Computers are pretty capable these days. And while most problems boil down to a series of mathematical computations, Tom Scott points out that there are some kinds of abstract problems that even the smartest programmers with the most powerful supercomputers can’t figure out.
THE BEST Math
Among the many memorable scenes in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory was the one where Charlie and Grandpa Joe steal Fizzy Lifting Drinks. While it’s impossible that sipping a little soda could lift a human, Kyle Hill of Because Science figured out how much gas it would have actually taken to send Charlie sky high.
Matt Parker’s book Humble Pi: When Math Goes Wrong in the Real World tells tales of the catastrophic consequences of mathematical errors in everything from architecture, to sweepstakes, to air traffic control systems. Perhaps it’ll be the kick in the pants you need to actually pay attention in math class.
While you might think that origami was exclusively an art form, engineers are taking inspiration from the paper-folding craft to create innovative designs that can shape-shift to fit objects to into smaller spaces, and enable compact mechanisms, while decreasing the number of parts used. Veritasium explains.
You have a better chance of being struck by lightning multiple times than winning a big lottery these days. But a couple of decades back, Stefan Mandel figured out that depending on the size of a lottery’s jackpot, if you bought every single combination, you’d be guaranteed a win. He just had to figure out how to buy them all.
You’d think that chalk would be chalk, but it turns out that some of the brightest scholars on the planet believe that Hagoromo Fulltouch chalk is magical in some way. The Japanese chalk is said to not only write more smoothly and elegantly, but possess some mystical qualities.
Alex Bellos and Edmund Harris’ wonderful coloring book is designed for kids and adults who are fascinated with patterns, geometry, or mathematics. It’s packed with dozens of intricate and soothing designs to help keep your mind distracted from the day’s woes.
You’d think that when you say you want half a sandwich, it would simply take a straight cut down the middle to get your 50/50 share. But Numberphile explains how it’s not quite that simple of a task if you really want exactly half. Now how to apply theory to reality…
Math (and Sharpie) lover Vi Hart explores another practical application for calculus, as she explores the mathematics and physics behind drivers who ruin our days on a regular basis. It turns out that these stupid drivers just need to improve their math skills.
Use Arrow Keys ← → for Faster Navigation