The Mathematical Ninja and the *Other* Pole

“Sensei, why have you covered the entire Earth in an area-preserving wrap?”

“It’s all @colinthemathmo's doing.”

“I’m surprised you’re doing it in hardware rather than working it out in your head.”

“Oh, $\frac{1000}{\sqrt{\pi}}$? That’s trivial.”

“But of course it is.”

“I mean, $\frac{1}{\pi}$ is pretty close to $\frac{1}{\sqrt{10}}$, which is 0.316. In fact, since The difference between $\pi$ and $\sqrt{10}$ is about two-thirds of a percent, so $\frac{1}{\pi}$ is 0.318.”

“But we wanted the square root.”

“I’m getting to that. The square root of 3,180 is… forgive me, this pole is heavy - $56^2 = 3136$, add on $\frac{44}{112}$, which is about 0.4, to get 56.4. This pole is 564 metres tall.”

“Thanks for clearing that up, sensei.”

* Corrected 2019-10-20. Thanks to @peterrowlett for pointing out that I'd mis-transcribed the Ninja's LaTeX.


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.


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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.

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