Anyone with cheese problems might consider reading the book Cheese Problems Solved, edited by Paul L.H. McSweeney, published by Elsevier in 2007. McSweeney is a Professor of Food Chemistry in the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University College, Cork, Ireland. Readers of cheese detective stories might especially relish the report “How May the ‘Toad-Skin’ and Cat-Hair’ Defects […]
John Fleck explains how big and little problems can get tangled in one’s mind. His essay is called “Nestlé, Phoenix water, and the bicycle shed problem“: “Back in my errant youth, when I worked as a volunteer documentation writer for the big free software GNOME project, I became intimately familiar with what we called ‘bicycle shed’ discussions, […]
If you are one of the rare people who have no problems and who also, for whatever reason, want one, here’s a list to choose from. You can find details, and even solutions, at David Morin [pictured here]’s Problem-of-the-Week list on the Harvard physics department web site. There are 90 problems there. Among them: Leaving the […]
Maggie Koerth-Baker writes (in BoingBoing) about The Journal of Physics Special Topics (which we have admired now and again): What’s the point of all this? That’s the really interesting part. You’re right in thinking that the plausibility of fictional scenarios isn’t exactly a great problem of our time. But nobody ever said it was. That wasn’t the […]
The special Mathematicians & Bears issue (vol. 17, no. 3) of the magazine (the Annals of Improbable Research) is now online. It’s got lots about heads and lots about mathematicians and their problems, and about bears, and much more. The pleasing-paper version was mailed to subscribers a while ago. Click on the magazine cover (below) to […]
Chew, if you will, on Nicola Twilley’s disquisition on the problems caused by and ensuing from the proper (and also some improper) uses of chewing gum. It begins: Despite persistent urban myths to the contrary, chewing gum is, technically speaking, edible. However, doctors do agree that it is not usually wise to swallow it, due to […]
The US government produced this consistently dull, depressing training film for people who work in dental offices and have dull, depressing problems with other people who work in dental offices.
The PLoS One community blog writes, about some of the famously curious Burgess Shale fossils: A number of the strangest fossils from the Shale are so difficult to classify using current animal classification, they were given designation Problematica until more information is uncovered. One such new fossil that helps move some members of Problematica into […]