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Apparent sizes

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Wonderful visual thinking from xkcd

Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

October 14, 2013 at 4:59 pm

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An alternative zoology

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These pictures are the result of two animal photos being morphed together. Here: a purd. Norwegian student Arne Olav first created the pictures as a distraction from a hectic exam period, gaining inspiration from his friend’s guinea pigs.

Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

October 10, 2013 at 3:42 pm

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Have you had this feeling of deja vu before?

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10 headlines today:

  1. Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar: Fairytale journey for one and dream win for the other at CL T20– old cricketers never fade away, they keep retiring over and over again
  2. Shah Rukh Khan’s strategist defends his JK Rowling ‘inspired’ speech– Bollywood plagiarises is inspired by others
  3. Besharam: Senseless and disastrous– Bollywood copies from is inspired by the tired ghosts of other Bollywood movies
  4. Jayanthi Natarajan slams Narendra Modi– politicians call each other names
  5. BJP claims Nitish sabotaging Modi rally in Patna– politicians accuse each other of trying to be sneakier
  6. Am using Italian so Centre understands, Chandrababu Naidu targets Sonia Gandhi– politicians past their sell-by date attempt comebacks by climbing bandwagons
  7. Fresh sexual assault complaints against Asaram– godmen are, well, bad men
  8. India Successfully Test-Fires Prithivi-II Missile– India has the world’s most well-tested missile
  9. Samsung Galaxy Gear adverts show smartwatch as fictional gadget that’s come to life– newspapers pass off advertisements as news
  10. RBI to relax norms for forex futures after rupee stabilizes– everything will be better after the rupee stabilizes

Hyper fecund mega nerds!!!

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Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

October 5, 2013 at 11:32 am

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Homer Simpson and Fermat

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Simon Singh writes in the Guardian about mathematics gags in episodes of The Simpsons:

My favourite freeze-frame gag appears in “The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace” (1998), in which Homer tries to become an inventor. In one scene, we see him busily scribbling equations on a blackboard. One of the equations relates to the mass of the Higgs boson, another concerns cosmology and the bottom line explores the geometry of doughnuts, but the most interesting equation is the second one, which appears to be a counterexample to Fermat’s last theorem.

Although it was only on screen for a moment, this equation immediately caught my eye, because I have written a book on Fermat’s last theorem. Homer’s scribble sent a shiver down my spine. I was so shocked that I almost snapped my slide rule.

In order to appreciate my reaction, it is necessary to be aware of the colourful history behind Fermat’s last theorem. In short, a 17th-century French mathematician called Pierre de Fermat believed that it was impossible to find numbers that fitted a particular equation, and he left a tantalising note proclaiming that he had a proof of this fact, but he never wrote down the proof itself. For more than 300 years, mathematicians desperately tried and failed to rediscover Fermat’s proof, which only made his inadvertent challenge even more infamous. Eventually, in the 1980s, Professor Andrew Wiles (now Sir Andrew Wiles) worked in secrecy for seven years to fulfil a childhood dream and build a proof that confirmed that Fermat was right, inasmuch as the following equation has no solution: xn + yn = zn, for n > 2. It is neither necessary to understand the proof nor to examine the equation in detail, except I should stress again that both Wiles and Fermat claimed, indeed proved, that this equation has no solutions, yet Homer’s blackboard proves the opposite!

3987^12 + 4365^12 = 4472^12.

Check it for yourself on your phone calculator and you will find that the equation balances! I realise that I have used two exclamation marks in two consecutive sentences, but this is an extraordinary mathematical circumstance. Homer had the audacity and genius to defy two of the greatest mathematicians in history.

The resolution, and more, is in the article.

Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

October 1, 2013 at 10:05 am

Econophysics?

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The rupee might as well be uranium now, the way it is decaying!

Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

September 22, 2013 at 4:38 pm

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Bad currency jokes

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Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

September 17, 2013 at 9:36 am

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