Posted in blog.

What does a blogger do when he has a stinking headache, no ideas, and a commitment to write a blog post? Of course! A lazy list post! Luckily, it’s a lazy list post that gives a shout-out to people whose stuff I enjoy, so it’s not all bad. News, roundups

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Posted in probability, sport.

A reader asks: Is it easier to predict every game in the first round of a tournament1, or to pick the eventual winner? There’s a competition run by Sky, which is free to enter; you win £250,000 if you correctly predict the scores in six Premier League games. It’s free

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Posted in probability.

Someone on the internet asks: What percentage of the natural numbers have the digit ‘seven’ in them? This is going to sound like a weird answer: it’s 100%. I know, I know: you can point at 42 and 100 and 986,543,210 and 666,666,666,666,666 and at least a handful of others

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Posted in podcasts.

In this month’s WBU spectacular: Big MathsJam is coming up – book quickly! The Relatively Prime Series 2 Kickstarter closes today. Donate quickly! Dave’s got a chapter in a book – order quickly! Colin sails into the wind (virtually) Dave’s moving house over half term: what maths are the movers

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Posted in algebra, cav being wrong, ninja maths, pirate maths, ranting.

The Mathematical Pirate took one look at the piece of paper attached to the dock. “They’re BANNING formula triangles?! By order of @srcav?!” He swished his sword around. “Let me figure out where he lives, I’ll show him.” “He lives… inshore, cap’n” said the $n$th mate. “It’s too dangerous.” “Can

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Posted in revision.

There’s a constant refrain in the Flying Maths Classroom, these days, of “I can’t quite remember…” Whether it’s a trig identity or $21 \div 7$, the outbreak of amnesia in the quiet suburbs of Weymouth seems close to epidemic proportions. What can one tutor do, faced with an unstoppable tide

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Posted in exam technique, revision.

A reader asks: I keep dropping marks in tests by making silly mistakes. Is that something I just have to get used to? Great question! I have, in a box of ancient relics upstairs, one of my GCSE mock papers. On the front of it is the number “100”, scribbled

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Posted in core 3, inequalities, modulus.

Solve $\sqrt{|x|-3} > x-4$ Difficult, as the man said. Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. It’s not that it’s tricky to solve it – it’s just… fiddly. Let’s start by drawing the graphs. The right-hand side is easy enough: it’s a straight line with gradient 1, through the point $(0,-4)$. The left-hand

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Posted in ranting.

“We do these things… not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” – John F. Kennedy I love a challenge. I go out of my way to do Hard Sums in my head, in the hope of one day matching the Mathematical Ninja’s prowess. I run long distances.

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