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The Iceland volcano Eyjafjallajokull (or rather more correctly Eyjafjallajökull) has produced a spectacular view stemmed from the surface of those beautiful white mountains and then went on to stage the show on the air, all alone. The amazing thing is that, the volcano this time made sure that everyone in the world pay attention to it. It didnt allow anybody to spoil the show. Air traffic itself was ceased for over a  week. The question of to fly or not to fly immediately popped up and it was on the not side. Believe it or not, I was never scared of a volcano. Quite frankly I didn’t buy the argument that it was something worth worrying about. But this time, I paid a lot of attention to it. Again, not really had worried about it, but was overwhelmed to learn about the kind of impact a natural event such as this can make even when not really causing any serious casualties directly.

Indeed this Vishy Anand has given me way too Anand (happiness) today. I was looking forward to this news. Was following the game online too. Playing with black, in what was dubbed as  final game is never easy. All results were possible today. Such was the build up which we witnessed in this fabulous championship this year. Several things were pinned against Anand, starting from the 40 hour road trip to reach Sofia just a day before the final. To make matters worse, then Anand suffered a fist game loss. Playing against a fantastic task master in his own courtyard. But then Vishy Anand is known to beat obstacles with courage, stength and determination. Topalov is a tough task master and has a great tactical mind when the chess board is in front. The old USSR blood is in him all around. Vishy could oustclass him too. Well done Anand. You made my day. You are the champion and hero. yet again! As New york times aptly reported, the chess world now has a new king; It is the same old king from Chennai, India .

Here is an interesting recap of the Newcomb and Benford findings on the distribution of the first digit in data records.

A century ago, Simon Newcomb observed an unexpected pattern in the first digits of logarithm tables: The digit 1 is significantly more likely to occur than 2, 2 than 3, and so on. More than a half-century later, Frank Benford rediscovered the first-digit phenomenon and found that it applied to many tables of numerical data, including the stock market, census statistics and accounting figures. New mathematical insights establish the empirical law developed by Newcomb and Benford as part of modern probability theory, and recent applications include testing of mathematical models, design of computers and detection of fraud in accounting.

Here is another interesting finding on temperature data and the final digits.  A proof and formal review of the original work is available, presented by Hall.

Here is an intuitive description of the Benford’s law.


May 2010
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