Category: Math

  • Is ISIS’s popularity low? Hard to Tell

    The Washington Post reported on a Pew survey of countries with a significant Muslim population, asking whether people there have a positive or negative view of ISIS: As the graph shows, in every country, ISIS is unpopular, by huge margins (and I find it interesting that according to the same survey, attitudes vary more from country to country and between […]

  • Catholic Church 99 44/100% Pure

    BillDo has a post in which he plays down the Catholic priesthood’s image problem: Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the findings of the 2011 Annual Report on priestly sexual abuse that was released by the bishops’ conference; the survey was done by a Georgetown institute: The headlines should read, “Abuse Problem Near Zero […]

  • What’s Three Orders of Magnitude Among Friends?

    (Alternate title: “Numbers Mean Things”.) The increasingly-irrelevant Uncommon Descent blag had a post today, commenting on an article in Science News. Right now, UD’s post is entitled “Timing of human use of fire pushed back by 300,000 years”, but when it showed up in my RSS reader, it was “Timing of human use of fire […]

  • Numbers Mean Things

    So I saw this headline in The Washington Post: UN envoy says $5 billion malaria fight has saved several thousand lives in recent years My first thought was, “$5 billion divided by, let’s say 5000 people, that comes out to a million bucks per person saved. A noble result, to be sure, but isn’t there […]

  • Answer to the Saturday Puzzle

    On Saturday, I gave the following puzzle: Can you make the following equation correct by moving just one number?: 45 – 46 = 1 Answer below the jump.

  • Saturday Puzzle

    I love Richard Wiseman’s Friday Puzzles. So as a tribute of sorts to this one, here’s one of my own: Can you make the following equation correct by moving just one number?: 45 – 46 = 1 I’ll post the answer on Monday.

  • Fact-Checking the BillDo

    Recently, BillDo farted the following onto the intertubes: Moreover, Jenkins wrote that “Out of 100,000 priests active in the U.S. in this half-century, a cadre of just 149 individuals—one priest out of every 750—accounted for over a quarter of all allegations of clergy abuse.” In other words, almost all priests have never had anything to […]

  • Snakes on A Euclidian Plane

    Via A., here’s a cool video about doodling in math class, that somehow keeps circling back to knot theory: [youtube] This should be required viewing for anyone who doesn’t see what the appeal of math is, or who thinks math is only about numbers and formulas. My favorite line is the one about the […]

  • What Good Is Math?

    I think most people, if you asked them, would say that teaching math in school is a good thing. If you ask why, the usual answer is something like, it allows you to figure out how much carpet and wallpaper you need to buy to redecorate your living room, to determine whether the 12-can pack […]

  • Genetics and Collectible Card Games

    Let’s say I’ve started collecting cards, like Magic: the Gathering, or baseball cards. Yesterday, I bought a pack of 100 random cards. Today, I bought another pack of 100 random cards. 5 of them were duplicates of cards that I already had from yesterday. Question: how many distinct cards are there in the game? I.e., […]