Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The proof is in the blogging? The insults as well...

It all started on Oct. 5, when Woit started a new thread titled "Navier-Stokes Equations Progress?" on his "Not Even Wrong" blog. Penny Smith, a Lehigh University mathematician, posted a paper on arXiv, that attempted to solve a famous problem. In the abstract of her paper, Smith claimed to have proven the existence of a solution to the Navier-Stokes equations. The equations describe the behavior of liquids and gases in motion, and a solution would give scientists insight into the chaotic natural phenomenon of turbulence.

The Navier-Stokes problem, that has been unsolved for more than 150 years, was designated a Millennium Prize problem by the Clay Mathematics Institute in Cambridge, Mass. for $1 million.
People rushed to Woit's blog, excited to discuss Smith's paper. Some admirers congratulated her while cautioning each other against getting too excited until the work had been verified. But doubts about Smith's work started to emerge; then, on the morning of Oct. 8 Smith withdrew the paper from arXiv because it contained a "serious flaw".

However, serious drama had already been ignited. Some readers, physicists and mathematicians themselves, apparently had a lot to say to Smith, some reminded her that progress in math requires risks and failures, while others criticized her work. Some went so far as to even insult her personally.

The blog discussion it stirred up suggests that mathematicians must be more careful in the face of growing technology. I would just like to close this post with one of Smith's responses, that I liked, to an insult:
"Dear Truethseeker, I love doing math. I just hope people are still willing to read, referee and publish my papers. Thanks. As the example of Yau shows beware of journalists. Even well intentioned ones like mine. She just missed a point in what I said. All humans make errors –Journalists included – and the MOST important thing in life is not intellect but kindness to others".
PS Another case of massive insults and art-drama appeared recently on my friend Angelo Plessa's blog, on his "Anathena tonight" post of October 19th 2006.


Saturday, October 28, 2006

Just some more Athens street art

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

ExxonMobil expose´ documentary

Joe Public Films has released its 4th documentary, directed by Tom Jackson, “Out of Balance: ExxonMobil’s Impact on Climate Change”. The hour-long expose´ of the oil giant focuses primarily on ExxonMobil’s support of climate change “skeptics”, and its influence on the Bush administration.

In Spring 2006, mainstream media announced that the debate about the human impact on climate was over, however the debate among most climate scientists had ended long ago, unbeknownst to most Americans.

Out of Balance looks at how ExxonMobil spearheaded the misinformation campaign while making record profits. It also looks at the history of the company, showing a pattern of behavior that goes all the way back to Standard Oil days, through the response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill, to their current refusal to take action against climate change. The film features leading climate scientists such as Michael Oppenheimer and Robert Watson, environmentalists from Exxpose Exxon, Greenpeace and other organizations join with a former Exxon executive, US government whistle-blower Rick Piltz, and leading authors such as Bill McKibben, Elizabeth Kolbert, and Ross Gelbspan.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

We're on African TV! Hooray!

News coverage of the opening and closing ceremony of the Intelligent Energy for Sahel (IE4Sahel) First Workshop, 2-6 October 2006, Niamey, on Niger Television, also available on Google video if it isn't streaming here. Jeez, I can be such a nerd sometimes!

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Another LOST morning...

9 am - a very strange fog hits us just after we pass Stavros and head down Marathonos Ave towards work...kind of appropriate now that I think about it - esp. with the way things have been lately at the office :(


Friday, October 20, 2006

Anathena Rocks

Angelo Plessas with the fantastic fanzines he made for the exhibition
Here with Andreas Angelidakis.
The opening of Anathena, was massive last night, nice works, soooo many cool people and great music. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me, just my phone's. Check Angelo's blog for more.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Knight Rider à la Grecque

Don't miss it!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Never letting go of BPB...

Listen to BPB sing along with the bewitching Dawn McCarthy (of Faun Fables), on the new album's 2nd track, Strange Form of Life...


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Babel impressions

Some Czech surrealism I liked...

Chichoni's rather striking drawings
Sperry showed lots of great anti-Bush/war stuff

The graffiti was pretty rad

Greek stencil arists seem to be everywhere these days...

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Friday, October 13, 2006

11th International Comics Festival - BABEL

Once again, at Texnopolis - Gazi
Don't miss Caccia's exhibit
...and Chuck Sperry's - the ever famous rock concert poster creator

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Blogger Vs MySpace = 1 - 0

I opened a MySpace account yesterday (dafnara), and I must say I'm seriously disappointed with it. I don't know whether the MySpace server is experiencing problems, but it is extremely slow, constantly causing errors while you are trying to upload something and in general is pissing me off! So, all in all I think I'm gonna stick with Blogger that's more user-friendly and efficient. I might log into MySpace every now and then just to check messages from friends but that's all. As for music, MySpace is cool, but Hype can also rock your world.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Diggin' The Oohlas today

The Oohlas - Gone.mp3


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Let's go Dutch?

I was walking home yesterday when I noticed this strange-looking building on Irodotou street...what is it?


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Niger - the place at the beginning of the end of the world.

Flying over the Sahara desert - on the way to Niger from Paris
Camels walking the streets of Niamey, the capital of Niger
View of the river Niger, from the terasse of the Grand Hotel
Giraffes, in the savvanah, the loveliest animals I've ever come across
A lonely hippo, chilling on the river bank
Savvanah kids

A termite bog - they make really impressive structures, sometimes up to 2 meters tall!

River island life
Sunset on the pirogue, after the hippo quest down the river

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