Wrong, But Useful: Episode 72

In this month's podcast, we're joined by @CoreMathsCat, who is Catherine van Sarloos in real life. We discuss:

  • Number of the Podcast: 179 (balloons)
  • Maths Week England is mid-November (11-16th). Catherine is involved in running a contest for it!
  • Via Peter Rowlett: Women’s names
  • Via Adam Atkinson: rounding up or rounding away from zero or rounding to even?
  • Reading books: we're all getting our teeth into Rob Eastaway's Maths On The Back Of An Envelope and Kit Yates's Maths Of Life And Death. Cat is also reading Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez.
  • The Pink Tax
  • How much does nursery cost?
  • A jury awarded damages of \$8 billion against Johnson and Johnson - as Rob Eastaway says, enough that the victim could budget \$300,000 a day if he lives to be 100.
  • Shorts:
  • Puzzle feedback from last time:
    • We missed a lovely answer to the probability machine puzzle from @chrishazell72, who worked the ratio out at about 55-45.
    • Gold star for Adam Atkinson who said he’d expect 100/e, about 37 squares not to be coloured in. (I think I’ve missed some other stars in my mentions.)
  • New Puzzle (via @davidKButlerUoA): In the middle of my room, there is a pillar. Its cross-section is a square with sides of 1m. I want to draw a circle of radius 2m around the pillar. Obviously I can’t get to the centre to put a compass there - how can I draw my circle accurately?


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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