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Comment: Re:As an actual, full-time chess coach... (Score 1) 128

by Wargames (#47449889) Attached to: How To Fix The Shortage of K-5 Scholastic Chess Facilitators

Agreed. RFID'ing chess pieces, brain implants, insane! Why can't they simply learn the rules? It's not that complicated.

I taught after school chess for several years after I was laid off after 9/11 and ensuing telecom crisis-debacle. Parents and teachers believed chess was good for the children and gave me the opportunity to share my expert knowledge. The per-hour pay was not half bad, based on number, but the number of hours per week was small. You never know who is going to be the next Magnus Carlsen or Susan Polgar and make a life of it. There was an equal mix of girls and boys in my classes which ranged from 8 to 42 kids, aged 6 to 16. One school I taught at most kids had ADD and/or Aspberger's who particularly loved chess and teachers said chess was measurably beneficial for their performance in other classes.

Chess teaches kids valuable life skills such as the ability to analyze, have patience and consideration, develop strategies and tactics and understand the difference, make decisions under pressure given time and resource constraints, take calculated risks, and of course sportsmanship and a good bit of psychology, etc. while still being a safe activity. I suppose tennis teaches many of the same things too, while giving good exercise to the body, however, tennis courts take up a lot more space and tennis probably has more injuries. GO too is a great game, I look forward to the time it reaches the international standing of chess. GO is an even simpler game from a rules point of view but a more complex, in terms of combinations and strategy. Perhaps we are not ready for it.. it boggles my mind. Philosophically, it is difficult to say whether one pastime is better than another, but kids do love chess!

To sum it up, If you want more people teaching or playing chess, you have to value it more. Despite the $1,000,000 tournament in Vegas putting down $1000 for the entry fee is taking a gamble even if you are a sandbagger. There is little money in chess playing unless you are at the top, writing books, or organizing $1,000,000 chess tournaments. Alas, there are benefits from chess that you can't buy with money. I personally got a lot out of teaching chess, but I have to pay a mortgage and support a family, so I am a much better valued programmer. It's good to see that there are chess scholarships now and chess popularity is exploding. I can only imagine a day when a chess coach gets paid like an NBA coach, football coach, or soccer coach...., not.

Comment: KEDIT and Rexx (Score 1) 359

I use Kedit for everything text based. In my hands, it is the best... a veritable Swiss Army knife. I mostly code in text based languages ABAP, C, C#, Python, Javascript, Java, Natural, and COBOL. My favorite all-time language is Rexx which it's varient Kexx is the macro language for Kedit.

Comment: Re:danger will robinson (Score 1) 688

by Wargames (#47067101) Attached to: Professors: US "In Denial" Over Poor Maths Standards

The objectives of core standards are admirable and the approach makes sense to me. Teach everyone core concepts in a simple way and make it so they actually understand what they are doing.

It needs to be tempered with everyone learns at their own pace so that people like me, who were able to solve problems like 2 to the 5th power in first grade, aren't held back by other people who are still trying to understand that 32 - 12 is the same as concat(3-2, 2-2).

I think maths should be rolled up into programming. Math notation as I see it is atrocious. Kenneth Iverson comes to mind.

Comment: Re:What was the "huge mistake" by Anand? (Score 2) 131

by Wargames (#45495717) Attached to: 22-Year-Old Norwegian Magnus Carlsen Is the New World Chess Champion

The players were interviewed after the game. The "blunder" was discussed. My impression was (from what both Anand and Carlsen said in the interview) was that the natural move Bf1 was insufficient, so without much consideration Anand chose the alternative Nf1. Since he did analyze Bf1 as insufficient, and Nf1 was the only alternative, and time on his clock is a factor this IMHO is not a blunder. There were only two moves in the position, Nf1 and Bf1. After Nf1, the game is lost for white, even against a fairly weak player (computer put it at around -7 pawns). After Bf1 it was probably still lost against Carlsen (computer put it at nearly -1 pawn). I think his error was allowing the protected passer at b3. In one of the interviews, Anand said it right, "in a bad position, all moves are bad".


