Sunday, February 21, 2016

quantum chess

A few weeks ago, in order to celebrate Caltech’s One Entangled Evening honoring the legacy of one Richard Feynman, the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter released a video depicting an epic match of Quantum Chess between Paul Rudd and Stephen Hawking (as himself), narrated by Keanu Reeves! (Whoa!) For posterity:

The basic rules seems simple enough: a quantum move is an equal superposition of one piece making 2 moves in a row and no move at all (no mention of their relative phase here). Therefore the expectation value for number of moves is still one, equal to the classical chess move. However, yours truly missed the subtler rules of entanglement in quantum chess upon initial viewing, especially how it was that [spoiler alert!] Paul Rudd eventually overcame Stephen Hawking. Interest somewhat piqued, my cursory Google search turned up unrelated versions of the game, thereby snuffing out said interest. 

So I was pleased to come across this blog post that begins to explain the rules of quantum chess in detail, as well as a Kickstarter to fund a computerized creation of the game (I await the rules regarding entanglement). Apparently there’s this physicist, Spiros Michalakis, who keeps introducing quantum rules in other games, starting with MineCraft, and now he’s working with the Kickstarteree on the quantum version of chess (just shy of $3K with 10 days left to support it!).

Sunday, February 7, 2016

i <heart> nfl: super bowl xxxxx!!!

Looking back, this NFL season wasn't as sad as the last one, unless you're a fan of the Rams or Chargers. The former Los Angeles/StL Rams will play their first season in Los Angeles (again!) next year, with the Chargers joining them in the same stadium for the following season. And now the Oakland Raiders have to threaten to move to Las Vegas in order to get a new stadium. On the concussion front, the NFL is still influencing the direction of research, but at least Commissioner Roger Goodell admits the dangers of watching the NFL.

If you need to get up to speed quickly, here's everything you need to know to fake your way through the big game. Everything else should be covered below! And I'm always down for a football or non-football related Prop Bet! Hit me up!

What: Sup Bro XXXXX between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers! For the third year in a row, the highest-seeded teams of each conference meet up in the Super Bowl. In the previous eleven similar occurrences, the NFC team won eight of them. Advantage Panthers.

Where: The Field of Jeans in Santa Clara, California, generously funded by a combination of San Fransisco's “general fund allocations and/or redirect staff time and other resources from planned projects.” Given that the Broncos were able to fleece the Denver taxpayers more than the Panthers did Charlotte, Advantage Broncos.

When: 6:30 EST, Sunday, Feb 7. CBS brings you the worst duo in NFL sportscastinggolf announcer Jim Nantz and whipping post Phil Simms. Personally I'll take the commentary of Key and Peele instead. Peyton Manning and Jim Nantz share an agent which means there will be no questions about alleged HGH usageAdvantage Broncos.

Who: Los Angeles Rams QB Peyton Manning against Atlanta Falcons fan Cam Newton. Peyton Manning is an old man who is not as bad as you think yet probably retiring after today, while Cam Newton does a dance that has been appropriated by old men. Push.

How: After losing only to my Dirty Birds in the regular season, the Panthers offense dismantled both the Seahawks and Cardinals in the postseason, making them 5.5 point favorites in the Up R Bowel. The Denver Broncos executed a comeback win against the Steelers and their defense man-handled Tom Brady in another close win. Advantage Panthers.


Advantage Panthers.

Offense: Panthers are the top-scoring offense in the NFL while Peyton Manning's noodle-arm is only capable of throwing ducks. Advantage Panthers.

Defense: The Panthers have a formidable defense, however the Denver defense is capable of rubbing their pillars and stones all over Tom Brady as we saw last week. Advantage Broncos.

Uniforms: The Broncos are the best team at losing Super Bowls, and having never won in their orange jerseys, opted for their white uniforms, allowing the Panthers to wear silver and black, which looks way cooler. Push.

Entertainment: Lady Gaga will show up in a dress of bald eagle feathers to sing the national anthem. Sadly, instead of the half-time performer you really wanted, GWAR, you get British dad-rock band and reason we know you're gay, Coldplay. At least they'll be joined by BeyoncĂ© and Bruno Mars to "urban" things up a bit, and there are suspicions that Jay-Z and Rihanna will make surprise appearances. Coldplay picked the Denver Panthers to win the Superb Owl, because they're clueless limeys that don't deserve to be in the limelight on America's second-most important day. So we'll defer to Creed, who've become huge fans of the Panthers' habit of Creedbombing each other. Advantage Panthers.

Bling: Cam Newton wore every animal he killed on safari and will call you out if you question his fashion sense. However, Denver DC Wade Phillips rocked some serious gold bling. Advantage Broncos.

Animals: Even though Peyton Manning is proud of his ducks, the 8-0 animals of Hogle's Zoo are picking the Panthers to win while Riverboat Ron pets working police dogs with abandon. Advantage Panthers.

Rappers: Snoop Dogg is covering this OOPS journalistically and while merely agreeing to discounted pizzas in the state of Colorado (wink!) with Peyton Manning, he did serenade Cam Newton with a question. However, Panthers TE Greg Olson dabbles in the genre himself and Cam Newton has Future and Jeezy in his cornerAdvantage Panthers.

Impersonations: With Jerry Rice pretending to be a Lyft driver and the Gronk a male stripper, impersonations are all the rage in the NFL. Cam Newton's teammates perform decent enough impersonations of him. Also this snowman bears a remarkable resemblance. Advantage Panthers.

Video Games: Panthers CB Josh Norman outlasted Broncos OL Von Miller in a game of DOOM by waiting to fight, which is a technical victory... the best kind of victoryAdvantage Panthers.