader of the group. Your appointment may not be entirely arbitrary. But you must sense its arbitrary aspect: you are the lucky few. Lucky in your parents, lucky in your country, lucky that a place like Princeton exists that can take in lucky people, introduce them to other lucky people, and increase their chances of becoming even luckier. Lucky that you live in the richest society the world has ever seen, in a time when no one actually expects you to sacrifice your interests to anything.

All of you have been faced with the extra cookie. All of you will be faced with many more of them. In time you will find it easy to assume that you deserve the extra cookie. For all I know, you may. But you’ll be happier, and the world will be better off, if you at least pretend that you don’t.

tu je video:

Richard Hamming: You and your research

Now for the matter of drive. You observe that most great scientists have tremendous drive. I worked for ten years with John Tukey at Bell Labs. He had tremendous drive. One day about three or four years after I joined, I discovered that John Tukey was slightly younger than I was. John was a genius and I clearly was not. Well I went storming into Bode’s office and said, “How can anybody my age know as much as John Tukey does?” He leaned back in his chair, put his hands behind his head, grinned slightly, and said, “You would be surprised Hamming, how much you would know if you worked as hard as he did that many years.” I simply slunk out of the office!
What Bode was saying was this: “Knowledge and productivity are like compound interest.” Given two people of approximately the same ability and one person who works ten percent more than the other, the latter will more than twice outproduce the former. The more you know, the more you learn; the more you learn, the more you can do; the more you can do, the more the opportunity — it is very much like compound interest. I don’t want to give you a rate, but it is a very high rate. Given two people with exactly the same ability, the one person who manages day in and day out to get in one more hour of thinking will be tremendously more productive over a lifetime.

tento článok o Iráne ma doviedol k tejto podivnosti

find great books to read without judging the cover (or the author)

my bionic quest for Bolero 


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Torching the Modern-Day Library of Alexandria

The stations—which didn’t so much scan as photograph books—had been custom-built by Google from the sheet metal up. Each one could digitize books at a rate of 1,000 pages per hour. The book would lie in a specially designed motorized cradle that would adjust to the spine, locking it in place. Above, there was an array of lights and at least $1,000 worth of optics, including four cameras, two pointed at each half of the book, and a range-finding LIDAR that overlaid a three-dimensional laser grid on the book’s surface to capture the curvature of the paper. The human operator would turn pages by hand—no machine could be as quick and gentle—and fire the cameras by pressing a foot pedal, as though playing at a strange piano. […]

It was strange to me, the idea that somewhere at Google there is a database containing 25-million books and nobody is allowed to read them. […] It’s there. The books are there. People have been trying to build a library like this for ages—to do so, they’ve said, would be to erect one of the great humanitarian artifacts of all time—and here we’ve done the work to make it real and we were about to give it to the world and now, instead, it’s 50 or 60 petabytes on disk, and the only people who can see it are half a dozen engineers on the project who happen to have access because they’re the ones responsible for locking it up.

I asked someone who used to have that job, what would it take to make the books viewable in full to everybody? I wanted to know how hard it would have been to unlock them. What’s standing between us and a digital public library of 25 million volumes?

You’d get in a lot of trouble, they said, but all you’d have to do, more or less, is write a single database query. You’d flip some access control bits from off to on. It might take a few minutes for the command to propagate.

Neuralink and the Brain’s Magical Future

Because, as the human history case study suggests, when there’s something on the planet way smarter than everyone else, it can be a really bad thing for everyone else. And if AI becomes the new thing on the planet that’s way smarter than everyone else, and it turns out not to clearly belong to us—it means that it’s its own thing. Which drops us into the category of “everyone else.” […]

He sees it as only a matter of time before superintelligent AI rises up on this planet—and when that happens, he believes that it’s critical that we don’t end up as part of “everyone else.” That’s why, in a future world made up of AI and everyone else, he thinks we have only one good option: To be AI. […]

The pace of progress in this direction matters a lot. We don’t want to develop digital superintelligence too far before being able to do a merged brain-computer interface.

Before European Christians Forced Gender Roles, Native Americans Acknowledged 5 Genders (Finds Them And Kills Them je úžasné meno)

Stredoškoláčky videli, že by mladí volili Kotlebu a Kollára, tak vymysleli súťaž o tom, ako funguje štát

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our mothers as we never saw them

The old photos of her are even more compelling than the stories because they’re a historical record, carrying the weight of fact, even if the truth there is slippery: the trick of an image, and so much left outside the frame. These photos serve as a visual accompaniment to the myths. Because any story about your mother is part myth, isn’t it?

