Posted in ninja maths, ranting.

"THIS." spat the Mathematical Ninja, "IS. THE. WORST. ARTICLE. I'VE. EVER. SEEN." It's a bad sign when the Mathematical Ninja starts talking in single-word sentences. I handed him an espresso. "What's wrong with it?" I asked. "I've not read it." "You don't want to!" said the Mathematical Ninja, slightly mollified.

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Posted in ninja maths.

"So that's 0.9332 times 500," said the student. Dubiously: "In your head?" "466.6," said the Mathematical Ninja, before the student could reach for his calculator. "Whoa," said the student, some seconds later, once he'd tapped in the sum and found the SD button. The student was new here. He was

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Posted in ninja maths.

The Mathematical Ninja took one look at the list of the 10 coolest numbers and scoffed. "Those," he said, "are not the ten coolest numbers." "What are, then?" said the student. "Remember, nothing for cultural significance, so you can't have 42. And no physical constants, so $g$ is out." "I

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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 ninja maths.

The sun is setting outside the dojo. The Mathematical Ninja's student knows this, for he is looking out of the window. At some point, he notices the compass point a fraction of a centimetre from his eyeball. "Pay attention," says the Mathematical Ninja. "What does this add up to?" He

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Posted in ninja maths.

A few weeks ago, the Mathematical Ninja explained how to divide by 9 on the fly. This week, it's multiplying that's on his mind - a more common thing to have to do. The multiplying method is easier, too. It's just a case of adding and taking away - and

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Posted in ninja maths.

"I don't know if you were actually working stuff out there, or if you just muttered at random for a bit and guessed," said the Mathematical Ninja's cheeky student. Stung, the Mathematical Ninja was forced to explain how he figured out $\left(1 - \frac{1}{8}\right)^{19}$. It's a simple enough trick that

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Posted in ninja maths.

One of the Mathematical Ninja's favourite tricks is squaring biggish numbers. He'd secretly like to be Art Benjamin one day. So (inspired partly by Barney), he's been looking at quick tricks to help him square numbers. He knows the first 25 square numbers by heart (and so should you); he's

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Posted in ninja maths, statistics.

The Mathematical Ninja sighs. "Say that again?" "I hope it's an easy paper!" says the student, brightly. Wearily, the Mathematical Ninja goes to the board and sketches two curves. They look a little like boa constrictors that have swallowed elephants. "You're above average, correct?" he asks. The student doesn't look

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Posted in ninja maths.

Dividing by 9 has always been an awkward one for the mathematical ninja - it ought to be a simple operation, but for some reason it's never stuck. However, there IS an easy way that involves not much more than adding up and (possibly) using your fingers to track a

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