Profanity In Programming

Since Linux is an open source software, it’s inevitable that profanity would appear in the source code sooner or later. The site of Vidar Holen has a section that continuously tracks the number of curse words in the Linux kernel since the beginning of 1990’s. In addition, you can search for other words from other categories […]

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“Successful And Fortunate Crime Is Called Virtue” And Other Parallels In Literature

Seneca the Younger While reading Edward Walker’s Historical Discourses (1705), the following sentence he quoted got my attention: Prosperum ac felix scelus, virtus vocatur. Walker neglected to provide the source of the quote. However, I am pretty sure that he was referring to the passage from the tragedy Hercules Furens (The Madness of Hercules) written […]

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Not Lost In Translation: A Curious Language Anecdote

Vladimir Nabokov Vladimir Nabokov, in his 1962 novel Pale Fire, related a remarkable, albeit probably apocryphal, Russian language anecdote. The story went that a newspaper which covered the coronation ceremony of a Tsar “accidentally” misprinted “корона” (korona) (crown) as “ворона” (vorona) (crow). The following day, the newspaper apologized for the error and promptly “corrected” it. However, the word […]

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Obsolete Geographical Knowledge

“You mean there are two Koreas?” — U.S. Ambassador to Singapore Richard Kneip, when questioned about his opinion during a congressional hearing on the conflict between the North and South Korea. Doctor, a newspaper targeted to general practitioners published once a week, was well received by the doctors due to its excellent content and service. […]

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Scientists Cite Unread Papers

Isaac Newton stated that “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”. Scientific breakthroughs are built on previous discoveries. So it’s not surprising that most scientific papers contain a large number of references. This may seem that the researchers have read all their references. However, having read several scientific […]

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101 Mathematical Trivia

1. In 1988, Nicolas Slonimsky (1894-1995) invented a method of beating a different rhythm with each arm–created a new composition by identifying each note in Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony with a number, and then playing the square root of each note. 2. The symbol for infinity (∞) was used by the Romans to represent 1000. 3. […]

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