How now, warm cow [Podcast 50]

Heat loss from a cow — that’s the deal in this week’s Improbable Research podcast. SUBSCRIBE on, iTunes, or Spotify to get a new episode every week, free. This week, Marc Abrahams  —with dramatic readings by Daniel Rosenberg — tells about: Heat loss from a cow — Khan, Zahid A., Irfan Anjum Badruddin, G. A. Quadir, and K. N. Seetharamu (2006). ‘A Quick and Accurate […]

Firing a shotgun to calculate the approximate value of π

This mathematics paper broadens the old definition of “a shotgun approach” to solving a problem: “A Ballistic Monte Carlo Approximation of π,” Vincent Dumoulin [pictured here], Félix Thouin, arXiv 1404.1499v2, April 8, 2014. (Thanks to investigator Marcus Sprenkel for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at the University of Montreal, report: “We compute a […]

Guess Bayesian-Bayesian to invent extraterrestrial stats

Today’s convoluted statistics exercise: Use Bayesian statistical methods to estimate the probability that Bayesian statistical methods will be invented by life that arises elsewhere in the universe. BACKGROUND: The Physics arXiv blog explains everything you need to know to make this estimate: The Drake equation is one of those rare mathematical beasts that has leaked into […]