The Mad Painter was a sketch that first aired on Sesame Street in 1972. In the series, Our Protagonist (Paul Benedict, looking suspiciously like Greg Nog) decides he's going to paint a certain number, finds a surface on which to paint the numeral, paints said number, and then something funny happens. The Painter's co-stars included a young Stockard Channing, a bald mustachioed guy (Jerome Raphael), and a gorilla. Robert Dennis scores the pieces jauntily. Here they are, in numerical order: [ 2 — 3 — 4 — 5 — 6 — 7 — 8 — 9 — 10* — 11 ] [more inside]
Shinichi Mochizuki and the impenetrable proof - "Fesenko has studied Mochizuki's work in detail over the past year, visited him at RIMS again in the autumn of 2014 and says that he has now verified the proof. (The other three mathematicians who say they have corroborated it have also spent considerable time working alongside Mochizuki in Japan.) The overarching theme of inter-universal geometry, as Fesenko describes it, is that one must look at whole numbers in a different light — leaving addition aside and seeing the multiplication structure as something malleable and deformable. Standard multiplication would then be just one particular case of a family of structures, just as a circle is a special case of an ellipse." (previously: 1,2; via) [more inside]
How Many Men Did The Golden Girls Sleep With, Exactly? Refinery 29 claims to have tallied up the numbers. (A quick summary courtesy of Jezebel.) [more inside]
I want to demonstrate how amazing combinatorial explosion is! Please don't stop me. An animation about numbers that get large. It has a happy ending and possibly even a moral. [more inside]
Univalent Foundations Redefines Mathematics - "When a legendary mathematician found a mistake in his own work, he embarked on a computer-aided quest to eliminate human error. To succeed, he has to rewrite the century-old rules underlying all of mathematics." (previously) [more inside]
Understanding e to the pi i - "An intuitive explanation as to why e to the pi i equals -1 without a hint of calculus. This is not your usual Taylor series nonsense." (via via; reddit; previously) [more inside]
Eena, meena, mina, mo, / Cracka, feena, fina, fo, / Uppa, nootcha, poppa, tootcha, / Ring, ding, dang, doe. "Losing Count: “Eeny, meeny, miny, mo” and the ambiguous history of counting-out rhymes," from The Paris Review.
Get 10 is a new browser game from veewo, creators of 1024.
How I Got My Own Area Code: It took the combination of phone phreak and "space cadet" to find a relationship between the number 321 and the countdowns of Cape Canaveral. [more inside]
Carrier Access Codes are a largely dated*, though still functional service to select your long-distance telephone carrier per phone call. In the United States, these "dial-around codes" reached a (commercial) peak in the late 1990s, as seen with ads featuring such semi-notables as Marla Gibbs, Christine Taylor and Reginald VelJohnson, Harry Anderson, John Lithgow, Tony Danza, Doug Flutie, and even Alf and some well-known friends. [more inside]
"I had a rare Twitter username, @N. Yep, just one letter. I’ve been offered as much as $50,000 for it. People have tried to steal it. Password reset instructions are a regular sight in my email inbox. As of today, I no longer control @N. I was extorted into giving it up."—Naoki Heroshima explains how his accounts were hacked in order to force him to give up his single-letter Twitter handle. [more inside]
A standard 6 sided die is a cube. It has eleven nets. The sum of the numbers on opposite faces of a die is 7. [more inside]
Closing in on the twin prime conjecture (Quanta) - "Just months after Zhang announced his result, Maynard has presented an independent proof that pushes the gap down to 600. A new Polymath project is in the planning stages, to try to combine the collaboration's techniques with Maynard's approach to push this bound even lower." [more inside]
io9 takes a look at why the number 1729 shows up in so many Futurama episodes. It's mathtastic!
How To Fold a Julia Fractal. A beautiful interactive introduction to complex numbers, fractals and waves. (Requires WebGL). To Infinity And Beyond is a similar introduction to calculus.
Tumblr's $1.1 Billion price-tag instinctively seems very high to most of us, but without context, numbers this huge are often literally unfathomable to the masses. To help readers gain perspective on the huge numbers commonly tossed around by the media, researcher Glen Chiacchieri has created Dictionary of Numbers, a Google Chrome extension that automatically adds context to huge numbers printed in the web pages that you read. [more inside]
In August of last year, mathematician Shinichi Mochizuki reported that he had solved one of the great puzzles of number theory: the ABC conjecture (previously on Metafilter). Almost a year later, no one else knows whether he has succeeded. No one can understand his proof.
Using computer systems for doing mathematical proofs - "With the proliferation of computer-assisted proofs that are all but impossible to check by hand, Hales thinks computers must become the judge." [more inside]
XKCD/What If's Randall Munroe brings meaning to numbers. As a by-product. Of his day-to-day research. For your day-to-day entertainment.
