November, 2014

A baseball with your name on it

At the 1939 World’s Fair, San Francisco Seals catcher Joe Sprinz tried to catch a baseball dropped from the Goodyear blimp 1,200 feet overhead. Sprinz knew baseball but he hadn’t studied physics — he lost five teeth and spent three months in the hospital with a fractured jaw. - from

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Over on reddit, noncognitivism posted a nice sequence s/he had come across: $4 + 1 = 5 = \sqrt{ (1)(2)(3)(4) + 1 }$ $(4+6) + 1 = 11 = \sqrt{ (2)(3)(4)(5) + 1}$ $(4+6+8) + 1 = 19 = \sqrt{ (3)(4)(5)(6) + 1}$ $…$ $(4+6+ … + (2k+2)) + 1 Read More The Mathematical Ninja takes on the Wall Game For the first time anyone could remember, the Mathematical Ninja trembled with fear. He’d pulled his scary face, and it hadn’t worked: Victoria Coren Mitchell had simply said “you don’t scare me” and he had no idea what to do next. “It’s time for the wall game,” she said. “Right,” Read More How big a lead can a football team have? A reader asks: What’s the biggest lead a football team can have in the table after$n$games? In a typical football league, teams get three points for a win, one for a draw, and none for getting beat. After, for example, one game, if one team wins and all Read More Radians (and why they are better than degrees) The brilliant @dragon_dodo has written a cartoon to explain - as if explanation were needed - of why radians are the correct way to measure angles. Read More HOW much rice? There's a legend, so well-known that it's almost a cliche, about the wise man who invented chess. When asked by the great king what reward he wanted, he replied that he'd be satisfied by a chessboard full of rice: one grain on the first square, two on the second, four Read More Wrong, But Useful: Episode 20 Recorded LIVE at Big MathsJam Apologies for the variable sound quality in this episode; the problems of recording live. The Wrong, But Useful tag team are joined by @peterrowlett (Peter Rowlett) Colin concedes that Dave's talk was quite clever Dave mentions the 1, 3, 2, 6 sequence (a talk by Read More That pesky constant A student asks: I've got to work out:$\int \cosec^2(x) \cot(x) \d x$. I did it letting$u = \cosec(x)$and got an answer -- but when I did it with$u = \cot(x)$, I got something else. What gives? Ah! A substitution question! My favourite -- and it sounds Read More Why does$x^3 e^{-x}$go to zero as$x$goes to infinity? A student asks: I know that$x^3 e^{-x}$approaches zero as$x\$ approaches infinity - I can see it from the graph - but I don't really understand why? Can you help? Of course I can! However, it's going to take us into the murky depths of analysis, and we'll

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I teach in my home in Abbotsbury Road, Weymouth.

It's a 15-minute walk from Weymouth station, and it's on bus routes 3, 8 and X53. On-road parking is available nearby.