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