It’s April 14th and Good Friday, the day Lincoln was shot

It’s the seventh time that Good Friday has fallen on April 14 since Pres. Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theater on Good Friday, April 14, 1865. General Robert E. Lee had just surrendered his army to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia on Palm Sunday, five days earlier. Lincoln and his … Continue reading It’s April 14th and Good Friday, the day Lincoln was shot

How many possible chess games are there? (Part 1)

This is a bit of a trick question, because it’s actually downright near impossible to calculate. Some outstanding minds have addressed this problem, including Claude Shannon, the “father of information theory.” Shannon wrote a seminal paper in 1950, the first to formally describe how a computer could be programmed to play chess. (Alan Turing, the … Continue reading How many possible chess games are there? (Part 1)

The Cold War Means Your Brain Has More Radioactive Carbon-14 Than Your Grandparent’s Brain

What follows describes one of the most astonishing and sublime facts from science that I have learned in the last few years: It is a little-known fact that the Cold War waged decades ago between the Soviet Union and the United States has fundamentally altered the physical composition of current human beings. Specifically, we have … Continue reading The Cold War Means Your Brain Has More Radioactive Carbon-14 Than Your Grandparent’s Brain