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Comment Re:Rational (Score 1) 807

No joke, first semester of calc I had no idea what they were talking about when they explained derivatives. Went in stoned and it literally changed my view on math. Now all those wierd abstract ideas and theroems fit right in together. It made me see calc in a new light, honestly switched my thinking about equations from 2D to 3D. Now that's how I explain calc to all my friends who don't get it (Still in college), and they say, "Oh! That does make sense, but how the hell did you come up with it?"

Comment Re:Free market (Score 1) 857

This happened because the government forced banks to give mortgages/loans to people who should have never even considered buying anything that expensive. Millions of loans go out, hundreds of thousands should never of happened, tens of thousands default and the banks out $400k. Free Market did not cause this, Government regulations did.
Software

Congress Endorses Open Source For Military 145

A draft defense authorizing act in Congress includes wording plugging open source software. It seems both cost and software security were considerations. This is an important victory for open source. "It's rare to see a concept as technical as open-source software in a federal funding bill. But the House's proposed National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (H.R. 5658) includes language that calls for military services to consider open-source software when procuring manned or unmanned aerial vehicles."
United States

How Close Were US Presidential Elections? 971

Mike Sheppard writes "I'm a graduate student in Statistics at Michigan State University and spent some time analyzing past US presidential elections to determine how close they truly were. The mathematical procedures of Linear Programming and 0-1 Integer Programming were used to find the optimal solution to the question: 'What is the smallest number of total votes that need to be switched from one candidate to another, and from which states, to affect the outcome of the election?' Because of the way the popular and electoral votes interact, the outcome of the analysis had some surprising and intriguing results. For example, in 2004, 57,787 votes would have given us President Kerry; and in 2000, 269 votes would have given us President Gore. In all there have been 12 US Presidential elections that were decided by less than a 1% margin; meaning if less than 1% of the voters in certain states had changed their mind to the other candidate the outcome of the election would have been different."

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