Wild About Math! Making Math fun and accessible

14Mar/103

Happy Pi Day: interview with pi poet

Happy Pi Day, everyone! Today I have a special treat. I had the opportunity to interview Pi poet, Mike Keith. Mike is into constrained writing and Pi, among other things. Mike recently published a book, Not A Wake, that demonstrates the constrained writing:

A collection of short stories, poetry, plays, puzzles, and other surprises, all constructed according to the rigid rules of "Pilish", that peculiar variant of English in which the number of letters in successive words is required to follow the digits of the number π = 3.14159265358979..., in this case for a truly grand total of 10,000 decimals. The perfect book for fans of the number Pi, constrained writing, wordplay, puzzles, or experimental prose and poetry.

Mike sent me a copy of "Not a Wake" to review. In case it's not obvious, the three words of the title of the book have 3, 1, and 4 letters. And, the pattern continues with the subtitle "A Dream Embodying Pi's Digits Fully for 10000 Decimals."

This is a fun book. The challenge in writing such a book is to have the writing be natural in the face of a pretty serious constraint! The book accomplishes that beautifully! Mike is clearly a poet as he is able to pluck the right words out of the ether to make the poetry flow. And, he does it for 10,000 words!

28Feb/0810

What do these words have in common?

Ok, so this is not Math-related but I did discover it in the book Fun With Mathematics. The book, by the way, which is out of print and only available used, is definitely worth a couple of bucks plus the shipping cost.

So, what do the following words have in common?

playgrounds
dumbwaiters
workmanship
republicans
sympathizer

Yes, they each have 11 letters but there's something else interesting about each of these words. Can you see what that is? Are there other words you can add to this list?

Filed under: Fun, Puzzle, Word Fun 10 Comments
8Oct/072

Male Nerd Sol

Well, this post is not so “mathy.” It’s about anagrams, which are permutations of the letters of one or more words, and about a fun site to play with generating anagrams.

If you take the letters of my name, Sol Lederman, and rearrange them one of the many possible phrases is this post’s title, Male Nerd Sol. A less complimentary anagram of my name is Lame Nerd Sol.

Many fun anagrams have been found, many undoubtedly with help from a computer. Some fun ones are:

Desperation = A Rope Ends It
The Morse Code = Here Come Dots
Slot Machines = Cash Lost in’em
Clothespins = So Let’s Pinch
A Domesticated Animal = Docile, as a Man Tamed it
Snooze Alarms = Alas! No More Z’s

The anagrams above, and others, are listed at the Anagram Hall of Fame. Wordsmith.org is also the site where I found anagrams of my name.

Enter your name into the Internet Anagram Server and see what you come up with:

Have Fun,

Male Nerd Sol

Filed under: Word Fun 2 Comments