[ This week's Wild About Math bloggers post is up at Equalis. Here is last week's article. ]
Lots happening in the Math blogosphere this week. Here's a sampling:
Here's a timely article about baseball and Math. Winning the World Series with math: A nearly circular path could be the fastest way to home plate gives a counter-intuitive approach to running around the bases. Hat tip to Maria.
Denise at Let's Play Math posts a YouTube video by James Tanton about a great paradox -- how a figure can have finite area but infinite length. (Yes, my Math is really sloppy here.)
(Shecky points out in Mandelbrot, Mobius, Mirth that the Koch Snowflake also has this property.) I notice that James Tanton has uploaded 85 videos to YouTube. Another nice one is Egyptian Fractions and Fibonacci's Greedy Algorithm. Check out James Tanton's web-site for great videos and essays. I love this man's philosophy. He has articulated very well what my relationship with Math has always been.
The true joy in mathematics, the true hook that compels mathematicians to devote their careers to the subject, comes from a sense of boundless wonder induced by the subject. There is transcendental beauty, there are deep and intriguing connections, there are surprises and rewards, and there is play and creativity. Mathematics has very little to do with crunching numbers. Mathematics is a landscape of ideas and wonders.
And, while you're exploring Tanton's web-site pick up a free copy of his guide to everything quadratic. Fabulous stuff!
XKCD is one of my very favorite web-sites for Math humor. Here's a great cartoon from the site.
Physorg.com recently published "Mathematical model helps marathoners pace themselves to a strong finish."
Most marathon runners know they need to consume carbohydrates before and during a race, but many don't have a good fueling strategy. Now, one dedicated marathoner -- an MD/PhD student in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology -- has taken a more rigorous approach to calculating just how much carbohydrate a runner needs to fuel him or herself through 26.2 miles, and what pace that runner can reasonably expect to sustain.
Speaking of gems, here's a fantastic video on pushing the boundaries of Origami:
Last, but certainly not least, Kalid at Better Explained has a very well explained introduction to exploring patterns in squares. With nearly 8,000 subscribers, Kalid is striking a chord with lots of people who really want to understand Math.