Kara Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

Things I wish I had done or seen

I tweet a lot, and that includes links to interesting things I see on the Web. Twitter is an interesting medium with a lot of advantages—but one of those isn’t really permanence. It’s not easy to go back and look at one’s previous tweets, or to collect and categorize one’s tweets.

Since I’d like to blog more, I thought I’d try sharing here some of those things (and other things) I’ve encountered over the week.

  • You can use math to become better at Monopoly. Well, you can use math to help you out with any game of chance, but Walter Hickey does an excellent job actually analyzing, step-by-step, the different probabilities involved. You don’t have to be well-versed in math to get something from the presentation, though familiarity with probability will definitely help.
  • I’m stoked that the Large Hadron Collider has detected what is most likely a Higgs boson. It would have been exciting to have to tweak the standard model even more, but now we have some interesting evidence in its favour (especially because it wasn’t quite the mass of Higgs we were looking for). That being said, discovering what you are looking for, instead of something entirely new, can be a little boring. So I was excited when I heard that two electron-positron particle accelerators at different facilities might have spotted a new type of subatomic particle that might be composed of four quarks.
  • I went to see Man of Steel last weekend. While I thought the movie was all right, I wasn’t a fan of what it did for the concept of Superman, and I thought the plotting was especially poor. Over at io9, Rob Bricken recaps the story as he remembers it (spoilers—I guess). It’s hilarious; I was literally laughing out loud for the entire last half of the piece.
  • While you’re at it, Buzzfeed has an analysis of the cost of destruction and death in Superman’s climactic fight over Metropolis. (TL;DR version: it’s worse than 9/11.)
  • Speaking of shows that have disappointed lately, Doctor Who! This time the rumour is that 90 lost Patrick Troughton episodes have been found. The Internet has been vacillating over whether it’s a hoax.
  • Know what show doesn’t suck? Game of Thrones, that’s what. Check out this breakdown of Season 3 by infographic. (Spoilers, kind of.) My favourite is the first one, “How Powerful Giants are Deployed by the Wildlings”.
  • If you find that Game of Thrones just isn’t full of enough sex or violence, why not some violent video games? I had to wrap my head around the momentous occasion of a Fox News reporter actually making sense when one of them smacked down someone contending that violent video games are the problem using facts and statistics of all things.

Enjoy your Sunday. I’m going back to reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane, the latest novel from Neil Gaiman. I was ridiculously excited about getting my hands on it, and then I foolishly thought I could avoid reading it until I fly home in Hah. No.

(Oh, I’m back in Thunder Bay July 28.)