Pi in the Sky

On September twelfth, a team known as ISHKY flew a formation of planes around the San Francisco Bay area, using a dot matrix sky-writing technique to write out the first 1,000 digits of Pi.ISHKY suggests that this was the world's largest ephemeral art installation. Their understanding of their own work is at their Kickstarter page (which, I note, wasn't very successful.)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iALEU1dD1Ahttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFxhVZdun28 … [Read more...]

Religious Extinction?

Here's an interesting story from the Beeb, reporting on a study presented to an American Physical Society meeting in Dallas:"A study using census data from nine countries shows that religion there is set for extinction... The study found a steady rise in those claiming no religious affiliation. The team's mathematical model attempts to account for the interplay between the number of religious respondents and the social motives behind being one."The countries studied were Australia, Austria, … [Read more...]

Egyptian Puzzlers

Michael Schneider shows how ancient Egyptians (and others) performed mathematics:(via Scotteriology)With this in mind, you can appreciate the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus and similar documents that contain a series of math puzzles for the edification of ancient Egyptians. The Rhind Papyrus contains a variation on the puzzle of sevens ("A man has seven wives, each wife has seven bags, each bag has seven cats ..."), which is still used today to teach exponents.Of course, in the ancient … [Read more...]

So How Long is the Coastline of Maine?

BenoĆ®t Mandelbrot, the pioneering mathematician whose name is popularly synonymous with fractal geometry, died last week.(A music video for Jonathan Coulton's song Mandelbrot Set by Pisut Wisessing made in Film 324: Cornell Summer Animation Workshop, taught by animator Lynn Tomlinson every summer for Cornell's summer session, in the department of Theatre, Film & Dance.) … [Read more...]

Why capitalism must fail.

by Custador(Note from Florien: Since I'm a capitalist, this does not reflect my views.)I saw this video a few years back and was thinking about it today; it's basically a mathematics lecture which proves that capitalism cannot work for very much longer as the dominant socio-economic system and why if it does we're all absolutely screwed.This simple mathematical lecture explains everything from peak oil to the population explosion. Hope y'all enjoy and it makes you think!Incidentally, … [Read more...]