In which I celebrate Labor Day by ripping off others

I’m kidding, of course; I do that all the time. But, in honor of Labor Day, on which many Americans traditionally take the day off from work, I’m going to link to a bunch of other people’s cool stuff instead of writing it myself.

To start with, I finally updated my links sidebar to include John Baez’ “This Week’s Finds,” which has been running for something like 15 years (unfortunately, not every week) and has recently seen a spate of updates. TWF is always very readable and very interesting, and if you don’t read it, you really should. But I have to advise caution: it’s all too easy for your browser to end up looking like this.

Do you read Achewood? If not, now might be an interesting time to start — one of the most gripping stories since the famous Great Outdoor Fight (which led to a trade paperback being released last year) is currently ongoing. It’s a long trip through the archives (something like 1700 strips and counting), but it’s worth it — if you’re not sure what to do with the last few hours of the long weekend, you can always kick back with a good webcomic. (Note: If you’re easily offended, Achewood might not be for you — these cats drink, smoke, cuss, and everything else — but if you can handle that, its offbeat humor and minimalist visuals are well worth checking out.)

We have less than a year to go until the next ICM, and speculation about the prizewinners is starting to kick into gear over at Not Even Wrong. Ngo Bau Chao looks like the best bet for a Fields next year, but the really interesting thing is the very good possibility that the Nevanlinna prize might finally be awarded to a woman, with nearly half the qualified TCS sectional speakers, plus the token TCS plenary speaker (Irit Dinur), being women. But Ben Webster suggests that the ICM is maybe not such a good idea.

I ran across Eric Schechter’s page of undergraduate errors the other day, and was struck in particular by “the derivative of x^x problem” — sort of a scaled-up version of my “derivative of x^2 problem.” The whole page raises some interesting pedagogical questions, and if you’re into that sort of thing, check it out!

Scott Aaronson’s Worldview Manager is up, about a year after its conception. It’s an interesting idea, although the implementation’s far from perfect. I’m pleased to say that I had an epsilon-sized role in the creation of the Manager; my very good friend Louis was one of Scott’s students this summer, and he’d occasionally ask me about anything from low-level implementation to “is this a good complexity-theory implication?” My contribution was generally to sit back and let him puzzle it out (indeed, that’s usually all I could do!) but it still felt cool to watch it evolve in real time.

Finally, many parents, here in Georgia and elsewhere, are keeping their children at home tomorrow instead of having them exposed to President Obama’s evil Muslim back-to-school propaganda. Partially in an attempt to counteract this, the White House has posted the text of the address ahead of time. You can, and maybe should, read it here.

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