Posted in silly questions amnesty.

Beep! Sorry, Colin's not in right now. If you have a question he can answer when he gets back, please leave it after the beep. Beep!

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Posted in logarithms.

Problems worthy of attack/ Prove their worth by fighting back - Anon, often quoted by Erdos. A few weeks ago, James bloody Grime posted a question on logarithms that I had a creditable stab at answering. My first answer, it turned out, was wrong. I corrected it, and wrote up

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Posted in fractions, ninja maths.

The student, wisely, stammered an apology and the Mathematical Ninja pulled him back in through the window by the ankle. "But I just…" "Shht." "I mean…" "Shht." The Mathematical Ninja took a step towards the student and the student, finally shhted1. "Never," said the Mathematical Ninja, "let me catch you

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Posted in carnival of mathematics.

On 30th June, 1987, the Canadian mint introduced the new $1 coin, or 'loonie', and Patrick Sjöberg of Sweden set a new high jump world record of 2.42 metres (only 3cm short of the current world record). Footballers Lionel Messi and Samir Nasri were less than a week old, and

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Posted in algebra, factorising, gcse.

A quick, one-off masterclass in how to put things into brackets today - six methods of factorising you need to know to do well at GCSE maths. (1) Common number $3a + 6$ two terms (letter and number, no squares) you can divide them both by 3 $3 \times a

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Posted in basic maths skills.

I have no particular view on the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands. Or rather, I get so muddled up between my distaste for colonialism and the right of self-determination that I don't know what to think. In any case, I was interested by the recent referendum results in which the

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Posted in prime numbers, proof.

39,916,801 has just been discovered to be the largest prime number. $11$ is a positive integer such that $11! + 1$ is prime; let $n = 11!$. Now, $n+2$ is clearly a multiple of 2, $n+3$ is a multiple of 3 and so on up to $2n$. Applying a similar

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