Shape Shifters

A recent blog for Discover magazine reports on robotics research in which the robots evolve, at least in the sense that they progressively change shape.  The research by Josh Bongard, University of Vermont,  tracks the metamorphosis of robot with a simple shape–in this case, the shape of a snake––to a more complex machine-animal shape––for Bongard’s […]

Facts Are Not for Quantitative Sissies

Media reports on the  global search for alternative and sustainable energy sources often dwell in the happy realms of possibility and leave me happily clinging to a cheerful bits of information they offer up––"if everyone over the age of 21 replaced on incandescent lightbulb with a fluorescent," and blah, blah––when was the last time you […]

Swallow Your Pride

Financial advisers took a hit from the 2008 meltdown of the markets.  Many investors, finding fault with their advisers’ lack of prescience or actual handling of their investments during the crisis, decided they could do just as well managing their own investments––and they ditched their advisory firms.   So far their results probably haven’t been […]

The Flash Crash

Last May 6, the Dow Jones Industrial Average made a rapid series of inexplicable drops, and, in fact, in one five-minute period fell more than 500 points.  Then, just as inexplicably, the market recovered.  The causes of the so-called Flash Crash remained mysterious until September, when the SEC issued a report on the rapid fluctuation […]