Stephen Wolfram: A New Kind of Science (celá kniha, free)

Paul Lockhart: A Mathematician’s Lament 

In fact, if I had to design a mechanism for the express purpose of destroying a child’s natural curiosity and love of pattern-making, I couldn’t possibly do as good a job as is currently being done [by] contemporary mathematics education.

Neuralink (a venture to merge human brain with AI) and The Boring Company – Elon má nejako veľa voľného času…

Seeing theory – výborné, budem ukazovať budúci školský rok prvákom a prváčkam

British food, explained (sorta)

Unless it’s a pie that is a pudding, like a mince pie, which doesn’t involve mince, which is meat that’s been minced, but does involve mincemeat, which doesn’t involve meat. You could put what you think of as pudding on this type of pie, which is a pudding.

slovenské nemocnice nie sú Baby-Friendly (už ani formálne)

Study: Accomplished female scientists often overlooked

One, the composition of the organizing committee matters. I looked at all the neuroimmunology conferences held in 2016 worldwide, and I found that as you approach 50 percent women on the organizing committee, you approach 50 percent female invited speakers. So if you want gender parity in speakers, first you need to include more women in organizing and planning committees. Two, speaking out about gender balance makes a difference.

lyrebird – vytvoria imitáciu vášho hlasu z jednominútovej nahrávky

jahňatá narodené s použitím umelých materníc – fascinujúce, strašidelné, úžasné

kto sponzoruje (slovenské) konferencie pediatrov? Kto by mal? A kto by nemal?

Dievčatá sa o vedu a technológie začínajú zaujímať neskôr, ich záujem prudko klesá

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superbabies don’t cry

by eight months Fiona developed a love for clapping. At nine months she had her first grand mal seizure. At eleven months she rolled from front to back. At one year old she weighed twelve pounds. During that first year, her syndrome revealed itself to be simultaneously life-altering and, in some strange way, just fine. A new normal. Her medical issues were manageable. The problem, it became clear, was mine: I wanted her different. The daily prayer inside me was an impossible wish to scrounge the earth and find that missing bit of her fourth chromosome. I imagined it was buried among fossils in an ancient, surreal sand dune.

Je tu niekto? Nepočujem. Ako Dávid a Karolína pripravili najväčšiu demonštráciu proti korupcii

podvodný umelec:

Hillary Clinton odpovedá na 40 rokov sexistických poznámok:

staré, ale ten obrázok, ktorý je pri článku ma tak dorazil, že to musím nalinkovať

Lucky Chinese babies will be fed pure Irish formula, just like the babies who were being bottle-fed in the arms of Taoiseach Enda Kenny, European Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan and Glanbia’s Jim Bergin for a publicity shot last week that nearly cost me my breakfast.

napíšte list do budúcnosti (mňa viac fascinuje písať do minulosti)

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Minulý týždeň sme tu mali celoštátne kolo matematickej olympiády. Dve doobedia počítali, poobede ich bolo treba niekam zobrať. Výlet mi zatrhli (lebo, že vraj sa nedá spoľahnúť na počasie a nechceme improvizovať na poslednú chvíľu), tak som na jedno poobedie vybavila prehliadku mesta (hore na Burianovu vežu, dole do katakomb), ale to olympionikov vôbec nenadchlo. Kolega na druhé poobedie vybavil návštevu KIA a to sa im páčilo. (fascinujúce to bolo a nie úplne pozitívnym spôsobom)

Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative na Slovensku zlyháva

iba 18% žien uvádza, že im bol umožnený  kontakt koža na kožu so svojím dieťaťom po pôrode… Už v prvých dňoch po pôrode je umelou výživou kŕmená polovica detí… ani jedna nemocnica na Slovensku momentálne nespĺňa ani jedno z 10 kritérií iniciatívy baby friendly.

talking about miscarriages

A lovely nurse held my hand and told me to cry now, instead of holding back the tears for a later date. She was right of course.

lokálne potra­viny v deb­ničke až pred dvere (h/t Didimu za linku)

jedna poviedka z tejto knihy ma rozplakala… 

semafory na zemi

a Dutch town is trying out a pilot program to put traffic lights where everyone is already looking. On the pavement.

