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But Not Simpler

Squirtle, I (Should) Choose You! Settling a Great Pokémon Debate with Science


In the fall of 1998 I stole a Pokémon trading card in Shanghai, China. It was a Kadabra, I remember now. It was slipped discretely from a child’s backpack and into my pocket. He noticed an hour or so later. I was discovered and interrogated, but I eventually lied my way out of it. The [...]

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Roots of Unity

Has Anyone Ever Flipped Heads 76 Times in a Row?

What are the odds? Image: Evelyn Lamb

Tom Stoppard’s absurdist play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead begins with one of them, Guildenstern (or is it Rosencrantz?), flipping coins. “Heads,” Rosencrantz says, and takes the coin. Guildenstern flips again. “Heads,” Rosencrantz says, and takes the coin. Another flip. “Heads.” Again, “Heads.” Soon we find out that Guildenstern has flipped 76 coins, and all [...]

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