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"There's actually no such thing as an uninteresting natural number"

io9 takes a look at why the number 1729 shows up in so many Futurama episodes. It's mathtastic!
posted by quin on Oct 16, 2013 - 36 comments

The Top 10 Books Lost to Time

Smithsonian.com lists the top 10 books lost to time.
posted by reenum on Sep 27, 2011 - 67 comments

G.H. Hardy reviews Principia Mathematica

"Perhaps twenty or thirty people in England may be expected to read this book." G.H. Hardy's review of Whitehead and Russell's Principia Mathematica, published in the Times Literary Supplement 100 years ago last week. "The time has passed when a philosopher can afford to be ignorant of mathematics, and a little perseverance will be well rewarded. It will be something to learn how many of the spectres that have haunted philosophers modern mathematics has finally laid to rest."
posted by escabeche on Sep 12, 2011 - 29 comments

Laurel and Hardy dance to everything

We know that Yakety Sax makes everything funny. But Laurel and Hardy can dance to anything, Oye Como Va, Out of Time, Bad Romance, Sharp Dressed Man. They can even dance to Yakety Sax!
posted by Confess, Fletch on Sep 5, 2011 - 10 comments

The Most Uncomfortable Half Hour of Television Ever

This Is Your Life was not always about famous people being surprised with nostalgic reminisces and old friends. Early in the series, the spotlighted guests included ordinary people who had lived though extraordinary circumstances: most controversially, a survivor of Hiroshima, brought on stage in front of a live audience, to be face-to-face with the man who had dropped the atomic bomb on his city. Further background on the meeting. The show did not end its daring there, bringing in a Holocaust survivor in 1953, and ambushing Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in a hotel room for their only appearance on television together. Semi-related: a remarkable interview with Johnny Lee Clary, a former KKK leader, regarding his interaction with (and eventual peaceful defeat by) Reverend Wade Watts. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Jul 3, 2011 - 29 comments

Brindin Press, poetry translations

Brindin Press has lots of poetry translations into English online, concentrating on French, German, Italian and Spanish, though more than 40 other languages are represented as well. A boatload of translators is represented, from those toiling in obscurity to big literary names (e.g. there are translations of Catullus poems by Ben Jonson, Jonathan Swift, Louis Zukofsky, Aubrey Beardsley and Thomas Hardy). There is also a section of quirky poems. Finally, here's a rendition of Goethe's Der Erlkönig that substitutes the elfish king with a dalek.
posted by Kattullus on Sep 27, 2009 - 4 comments

the aeronaut, deflecting the rudder, sent the Red Cloud on a downward slant

The Original Tom Swift Series Public Domain Texts. Twenty-five of 'em for your perusal. In piles of formats, some including page scans, and with color cover images (mostly from here, where they also have larger images). Not that kind of Tom Swift, mind you.

I must admit, the domain name gave me pause. So far, no teleportation has transpired.
posted by mwhybark on Jul 1, 2004 - 13 comments

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