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Richard Clark
Blog Posts from this author:
April 18, 2013– 15

I love dogs; they are the best. I find that they are suitable not only as companions, but as friends and confidants. That said, as much as I might anthropomorphize them, I do genuinely wish I could see the world in their eyes. Now, with Wolfram|Alpha, I can—and so can you. More »

April 16, 2013– Comments Off on Introducing the Wolfram Plants Reference App Comments Off on Introducing the Wolfram Plants Reference App

My mother always loved gardening, and when I was growing up I enjoyed taking long strolls with her while she told me what all the different flowers were. She knew a lot about plants, but I remember sometimes asking her a question—like what was a plant’s taxonomic structure, or its optimal height compared to its average height—and she didn’t know what to say. Well, that’s why we’ve come up with the Wolfram Plants Reference App, available on iOS and PC. This app is for you, mom! More »

March 7, 2013– 5

I’m not a doctor, but for the purpose of this blog post, please imagine that I am wearing a lab coat and a stethoscope—maybe even two stethoscopes, just to be extra professional. Wolfram|Alpha now has an understanding of sig codes, which are the marks on your drug prescriptions that tell the pharmacist what it is you’re getting, what it does, and when precisely it should be taken. Patients aren’t often exposed to sig codes these days, but pharmacy techs learn them, since they receive these abbreviated instructions from the doctor. More »

February 28, 2013– Comments Off on Celebrate National Tooth Fairy Day with Wolfram|Alpha Comments Off on Celebrate National Tooth Fairy Day with Wolfram|Alpha

Today is National Tooth Fairy Day, a day where we can be reminded to take good care of our teeth, and in the event we’re young and some fall out, to put them under our pillows for magic money. I once heard that the source of this magic money is from some sort of self-described guardian, but I’ve never actually met him or her. More »

February 27, 2013– 2

Superlatives, like hyperbole, are my favorite thing. So it is with the greatest excitement that I am devoting this blog post to superlatives and range searching, as Wolfram|Alpha has again expanded its functionality in these areas.

I once heard from an actor pretending to be a scientist that the denser an element is, the better that element is for fighting terrible monsters. I cannot speak on the accuracy of that statement, as I am not an actor pretending to be a scientist, but if you wanted to apply superlatives to chemistry, Wolfram|Alpha can do that. More »

February 14, 2013– 3

Years ago when I was young,
there was something I wanted to know:
“Could math ever be super popular,
or has it begun to plateau?”

Although being “smart” and quite “witty,”
I never could figure math out.
Its numbers were letters, its letters were prime,
I wanted to stand up and shout. More »

January 24, 2013– 2

Football, basketball, and baseball have two common elements. The first, each sport is the “best” depending on which one I’m watching at a given moment. The second, each sport’s raw data can now be computed and juxtaposed in Wolfram|Alpha, which means arguments over statistics, histories, and comparisons will be better than ever before. More »

January 8, 2013– 10

When I was younger, I held the naive and incorrect view that mathematics was divorced from the arts. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more aware of not only how mathematics is the foundation for any of the hard sciences, but also how it is intrinsically linked to essentially any form of creativity. Certainly users of our Wolfram Music Theory Course Assistant could have told me that, but I’m not just referring to music. In truth, I’m not even trying to make some highbrow appeal to abstract art, either, although I happen to rather like that sort of thing. What I’m trying to say is that mathematical equations can make pretty pictures.

butterfly curve More »

December 18, 2012– 2

My family lives all over, with varying worldviews and equally varied career choices, from video game producers to truck drivers. So certainly reconnecting with family, both nuclear and extended, can be a daunting holiday experience. But don’t fret—Wolfram|Alpha is here to sort you out with the perfect ice breakers.

Suppose your brother is a truck driver who plans to move to Salt Lake City, Utah, from Raleigh, North Carolina, citing dissatisfaction with his wages and the cost of fuel, and how they juxtapose to the cost of living in Raleigh. You could first show how many truck drivers are in North Carolina and Utah, and from there ask the question “What is the average wage for truck drivers in North Carolina and Utah?

We can see that truck drivers do earn more money in Utah than in North Carolina, and the price of diesel is, at the time of this writing, pretty much the same—only a few cents difference. But moving to another part of the country is a huge decision, and even if one can earn a few thousand dollars more, is it worth it? We could compare the cost of utilities in Salt Lake City and Raleigh or, more generally, the cost of living in Salt Lake City and Raleigh. More »

December 10, 2012– Comments Off on Nobel Prizes with Wolfram|Alpha Comments Off on Nobel Prizes with Wolfram|Alpha

The Nobel Prizes, named for chemist and engineer Alfred Nobel, inventor of dynamite and activist for humankind’s advancement, were handed out in Stockholm today. Wolfram|Alpha can tell us that the winners include Brian Kobilka and Robert Lefkowitz for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

nobel prize 2012 More »

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