Wrong, But Useful: Episode 59

In Episode 59 of Wrong, But Useful, we’re joined by @el_timbre, who is Emma Bell in real life.

We discuss:

  • Emma’s Roots column in Chalkdust1
  • Number of the podcast: 64, because it’s pleasing, and Dave sings the 64 Zoo Lane theme, which is less so.
  • Emma’s hexastix construction and the maths behind it.
  • Dave has been playing Trivia Mix-up. So have we now. Apparently, 47 is the most random number.
  • Dave wants to know what people should know.
  • Emma runs the #mathsmatters hashtag, trying to enthuse and engage people in maths
  • @nira_ch (Nira Chamberlain) won the Aperiodical Maths-Off. Dave claims to be the nice one but then fails to plug Colin’s books in Swedish.
  • There were some Fields Medals. Caucher Birkar had his stolen and replaced. We ponder the logistics of getting him a replacement, much more than what he won it for.
  • @mscroggs has LOOP-ed up Mathsteriods
  • A lovely proof of the sum of squares.
  • Puzzle feedback: Gold stars for @alephthought and Sam Steele who each worked out that 40 cows would last ten days, and 10 cows could survive forever.
  • This month’s puzzle: Aloysius and Beatrice are flipping coins. Aloysius flips until he gets two tails in a row; Beatrice until she gets a head then a tail. How many flips, on average, does each player take?


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.

  1. a magazine for the mathematically curious []


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