Palindromes

Problem 4 at Project Euler poses the following challenge:

A palindromic number reads the same both ways. The largest palindrome made from the product of two 2-digit numbers is 9009 = 91 × 99.

Find the largest palindrome made from the product of two 3-digit numbers.

A Naïve Approach

A naïve solution would be to multiply all the three-digit numbers by one another, pull out all the palindromes, and find the greatest:

var isPalindrome = function(n){  
  n
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The Vibram Settlement

If you’ve been in the paleo community for a while, you’ve probably seen a pair of Vibram FiveFingers toe shoes. You may even own a pair, or, like me, eight. And you may have also have heard that Vibram have settled a class action suit for $3.75m. There are quite a few nasty, mean-spirited articles out there on the Internet shouting “I told you so,” claiming this settlement

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On the American-ness of Christmas

Christmas (also termed Christmas Day and December 25) is an American holiday (5 U.S.C. § 6103(a) (Federal gov’t), Ala. Code § 1-3-8(a) (Alabama), Alaska Stat. § 44.12.010(a)(11) (Alaska), Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 1-301(A)(15) (Arizona), Ark. Code § 1-5-101(a)(10) (Arkansas), Cal. Gov’t Code § 6700(m) (California), Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-11-101(1) (Colorado), Conn. Gen. Stat. § 1-4 (Connecticut), Del. Code tit. 1, § 501(a) (Delaware), D.C. Code

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Marginal Tax Brackets for 2001

I recently solved a problem that has been bothering me for almost a year now. For reasons no one wants me to get into, I had been attempting to model US federal marginal income tax brackets for individuals under 26 USC §1. The math is pretty straightforward. The brackets are adjusted each year according to the average CPI-U for the period September TY-2 through August TY-1. There are some quirky rounding rules, but I had

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Tonight: Qwertz on Gay Marriage & the Spousal Privileges at Philosophy in Action

Tonight, philosopher Dr. Diana Hsieh will interview me about "Gay Marriage and Spousal Privilege" on her live internet radio show, Philosophy in Action. This is the subject on which I wrote an unpublished Law Review comment many moons ago. It wasn't a particularly relevant topic back then, but a recent Supreme Court decision striking down §3 of the Defense of Marriage Act makes it vastly more likely that the

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Slice of Light

Literally anyone can pick up a camera and take a snapshot. Most can even take a pretty good snapshot. But to take a photograph requires a bit more. A photograph does not document, or if it does, it does so only accidentally. The photographer must not seek to capture a scene, a moment, an object, a person. The photographer, as against the snapshootist, extracts a narrow, carefully delimited slice of light. The skill with which

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Dictionary of Occupational Titles, Revised Fourth Edition

After weeks of hunting, I am pleased to present to you the complete electronic version of the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, Revised Fourth Edition, as supplied by the U.S. Department of Labor as ASCII files on 34 floppy disks. This electronic version contains data published in the following print volumes:

  • Dictionary of Occupational Titles, Revised Fourth Edition, Vol. I
  • Dictionary of Occupational Titles, Revised Fourth Edition, Vol II
  • Selected Characteristics of Occupations Defined in
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Click and drag.

Randall Munroe of xkcd recently posted a comic that included an enormous world to explore, full of fun things do discover. He called it "Click and drag."

You really ought to explore the original for a while, because part of the point of the comic is that exploration takes time and effort. But when you're done with that, check out my zoomable Google Maps version here.

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All This

The heart is hard to translate. It has a language of its own. It talks in tongues and quiet sighs, prayers and proclamations, in the grand deeds of great men, in the smallest of gestures, in short, shallow gasps. But with all my education, I can't seem to command it. The words are all escaping and coming back all damaged. I would put them back in poetry, if I only knew how. I can't seem
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WoPSR.net, Now an Amazon Associate

So if I post a link to a product there, and you click it and then buy something, I might get a small commission in the form of Amazon.com store credit.

I'm also working on doing the same with iTunes.

I'm going to be making a number of other changes soon as well. I need to clean up the blogroll, replace the Flash clocks with canvases, and fix the wishlist. I'm also working on

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On Amendment One and Obama's ABC Interview

On Tuesday, North Carolina voters approved Amendment One, which strips unmarried couples of all legal recognition of their relationships under State law. Billed as a simple gay marriage ban, the amendment actually goes much further, as Patrick at Popehat describes, and voids all other legal protections unmarried couples, gay or straight, might seek for themselves, including wills, adoptions, medical powers of attorney, and possibly even joint tenancy in realty. [Part 2 and Part 3 in

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Compare & Contrast

Our first production assignment in film school was to film and edit together a silent short, then give it a soundtrack that completely altered the emotional response of the viewer. It was a demonstration of the equally-matched emotional power of picture and sound. It was a challenging exercise.

Today, I present you with two videos, both of which use nearly the same soundtrack, but with different pictures. This inverts the exercise. Watch them both, then

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On Gary Johnson

Former governor of New Mexico and best of all possible candidates for the Republican nomination for president Gary Johnson was so thoroughly and systematically excluded from the nomination process that he dropped out of it. This is disappointing on a number of fronts, one being Johnson's decision to instead seek the Libertarian nomination. This decision in particular has caused a great deal of consternation among those of us who supported Johnson enthusiastically as a Republican

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Celestial Nomenclature

or

Why I Stopped Watching Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader, Reason 227

I wanted to open this blog with the actual clip from Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader, episode 107 (S01E08), but I could not find a copy anywhere on the Internets. This was way back when that show was brand spanking new and I thought I'd watch a few episodes to see how it was. This was the last one

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PSA: "Period of Time"

This phrase is always redundant. Please use either "period" or "time." Do not use both. The phrase "point in time" is also redundant, and based on a poor understanding of physics. Likewise "moment in time."

As a general rule, the "in time" modifier is easily dropped without affecting clarity. This will tighten your prose, making it easier to consume quickly.

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23andMe Sale!

23andMe offers ridiculously low cost, private genotyping to just about anyone. They take your spit and use it to test your DNA for hundreds of thousands of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Many of these SNPs are reliable predictors of gene sequence, and 23andMe can tell you tons of interesting stuff about tote traits, disease risk, heredity, and more! I've found out all sorts of really interesting stuff, like the fact that my father's father's mother

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