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Well, apparently today is Pi Day* and the fantastic Marcus de Sautoy's latest podcast gives us a comprehensive roundup of the history and properties of pi.

I feel a sense of irrational delight.


*3.14... only works if you're American, really.
arachnekallisti: (Default)
Benoit Mandelbrot died on Thursday night of pancreatic cancer, aged 85.

Mandelbrot was one of the first people to use computer visualisations to explore mathematical objects, and the first to find a practical use for the idea of the Hausdorff-Besicovitch dimension, the idea that some objects could be thought of as having fractional dimension. Fractal geometry has had applications in all sorts of areas of applied mathematics, from earthquake data to population dynamics. Mandelbrot even applied his ideas to explaining the global financial crisis.

Mandelbrot kept on working and teaching right up until the end of his life. Here's his talk from TED this July:



He will be much missed.
arachnekallisti: (Default)
There is a petition online to win a posthumous apology from the British Government to Alan Turing for the prosecution for homosexuality which led to his death two years later. There's an article about it here, if anyone's interested.
arachnekallisti: (Default)
1. Lust Over Pendle: in which war hero Neville Longbottom shocks the Wizarding World by shacking up with Draco Malfoy. An interesting blend of comedy of manners and spy thriller, in a Dorothy L. Sayers-esque writing style.

2. Harry Potter and the Mai Tai of Doom. It has Harry Potter, Voldemort and a tiki bar in it. It is impressively Wrong, and great fun.

3. The Boys of Summer: Harry Potter. Cricket. Sirius Black impersonates Test Match Special. Margaret Thatcher proves to be much, much scarier than Voldemort.

4. Cat Tales: Batman/Catwoman, done as a rather sweet rom-com.

5. Look at the pretty maths!

6. BRIAN BLESSED! On HIGNFY!

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