Category Archives: Mathematics

Excuse me, do you half the time?

A friend and I were recently talking about Half-life. No, not that Half-life. Half-life as in the time it takes a radioactive isotope to lose (through decay) half of its atoms. So what does that mean and why should you care? Read the rest of this entry

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Let’s get a perm!

How many different ways can I arrange the pictures on my wall? How many different seating arrangements are possible in this office? How many different ways can I make this sandwich?

Maybe you’ve never been asked these questions (or asked them of yourself), but I have. Surprisingly, the number of possible arrangements in most circumstances is usually much higher than you may have thought. Trying to count them all on your own would probably take you way longer than it would take to make a sandwich, and honestly wouldn’t you rather be eating a delicious sandwich? I know I would. Read the rest of this entry

More Than Just Some Pretty Words

I recently came across this Poem by British palindromist Leigh Mercer (1893-1977):

A dozen, a gross, and a score,

Plus three times the square root of four,

Divided by seven,

Plus five times eleven,

Is nine squared and not a bit more.

Whenever I come across little quips like this, I’m always skeptical. Is this just something fun to say, or does it actually make sense? Well I immediately got to work, and here’s the actual equation: Read the rest of this entry