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výborné video delenia buniek (time lapse video of the cells in a tadpole egg dividing over a period of 33 hours)

woman facts

Once women who lived unconventional lives were seized as witches and burned. Now people just say to them, “You look tired.”
– – –
Large numbers of women can be caught by baiting a trap with a crying infant. Though only one woman may fall into the trap, hundreds of others will gather to criticize everything she does with the child.

Aerial Shots of the Bright and Colorful Goods Sold by Street Vendors in Vietnam – parádne

a toto je hrôza: President Trump’s Interview With TIME on Truth and Falsehoods 

I can’t be doing so badly, because I’m president, and you’re not. You know.

omeletu za 34 euro by som vynechala, ale zámok by som si išla pozrieť

the Matilda effect 

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What It’s Like to Be Rihanna’s Personal Chef

So here’s a little story

Anyway I was getting sick of his shit when I noticed something. Thanks to our shared inbox, I’d been signing all communications as “Nicole”

‘London Bridge is down’: the secret plan for the days after the Queen’s death

“The King’s life is moving peacefully towards its close,” was the final notice issued by George V’s doctor, Lord Dawson, at 9.30pm on the night of 20 January 1936. Not long afterwards, Dawson injected the king with 750mg of morphine and a gram of cocaine – enough to kill him twice over – in order to ease the monarch’s suffering, and to have him expire in time for the printing presses of the Times, which rolled at midnight.

…three of the Queen’s last four prime ministers were born after she came to the throne.

nové nórske bankovky majú zaujímavé druhé strany (celé sú s morskou tematikou)

Why STEM Majors Need the Humanities

The common element in all of this is knowing how to tell a story. Contrary to popular misconceptions about science and technology, a good piece of technical work is not a disembodied sequence of formulas and calculations, but rather is part of a narrative that has a long plot line and a large cast of characters.

picturing math – výstava v Met; ak ste v New Yorku, choďte. Pre nás, ktorí to teraz máme ďaleko, sú niektoré obrázky a komentáre tu

11:57:30 – the doomsday clock

There have been moves from five to six minutes before, to which this is proportional.  Also, the clock was at 11:57; it’s only been at 11:58 once before, after the US and Soviet Union did thermonuclear tests in close temporal proximity in 1953.  So unless they want to say it is literally the worst it has ever been, two and a half minutes to midnight it is.

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state of the species – ak dnes len jednu linku, tak túto… pár rokov stará výborná esej

More than 90 percent of the living matter on earth consists of microorganisms and viruses, she liked to point out. Heck, the number of bacterial cells in our body is ten times more than the number of human cells!

Bacteria and protists can do things undreamed of by clumsy mammals like us: form giant supercolonies, reproduce either asexually or by swapping genes with others, routinely incorporate DNA from entirely unrelated species, merge into symbiotic beings—the list is as endless as it is amazing. Microorganisms have changed the face of the earth, crumbling stone and even giving rise to the oxygen we breathe. Compared to this power and diversity, Margulis liked to tell me, pandas and polar bears were biological epiphenomena—interesting and fun, perhaps, but not actually significant. 

Does that apply to human beings, too? I once asked her, feeling like someone whining to Copernicus about why he couldn’t move the earth a little closer to the center of the universe. Aren’t we special at all?

This was just chitchat on the street, so I didn’t write anything down. But as I recall it, she answered that Homo sapiens actually might be interesting—for a mammal, anyway. For one thing, she said, we’re unusually successful. 

Seeing my face brighten, she added: Of course, the fate of every successful species is to wipe itself out.

humans of the year

cognitive bias cheat sheet (because thinking is hard)

SpaceX to send privately crewed Dragon spacecraft beyond the Moon next year 

Prečo testovať lieky aj na tehotných ženách (plus, ak ešte neviete, komu venovať 2% zo zaplatených daní za minulý rok, tak vás prosíme o podporu)

…mnohé budúce matky potrebujú užívať lieky. „Tehotné ženy môžu ochorieť a choré ženy môžu otehotnieť,“ hovorí Brian Cleary, hlavný farmakológ z Rotunda Hospital v írskom Dubline.

a tediously accurate map of the solar system

trickle down healthcare

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