Colliding Particles Can Make Black Holes After All 269

Posted by Soulskill
from the act-now-while-supplies-last dept.
cremeglace writes with this excerpt from ScienceNOW: "You've heard the controversy. Particle physicists predict the world's new highest-energy atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, Switzerland, might create tiny black holes, which they say would be a fantastic discovery. Some doomsayers fear those black holes might gobble up the Earth — physicists say that's impossible — and have petitioned the United Nations to stop the $5.5 billion LHC. Curiously, though, nobody had ever shown that the prevailing theory of gravity, Einstein's theory of general relativity, actually predicts that a black hole can be made this way. Now a computer model shows conclusively for the first time that a particle collision really can make a black hole." That said, they estimate the required energy for creating a black hole this way to be roughly "a quintillion times higher than the LHC's maximum"; though if one of the theories requiring compact extra dimensions is true, the energy could be lower.

Mars Images Reveal Evidence of Ancient Lakes 128

Posted by timothy
from the older-I-get-the-wetter-mars-was dept.
Matt_dk writes "Spectacular satellite images suggest that Mars was warm enough to sustain lakes three billion years ago, a period that was previously thought to be too cold and arid to sustain water on the surface, according to research published today in the journal Geology. Earlier research had suggested that Mars had a warm and wet early history but that between 4 billion and 3.8 billion years ago, before the Hesperian Epoch, the planet lost most of its atmosphere and became cold and dry. In the new study, the researchers analysed detailed images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is currently circling the red planet, and concluded that there were later episodes where Mars experienced warm and wet periods."

Comment: Illuminati Alert! (Score 1) 347

by Wargames (#30377380) Attached to: LHC Reaches Record Energy
Someone needs to watch the back of them antimatter-collecting scientists, we don't need no pope wannabe's trying to blow up The Vatican.

Recently enjoyed the "Angels and Demons" movie. It had some rocket-takeoff-countdown-esq video sequences of the supposed(realistic???) powerup of CERN. Interesting q&a on antimatter at:

Comment: I look forward to upgrading... (Score 2) 408

by Wargames (#30371506) Attached to: Between last big computer upgrade and the next ...
Don't laugh.

This is serous. I feel like I'm baring my soul here... Please don't laugh.
. My laptop is a (ne)state-of-the-art Gateway Solo, original price $6500.00 with a 14.4" monitor, video/aux, and dual batteries long dead. It boots fast to either Windows 98, OS/2 Warp, or Linux. It is about 12 years old now. Its main limiting factor is the relatively slow speed of my typing and it's lack of battery power.

My home desktop is a Dell P4 running XP at 2.66GhZ, 1G ram, $800 from the outlet store, only 7 or 8 years years old. It's main limiting factor is the relatively slow speed of it's cable internet connection. Its relatively small (low GiGage) hard drive 30G, and 17" CRT are Screaming to be replaced and for the cost to replace them all, might as well replace the whole ball and get Windows 7.

My work desktop, about a year old, with dual CPU's, often responds slower than both my Ancient Ones. Its main limiting factor is virus scanners and other enterprise required molassesware.

My work laptop is a screaming fast Dell whose main limitation is me having to log into it with about 3 passwords and a fingerscan. Reminds me of all the walls in the old Get Smart series. Oh yeah, If I don't type on it for a minute, I get to reauthenticate fingerscan and 3 password challenges.

If I were to pick an upgrade that would improve my experience the most hardware-wise it would 1st be more resolution plus bigger monitors and faster input devices as yet un-invented or un-unveiled.

I think my next PC will be either a Mac or some kind of as yet un-unveiled super phone.... Soon as my Gateway Solo dies or I hit the lottery!

I have not yet begun to byte!