This math course sounds kind of awesome. One of my few regrets is that I didn’t go further in mathematics. I wouldn’t have had enough preparation for this course as a undergrad, but I find it fascinating all the same.
I didn’t care for Ray Bradbury’s short story collection The Illustrated Man, but here’s a guy who wants to tell you how awesome Bradbury is. Thomas Salerno appeared on the Gracious Guest to offer his take on Bradbury’s fiction.
This is a subject that I knew about thanks to James Burke, but if you aren’t aware of the utility of bugs in international trade this is a good place to start.
In my recent post on The Drawing of the Dark and adding Wargaming back into Dungeons and Dragons, I referenced some really interesting posts how D&D has been played over the years. I started with the Six Cultures of Play, but following the thread from there, I picked up something really interesting from All Dead Generations that is critical to how you effectively integrate mass combat and domain play into your game.
You have to grapple with the fact that BITD, gaming sessions might go as long as 10 or 11 hours, with a bigger group of people over a longer period of time than anyone experiences now. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Typical play, even for something as self-consciously experimental as the Trollopulous campaign, was 2-3 hours a session.
This has a real impact on what happens in a session, especially with 1:1 timekeeping, but it doesn’t mean you cannot work in wargaming to your roleplaying, just that you need to know what will fit in a session of typical length.
Stone Age Herbalist has an excellent piece on the hunter-gatherer peoples of the central African jungles.
This is an excellent article on the power of myth, but I don’t think the author has fully come to grips with how awesome it is to have an ancestor who was a warlord.
I saw the above image on Twitter pointing out that the lead writer for Encanto Charise Castro Smith seems to have based the main character on herself. People complain about self-insert characters all the time, but I thought that Jerry Pournelle’s first book, Red Heroin, was clearly based on Jerry himself, but it worked out fine.
John J. Reilly’s review of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Years of Rice and Salt is not merely a book review; it is a succinct statement of John’s views on cycles of history.