American Go E-Journal » Go Spotting

Go Spotting: SyFy’s “12 Monkeys”

Thursday February 12, 2015

SyFy’s “12 Monkeys”: The latest episode of SyFy’s “12 Monkeys” is titled “Atari.” “A character describes a dire post-apocalyptic predicament as 2015.02.12_12monkeysposterbeing ‘in atari,’” reports Steve Berthiaume. “The character describes go (and)  how he used to play it.” Adds Jeffrey McLellan, “He and his friend are in rather desperate straits and he tells his friend that they are in atari. They only have one more move or they are finished.  ‘Being in atari is bad.’” Click here to watch the episode.

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Go Spotting: The Math Book

Friday February 6, 2015

Phil Straus found this reference to go in “The Math Book,” Clifford Pickover’s 2009 book, subtitled “From Pythagoras to the 57th Dimension, 2502015.01.31_math-book-go-ref 2015.01.31_math-book-coverMilestones in the History of Mathematics.” The book provides “a veritable history of mathematics by focusing on its greatest theorems and the geniuses who discovered them,” said Martin Gardner in a review. “Topics are chronological, starting with the calculating abilities of ants 150 million years B.C. and ending with Max Tegmark’s recent conjecture that our universe is not just described by math, it is mathematics. Dr. Pickover’s vast love of math, and his awe before its mysteries, permeates every page of this beautiful volume. The illustrations alone are worth the book’s price.”

 

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Go Spotting: JAG

Saturday January 31, 2015

Go drives the plotline in a second-season episode of JAG entitled “The Game of Go.”  “Harm and a Colombian drug lord play a high-stakes game 2015.01.31_JAG-episodeof go, with the prize being a Marine who was left behind during a covert mission, as Webb and the JAG team once again butt heads,“ reports Dave Holland.

“My recollection of the episode is that several moves were spread out over the unfolding of 2015.01.31_JAG-close-upthe plot with closeups of the contested part of the board. It represented middle game fighting. A little far-fetched for a US Navy lawyer and a drug kingpin to be such accomplished players but good exposure for the game nevertheless.“ Note that the moves are played inside the board squares rather than on the intersections.

“I enjoy the EJ’s ‘Go Spotting’ column as go has a way of showing up in unexpected places,” says Holland. “I live in Minneapolis and recently met a young player from northern Minnesota whose grandfather learned baduk during the Korean War. He also went to high school with Bob Dylan.“

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Go Spotting: On Violins, Go and Proper Order

Monday January 19, 2015

“I taught one of my best lessons ever this morning,” wrote Stephen Brivati recently on the violinist.com blog. “When this nice thing happens, I 2015.01.18_violinistalways try to figure out why. When playing Go, the greatest intellectual challenge in my life after the cat, one has to do things in the correct order or get slaughtered. Both teaching and practicing the violin are the same: you have to make real-time decisions about what to work on that is appropriate for that time and place and student. Get the wrong order, and the value of the lesson or practice diminishes significantly.”
- Thanks to Justin Teng for sending this in, his dad plays violin and follows this blog.

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Go Spotting: Return of The Hedgehog; ’42 Ozu Film

Saturday December 27, 2014

Return of The Hedgehog: “The French movie ‘The Hedgehog’ has a mention of go and a scene showing the game,” writes Bart Lipofsky. “It’s based on the book ‘The2014.12.23_HedgehogFilm-101x150 Elegance of the Hedgehog’ by Muriel Barbery, which mentions the game at a dinner table discussion.  The adult is corrected by 2014.12.23_there-was-father-moviethe young girl concerning rules.”
Previous EJ reports include Go Art: “The Hedgehog” Now Available Online (11/28/2012 EJ) and Your Move/Readers Write: The Elegant Hedgehog Pops Up Again (9/1/2012). 

’42 Ozu Film: In the 1942 movie There Was a Father (“Chichi ariki”), directed by Ozu Yasujiro, “There are views of a go parlor at minute 35, then further mention of the game later,” reports Bob Barber.

For more about go on film, check out the European Go Federation’s Go Filmography.

 

 

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Go Spotting: Go and International Relations Theory

Thursday December 25, 2014

Former AGA Board Chair David Weimer tipped us off about a forthcoming book with a go-themed cover. International Relations Theory, The 2014.12.23_Int-relations-book-coverGame-Theoretic Approach is by Andrew H. Kydd, a colleague of Weimer’s in the Political Science Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, WI. “Written for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, this is the first textbook on international relations theory to take a specifically game theoretic approach to the subject,” according to the book’s description on the Cambridge University Press website. “International relations theory is presented and analysed using simple games, which allow students to grasp the concepts and mechanisms involved with the rationalist approach without the distraction of complicated math.” The book is due out in March.

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Go Spotting: Netflix’ Borgia

Monday December 15, 2014

Go makes an appearance in the Netflix series “Borgia,” which is not to be confused with the similar series “The Borgias.” In the 29th minute of 2014.12.14_borgia-seriesthe third episode (“1497″) of the third season, Cesare Borgia , the illegitimate son of Pope Alexander VI (r. 1492-1503), uses “the game of strategy from the Orient, go,” to give a plan for his conquest of northern Italian states. He uses a thick go board with legs and colored glass beads to demonstrate his point. “The goal is to add as few men as possible; out-thinking your opponent rather than out-fighting him.” The winner does not eradicate his opponent, but rather entices him to surrender.
- Ted Terpstra, based on a tip from Mark Gilston 

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Go Spotting: Go TED Talk

Wednesday November 26, 2014

In his 2013 “A New Equation For Intelligence” TED Talk, Alex Wissner-Gross uses go to demonstrate his thesis that there is a single equation 2014.11.25_TED-talkfor intelligence. Drawing on the fact that computer game playing has improved to the point that in 1997 the computer beat the world chess champion and in the last decade computers have made significant progress in playing go, Wissner-Gross postulates that intelligence is a “physical force that resists future confinement.”
- Ted Terpstra, with thanks to Arnold Eudell and Joshua Guarino. We also covered this in a February 8, 2014 post.

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Go Spotting: Go On His Mind

Wednesday November 19, 2014

San Diego Go Club President Ted Terpstra has been seeing go everywhere lately. On senet, an Egyptian board game that’s older than go by 3,000 years,2014.11.17_terpstra-collage but lost for millennia before being reborn, “‘GO’ can be seen in a couple of places on the side of the board,” he writes. A recent New Yorker cover “that at first glance seemed to have many white go stones scattered in it,” turned out to be raindrops on a taxi window as it approaches the Empire State Building, which Terpstra points out “is near the 2014 Go Congress site.” The UCSD Go Club combined with the San Diego Go Club to sponsor Go Night at UCSD on Saturday, November 8. Japanese language students turned out to learn go at a Study Abroad event. Twenty student showed up for the beginners class and although it was supposed to end at 8:30 p.m., “the students kept playing until they were thrown out at 10 p.m.,” says Terpstra.

Go Spotting: Cat Go

Tuesday November 18, 2014

The Internet is filled with cats, so Steve Colburn wasn’t too surprised to come across this piece by Tango that combines cats and go. “The tumblr2014.11.17_cats-go this came off of has a lot of fun images for simple perspective and jokes,” Colburn adds.

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