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[13 Mar 2009 | 10 Comments | ]
Coin Tosses

My buddy Dan has a post on probability here [LINK]. I confess I never fully grasped probability in this sense. With a single coin toss heads has 50% chance and tails has 50% of coming up. It follows that with 10 coin tosses you’d expect 50% heads, 50% tails, and as things tend to an infinite number of tosses, actual results get closer to 50/50.
But what are the chances of getting 10 heads in a row? Fairly low, right? (how low I’ve no idea). So if I do 9 …

Life & Introspection »

[18 Aug 2008 | No Comment | ]

There’s an advertisement on TV at the moment for Visa as part of the 2008 Olympics. Morgan Freeman narrates. He says…
"She needed to perform one more vault,
She needed to sprint down the runway, jump off the springboard, fly spinning through the air…and stick the landing.
And she needed to do it all on one foot. "
They are referring to Keri Strug’s vault as part of the 1996 Games.
Unfortunately the entire ad is based on a false premise. Not taking anything away from Strug’s achievement but I’m sure she herself …

Things I've Made, Woodworking »

[10 Aug 2008 | 5 Comments | ]

This weekend I was in dire need of a mental escape. Woodworking in the basement is both a physical and mental endeavour which generally only succeeds when you give it adequate focus. I don’t recommend woodworking when you’re mind’s not on your work [LINK].
I came across IBM’s website on burr puzzles [LINK] and decided to make one.
"Burr puzzles are interlocking puzzles known in Europe and Asia since at least the 18th century. Traditionally they are made from wood….and require special wood so that the pieces do not change …

Weird Wide World »

[22 May 2008 | No Comment | ]

This gave me a chuckle…

Life & Introspection »

[20 Dec 2007 | One Comment | ]

I just realized something and here’s a puzzle that describes it…
For the next two months, my kids ages mimic my own age’s digits.
This will not happen again in my lifetime.
In 26 years my kids ages added together will equal my age.
How old am I and how old are my kids?
Dan [LINK] would get a kick out of this.

Weird Wide World »

[25 May 2007 | One Comment | ]

My buddy Dan likes to pride himself on his ability with numbers and Excel. Unfortunately both have let him down in a recent post [LINK] entitled "Eat Humble Pi".
Dan’s claim to fame is his ability to recite Pi to the 20th decimal, so imagine how quick he was to point out the error in a recent photo taken of a sculpture taken at the Oregon Zoo. Here’s the photo.

Poor Dan so quick to judge thought that the artist’s sole intention was to list Pi in a square format. He quickly …

Weird Wide World »

[17 Jan 2007 | No Comment | ]

Today I came across two mathematical curios; the first is a Limerick that my dad will surely get a kick out of:
"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."

(12 + 144 + 20 + 3sqrt(4)) / 7 + 5*11 = 9^2
The second is a thing called Tupper’s Self-Referential Formula. This is a formula (displayed on the page linked below) that when plotted on a graph, draws a picture of….ITSELF!!!
It’s just one …

Science »

[20 Nov 2006 | 2 Comments | ]

Here’s an incredible Flash animation that will help you visualize 10 dimensions. This’ll probably blow you clean outside your mind for a while: The Tenth Dimension [LINK]
"Just like that flat lander who can only see two dimensional cross sections of objects from the dimension above, we as three dimensional creatures can only see three dimensional cross sections of our fourth dimensional selves."
And I’ve gone cross-eyed.
Here’s a breakdown:

1st dimension – joining two points – a single line
2nd dimension – Three points – a single plane
3rd …