arXiv Fool's Day 2023, now with more chickens

I had a feeling I’d be writing this post. Last week I only found six joke papers to add to my list, but today’s arXiv feed delivered a very strong update, with eight more, bringing the 2023 total to fourteen, tying last year’s record.

I did not, however, have a feeling I’d be reading the phrase “large overdensity in the overall distribution of chickens”. One of the highlights of today’s feed is this extremely well-researched survey of bounds on the chicken density function (CDF) of the universe. While a lower bound is well established, the paper makes the first case for an upper bound as well, \(10^{23}\) chickens per cubic parsec. Fortunately (for the chickens, if perhaps not for science), that probably falls short of the gravitational binding threshold for small animals, but if the density fluctuations are large enough, who knows. I definitely want to see followup studies on this one.

(Loosely) speaking of birds, we also have the creatively titled “ChatGPT scores a bad birdie in counting gravitational-wave chirps”, which pretty firmly establishes that ChatGPT is not as good as actual scientists at counting gravitational wave events. (With some neat visualizations, too …

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Most of the site looks pretty similar to how it did before, but there are some significant changes under the hood.

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Lessons from my first half-week

Things that don’t exist in China:

  • Ubiquitous wireless internet. Not so surprising, really, because Americans do have a rather unhealthy obsession with their wireless, but one would think I’d get wifi in the hotel room. Surprise, nope! Naturally this makes it rather less convenient to put up blog …