# Wrong, but Useful: Episode 1

What's this? Multimedia? Whatever next?

What you are about to click is an audio extravaganza: a mathematical conversation between me and Dave Gale, who is @reflectivemaths on twitter. It's the first episode of Wrong, But Useful.

Mentioned in this podcast:

The Maths/Maths podcast (with Samuel Hansen and Peter Rowlett) - currently on hiatus

TES Maths Podcast (with Craig Barton)

Festival of the Spoken Nerd podcast

All Squared (with Katie Steckles and Christian Perfect)

A list of the 10 coolest numbers

And the competition questions (don't phone, it's just for fun):

• What's the title of the podcast all about?
• What's the history of gradians?
• Why is the volume of a pyramid $\frac{1}{3}x^2h$?

## Colin

Colin is a Weymouth maths tutor, author of several Maths For Dummies books and A-level maths guides. He started Flying Colours Maths in 2008. He lives with an espresso pot and nothing to prove.

### 88 comments on “Wrong, but Useful: Episode 1”

• ##### Chris Smith @aap03102

It’s reassuring to hear other folk rambling on about numbers and enjoying it too! Just one thought: when compiling an ordered list of an arbitrary ‘n’ favourite numbers surely ‘n’ has to be allocated one of the positions?

• ##### Colin

Not necessarily – if all of my numbers were above 10, none of them would be in the right position.

• ##### Dave Gale

So if I did my top 15 say, then 15 should be one of those numbers because I deemed it an important enough ranking to stop at?
Interesting idea but I’m going to go for ‘coolest’ so I think I can ignore that rule.
Thanks for listening Chris.

Dave

• ##### singinghedgehog

Enjoyed this first episode. It did have that slightly awkward feel of one of the early editions of Math/Maths but I’m sure as you do more it will get slicker.
The item on favourite numbers and what a negative letter would look like did manage to send me rummaging on t’interweb for reverse letter alt codes. Writing in capitals makes backwards writing much easier eg: ИƎƎTЯIHT ƧUИIM and ИƎƎTʇIʇ ƎVITAʚƎИ are both the same length as their value! [cyrillic letters are useful here]
My favourite number would be pi, as my students well know, but they will often say it is a very big number meaning a very long number.
Regarding decimal things, Gradians are French and decimal time also; they ran in decimal time in the late 1790s. http://www.decimaltime.hynes.net/ is the best source of info I have found.
The nicest ‘proof’ of the pyramid formula is by making 3 right angled triangular pyramids and fitting them together to make a cube.
Looking forward to the next one!

• ##### Colin

Glad you liked it! Thanks for the feedback :o)

• ##### twentythree

Great podcast,very enjoyable. Beginning and ending are a little jarring though, you need a little something to bookend it imo.

• ##### Colin

You mean… production values?!

• ##### twentythree

Math/maths has their ringing sound and let’s be fair, their production values are pretty low

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• ##### STEP Maths

Heeeey, I’m abit late for giving any feedback for the 1st episode but only just found out about your podcasts when someone shared your episode 28 (legoland intro :P) with me…so decided to start from the beginning episode 1 #WrongButUseful. Keep up the the podcasting!

BTW – what kind of microphone do you use for your podcasting?

• ##### Colin

Thanks! These days, I have a Zalman ZMMIC1 lapel mic, but I think I was using a Sennheiser headset mic at the start. I know Dave has a posh stand-alone mic — I’ll ask about it when we record next :o)

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##### Where do you teach?

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.