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Mathematicians Solve the Topological Mystery Behind the "Brazuca" Soccer Ball 144

Posted by timothy
from the nature-is-scrambling-to-keep-up dept.
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "In the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, teams used a new kind of ball called the Telstar made from 12 black pentagonal panels and 20 white hexagonal panels. This ball has icosahedral symmetry and its own molecular analogue in the form of C60, the famous soccer ball-shaped fullerene. In 2006, a new ball called the TeamGeist was introduced at the World Cup in Germany. This was made of 14 curved panels that together gave it tetrahedral symmetry. This also had a molecular analogue with tetrahedral symmetry among the fullerenes. Now teams at the current World Cup in Brazil are playing with yet another design: the Brazuca, a ball constructed from six panels each with a four-leaf clover shape that knit together like a jigsaw to form a sphere. This has octahedral symmetry. But here's question that has been puzzling chemists, topologists and..errr...soccer fans: is there a molecular analogue of the Brazuca? Or put another way, can fullerenes have octahedral symmetry? Now a pair of mathematicians have finally solved this problem. They've shown that fullerenes can indeed have octahedral symmetry just like the Brazuca, although in addition to hexagonal and pentagonal carbon rings, the ball-shaped molecules must also have rings of 4 and 8 carbon atoms. The next stage is to actually synthesis one of these fullerenes, perhaps something to keep chemists occupied until the 2018 World Cup in Russia."

Comment: Thanks a bunch, Microsoft (Score 2, Insightful) 495

by thrill12 (#47358539) Attached to: Microsoft Takes Down No-IP.com Domains
[grudge mode]I will be sure to claim damages for this, as I am using no-ip for my own server which is perfectly valid and runs no Microsoft software whatsoever (nor will it ever). What judge is so stupid as to do this ???[/grudge mode].
Did not hear anything from No-ip though ; when I logged in yesterday to find out what was wrong, and why my domain was not resolving, there was no information whatsoever.

Comment: In socialist Europe... (Score 1) 85

by thrill12 (#47265385) Attached to: Wireless Industry Lobbying Hard to Keep Net Neutrality Out
Net Neutrality .... (paste catchy phrase here).

But seriously, whatever argument they come up with, I am sure it has been discussed in Europe where the same lobbyists were active, but *failed* to kill real net-neutrality. I suggest the politicians and those interested read the reports on that debate.
Good luck US, in the mean-time: here's to European Internet leadership ! :)

Comment: Switching of roaming does not always help (Score 2) 321

by thrill12 (#47175505) Attached to: AT&T Charges $750 For One Minute of International Data Roaming
I regularly cross borders in Europe by car between two countries with roaming switched off on my Samsung Note 3. Without roaming enabled, I *always* had a $0.10 cent charge for roaming, even though I had it *disabled*. Even with roaming disabled, some phones - like Samsung - still send data to the wrong cell. Bug, most likely, but a costly one if you make the trip frequently or if you live on the border. Only thing that helped for me was installing a tool that would switch off data when I turn off the display - since then no more charges. Otoh I do now have to enable data each time I want to look up something, but I accept that minor inconvenience.

Comment: Helmet ? (Score 1) 947

by thrill12 (#45226587) Attached to: How Safe Is Cycling?
In The Netherlands, everyone bikes without a helmet, from young to old. I always find it interesting to see other countries, US included, to take the 'helmet' so serious when it comes to safety. Instead, we learned a long time ago that separate bike lanes and proper rules (biker from right ? -> right of way, always) come first.

I guess until the time comes that cars are no longer the 'holy cow' (as we call it) of transportation, you better not use bikes at all: a helmet will not save you.

Comment: There are ways ... (Score 2) 70

...I sometimes encounter data breaches from companies I do business with, simply because I use a unique e-mail address for each business. (name_businessname@domain). As soon as I start receiving spam on the e-mail, I have pretty much irrefutable proof that a leak exists at that company; the only condition being that I must make sure that that e-mail address is never communicated to anyone else.
Of course, "proof" for a court of law could require a bit more, but I think that needs to be established as jurisprudence, and this could be an example of how it could be established.

Comment: Why not concentrate (Score 1) 466

by thrill12 (#43669611) Attached to: Ubuntu Developing Its Own Package Format, Installer
on having good stable API's of core libraries that are backwards compatible up to an extent, rather than continuously fighting dependency hell when it comes to updating packages ?
This proposal seems basically like "we statically link every binary", and we all know that is not wanted because of disk usage and more importantly: memory usage. Especially in constrained embedded systems statically that could be a concern if you start having a lot of running applications.

Save the whales. Collect the whole set.

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