Google Trick of the Day

Try [searching]( for:

"electricity consumption of " + someCountryName

I stumbled on this when trying to calculate the amount of energy used refining [Aluminium]( in the US.

In case you were wondering, using Google’s (via the [CIA]( figure of 3,660,000,000,000 kWh and a usage rate of 5% according to [Nature’s Building Blocks]( by John Emsley, the final figure comes out to 186 billion kWh devoted to aluminium production annually.

Eric Weinstein Speaks

Last Thursday the Matrix math club and [Pi Mu Epsilon]( here at the [University](
hosted [Eric Weinstein](, founder of [Mathworld](

For those who don’t know, Mathworld is an (excellent) online encyclopedia of mathematics from [Wolfram Research](

His talk was interesting, and a good time was had by all.

He spoke about how Mathworld got started, first as a giant word document of class notes. He went on to talk about how he then put all those notes onto a website “Eric’s Treasure Trove of Mathematics” when that [internet]( thing was getting started. How he got [sued](, taken down, and then then a year later (2000), how it returned as the site we know and love today.

We also got a nice preview of Mathematica 6.0. I’m no [Mathematica]( user, but I saw a few things that impressed me. Mathematica now supports anti-aliasing (the jaggly lines it draws currently have always been a turn off for me). Smooth Shading (makes surfaces much nicer). And also a cool little deally where you (as far as I can tell) treat graphics as objects (or whatever they are in Mathematica) – so their no longer static and stuff like that… cool.

There were also some other nifty tidbits as well – he commented a bit on his role as an advisor to the CBS TV series [Numb3rs]( (I haven’t seen it myself but I hear it’s good). I also found out that in the not so distant future we should be able to expect a Mathworld podcast (awesome) and that (surprisingly) the entire site is, by-in-large, still a one person show.

Oh – yea, almost forgot, I got this nifty [Mathworld shirt]( too! – rock on.