I know that we live in a distracted society. I get that. Everyday, I see people texting while driving, fumbling through conversations due to the interruptions of one gadget or another, and generally having the attention span of a squirrel. But I believe I have now seen, with my own two eyes, the pinnacle of our ability to be disengaged in our own lives.

Picture the scene. It is early night, about 9:30 or 10:00 pm. The sun has set and the streets are thin on people. A perfect time for lovers to be out and about, enjoying each others company with a tryst here and an assignation there. So I wasn’t surprised when I turned into a lonely byway and found a young man in a clutch with a young woman.

The young man held her at her hips, pulling her in tight to him. His forehead resting on her collar bone, he appeared by all my perception to be in the throws of deep emotion. For her part, she had her arms drapped over his shoulders. What could be more idyllic?

Then I noticed that she held between her hands a cell phone and that she was surfing the internet, or texting a friend, or playing Clash of Clans for all I know. What was clear was that the boy (it really is hard to call him anything else) was clearly engaged in their union while she was clearly not. Go figure.

Well this month’s offerings aren’t a distraction but rather an engaging enrichment sure to entertain.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, by now you’ve heard of the success of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2.
Not only does this blockbuster feature the favorite characters from the first movie but it introduces a few new ones. Most notable amongst these is Mantis, a character whose comics existance is likely unknown to most of the viewers. About Comics tries to rectify that by giving a retrospective of her publication history.

It’s a free country right so how can individual choice be bad? Well generally this is true, except for those cases where we all share a common resource. In these cases, unthinking individual choice can lead to big problems. Common Cents presents concrete examples of this ‘Tragedy of the Commons’ that are no further than your car or your cellphone.

The human eye and the mind/brain behind it are remarkable things. Patterns in plots and pictures are evident to even the most unschooled unmongst us but remain essentailly elusive for computers. Aristotle To Digital explores a cluster identification algorithm that called K-Means Clustering that helps narrow the gap between human and machine.

Under The Hood begins a multi-part exploration of generalized coordinates the resulting relationship between energy and the Hamiltonian. This month the focus is on the general conditions when the energy and the $$h$$ function are the same and when they differ.