Film Review: Who Will Write Our History?

I recently had the fortune to see a new film about a group of Jewish men and women who lived in the Warsaw Ghetto and defied their Nazi oppressors by undertaking a project to document, collect, organize, and safeguard a record of their lives—all done under extreme secrecy and the looming threat of death had their operation been discovered. This group, led by historian Emanuel … Continue reading Film Review: Who Will Write Our History?

Cheryl’s Birthday Problem and Information Filtering

I love seeing teasers about math and logic gain popular appeal! Here’s the math (specifically, logic) problem that the internet is talking about today:

Cheryl's birthday problem

You can get the full problem nicely presented on either The Guardian or The New York Times websites. A number of other sites are talking about it today, too. Just Google “Cheryl birthday problem.”

I spent some time with the problem and put together this response here. I know that various online outlets have discussed the answer as well; here are the respective solutions presented by The Guardian and The New York Times (don’t click those links until you think about the problem for yourself). But I think there’s a useful “information” framework to use in considering how to arrive at the answer. I discuss that framework at the end.

Spoiler alert — I’m going to discuss the birthday answer starting in the next paragraph.

Continue reading “Cheryl’s Birthday Problem and Information Filtering”

Cultural Prep: Soda Stereo & the World Cup Final

So we’re down to Argentina and Germany in this year’s World Cup final match. I’ll save the postulation about football for another time and place. This post is about one of my favorite bands, who hail from Argentina. Seems like a good opportunity to write about their music, and for you to have a listen! Soda Stereo. Most non-Spanish speakers haven’t heard of them. Any … Continue reading Cultural Prep: Soda Stereo & the World Cup Final

Thoughts on Peter Gabriel’s “New Blood”

Just got my CD copy of Peter Gabriel‘s newest project, “New Blood” — an orchestral rehashing of a number of his classic songs. He revisited the studio, recording entirely new versions of tracks with a full orchestra and without drum kit or guitar. As a long-time Peter Gabriel fan, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the album. My verdict: it’s a pleasure. “New Blood” … Continue reading Thoughts on Peter Gabriel’s “New Blood”