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Euler's Partition Function Theory Finished 117

universegeek writes "Mathematician Ken Ono, from Emory, has solved a 250-year-old problem: how to exactly and explicitly generate partition numbers. Ono and colleagues were able to finally do this by realizing that the pattern of partition numbers is fractal (PDF). This pattern allowed them to find a finite, algebraic formula, which is like striking oil in mathematics."

Play Pacman, Pinball, and Pong With a Paramecium 88

An anonymous reader writes "Science is rarely ever this cool! 'Physicist Ingmar Riedel-Kruse and his team from Stanford University have done just that by creating versions of classic games that you can navigate by physically controlling living organisms. A game called PAC-mecium is Pacman with a twist: players use a console to change the polarity of an electrical field in a fluid chamber filled with paramecia, which makes the organisms move in different directions. A camera sends real-time images to a computer, where they are superimposed onto a game board (see video above). By looking at the screen, a player can guide the paramecia to eat virtual yeast cells and make them avoid Pacman-like fish. A microprocessor tracks the movement of the organisms to keep score.' Also available are versions of Pinball, Pong, and soccer."

Airborne Prions Prove Lethal In Mouse Studies 116

sgunhouse writes "Wired has a story up on the lethality of airborne prions. It should be noted that prions (which cause 'mad cow disease' and similar disorders) are not normally airborne, and take a long time to kill the infected animal, but so far are 100% lethal if something else doesn't kill the animal first. So, they are not likely to be useful as a biological weapon (my first thought when reading their headline), but they present another safety precaution to consider."

Comment Probably worth modding parent up (Score 1) 939

I'm in agreement with the poster. Even while it's useful one for people to know, it's not a easy command to find though, is it? I've been putting my xmodmap entries into "~/.Xmodmap" in Ubuntu, it seems to reload it fine on restart of X.

Not sure if anyone cares but I've mapped my Tab to Esc and Caps Lock to Tab. Makes vi easier to use, especially on those laptops that have that microscopic escape key in the upper left. Here's my .Xmodmap if anyone wants:

remove lock = Caps_Lock
keycode 23 = Escape
keycode 66 = Tab

Programmers used to batch environments may find it hard to live without giant listings; we would find it hard to use them. -- D.M. Ritchie