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 […]

What’s Three Orders of Magnitude Among Friends?
(Alternate title: “Numbers Mean Things”.) The increasinglyirrelevant 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.

FactChecking 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 halfcentury, 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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heKK95DAKms&fs=1&hl=en_US] 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 12can 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., […]