Numberphile is a website containing short videos (approx. 5-10 min.) about numbers and stuff. Mathematicians and physicists play around with the tools of their trade and explain things in simple, clear language. Learn things you didn't know you were interested in! Find out why 493-7775 is a pretty cool phone number! What's the significance of 42, anyway? What the heck is a vampire number? Why does Pac-Man have only 255 screens? Suitable for viewing by everyone from intelligent and curious middle-schoolers to math-impaired adults. Browse their YouTube channel here. (Via)
2012: The year in graphs - as picked by the Washington Post Wonkblog's favorite economists, political scientist, politicians and other wonkys.
The simulated brain - "First computer model to produce complex behaviour performs almost as well as humans at simple number tasks." [1,2,3,4,5,etc.]
The world record for Flash Anzan was broken this year at the 2012 All Japan Soroban [abacus] Championship. Competitors in Flash Anzan sum up 15 3-digit numbers that are displayed in turn within a set time. The record is now 1.70 seconds, which means that each number is displayed for just over 0.1s. Here is a video of a "slow" 1.85 seconds seconds where the numbers are barely readable. [more inside]
Animation of prime factorization of the integers based on Brent Yorgey's factorization diagrams, described here. [via Data Pointed, previously.]
Benjamin Grosser's latest project is Facebook Demetricator, a browser application that aims to confront our "collective obsession with metrics" by hiding all of the numbers embedded in Facebook's interface— friends, likes, shares, comments, and even timestamps. [more inside]
What is the smallest prime? "It seems that the number two should be the obvious answer, and today it is, but it was not always so. There were times when and mathematicians for whom the numbers one and three were acceptable answers. To find the first prime, we must also know what the first positive integer is. Surprisingly, with the definitions used at various times throughout history, one was often not the first positive integer (some started with two, and a few with three). In this article, we survey the history of the primality of one, from the ancient Greeks to modern times. We will discuss some of the reasons definitions changed, and provide several examples. We will also discuss the last significant mathematicians to list the number one as prime."
Do you like biology? Do you like numbers? Like, actual numbers and not the television show? Take a look at BioNumbers. [more inside]
Towns with number names: Six, Eight, Twenty, Fifty-six, Seventy-six, Eighty-four, Eighty-eight, Ninety-six, Hundred and 1770. Honorable mention for Wonowon.
FatFonts creates numerical fonts where the amount of ink/pixels for each number is in direct proportion to its value.
NumberADay - Every working day, we post a number and offer a selection of that number’s properties.
47 is a magical number. It has appeared more than a few times on Star Trek, Alias, and in many films.
The 47 society is dedicated to exploring the phenomenon that is 47.
The 47 society is dedicated to exploring the phenomenon that is 47.
New math theories reveal the nature of numbers [1,2] - "We prove that partition numbers are 'fractal' for every prime. These numbers, in a way we make precise, are self-similar in a shocking way. Our 'zooming' procedure resolves several open conjectures, and it will change how mathematicians study partitions." (/.|via) [more inside]
"Michel de Montaigne, whose essays transformed Western consciousness and literature, was not capable of solving basic arithmetic problems. And most other people would not be able to do so either, if not for the invention of decimal notation by an unknown mathematician in India 1500 years ago." The Greatest Mathematical Discovery? (expanded pdf) a paper written for the US Dept. of Energy makes this assertion based in part on the work of Georges Ifrah. [via] [more inside]
My Favorite Numbers by John Baez
Every number from 1 to 9,999 has a special meaning. (much mathematical terminology, scrolling)
Veronique de Rugy, NRO contributor and George Mason fellow, says her research indicates that stimulus funding was disproportionately directed towards Democratic congressional districts. Nate Silver begs to disagree. De Rugy responds here; Silver responds here. Others say that this is a model "for the quick, effective peer-review that the internet facilitates." Perhaps this is a new model for peer review?
The Shannon number? Skewes' number? Graham's number? Please. When you're ready to get serious, here are some truly large numbers. (previously, but with dead links)
All this number gossip. 41 is deficient, while 43, its twin, is lucky. But 43 is also evil. 44 is happy. 144 is hungry. 126 is a vampire. 7912 is weird.
Late Thursday Flash Fun: Dropsum V2 is like a mix of sudoku and tetris and some other kind of block game. Much mindless fun to be had...
Durango Bill's Home Page. With topics that include: 3D end-to-end tour of the Grand Canyon, the origin and formation of the Colorado River, and examples of river systems that cut through mountain ranges instead of taking easier routes around them in Ancestral Rivers of the World. [more inside]
Joe Palca, a science correspondent for NPR's Morning Edition, was meditating on the best way to convey the magnitude of the world's largest known prime number, 243112609-1. He contacted H&FJ at Typography.com to discuss the implications of typesetting a number with more than twelve million digits. Crunching of numbers and fonts ensued.
HotBits is an Internet resource that brings genuine random numbers, generated by a process fundamentally governed by the inherent uncertainty in the quantum mechanical laws of nature, directly to your computer in a variety of forms. HotBits are generated by timing successive pairs of radioactive decays detected by a Geiger-Müller tube interfaced to a computer. (Warning: random sounds.)
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