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Inside the Weird Mathematical Mystery of “0!”

When you're a kid, you learn that you can't divide by zero. But the more you learn, the more you find out there are some interesting nuances around the edges of that rule. Likewise you may remember learning that 0! (zero factorial) is 1. "It just is." But why is it? Numberphile explains. Read More >>

internet
How Big Would an iPhone Be If You Combined All the iPhones Ever Sold

Very, very big. Like way bigger than the new World Trade Centre big. Like almost double the world's tallest tower big. If you combined all the iPhones ever sold into a single gigantic monolith of a phone, it'd be 5,059 feet tall and 2,846 feet across. Ridiculous! Read More >>

data
The Most Crowded Part of the Whole World Fits in This One Small Circle

East Asia is a crowded place. The crazy-cramped architecture of locales like Hong Kong gives you an idea. But this image posted to Reddit by valeriepieris puts that population consolidation in a whole new light. And for the most part, it seems pretty accurate. Read More >>

transport
Algorithm Improves Airline Arrival Predictions, Erodes Favourite Work Excuse

When you're flying anywhere you can pretty much turn the whole day into a black hole. The airport/in-flight Wi-Fi wasn't working. We sat at the gate for an hour. We were in a holding pattern. It's great. But sometimes, sometimes you actually want to get where you're going. Read More >>

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How The Heck Does This Magical Tile Board Work?

This board of tiles (or Azulejos, which is a form of Portugese artwork that involves tilework), is making my brain lose its gray matter. The tile board somehow maintains the same number of tiles even when some individual tiles are removed. How did all the tiles fit in the first place? How does it still fit after getting rid of three tiles? Where is the missing square? What sorcery is this? Read More >>

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What It’s Like to Have Synesthesia And See All Your Numbers in Colour

In the big wide world of mental disorders, synesthesia is probably one of the most interesting and least harmful. It's like a sensory remix. But what's it really like? Alex from Bite Sci-Zed, who "suffers" from a flavour of the disorder where her numerals have very distinct colours, explains it. By the numbers. [Numberphile] Read More >>

giz explains
How Your Ears Do Maths Better Than Mathematicians

When you listen to music, when its waves of sound collide with your ear, you don't hear a wall of sound. A great deal of information might travel in a sound wave and, if that sound wave were actually a giant wave of water rushing onto a beach, you might expect to feel it as a big shove like any other big wave of water coming in from the ocean. Except that's not what happens when this particular wave hits you. Read More >>

science
The World’s Newest, Longest Prime Number Is Over 17 Million Digits Long

The world's largest prime number just got much, much bigger. Say hello to 257,885,161-1, a prime number that is over 17 million characters long when written out in full -- enough to fill 13,000 pages of A4 paper. Read More >>

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The Hidden Fractals in Jurassic Park

If you've ever read the Jurassic Park novel and wondered what those crazy sets of spirals were between chapters, you need to watch this video. Also: if you've never read the Jurassic Park novel, you need to watch this video. Read More >>

uncategorized
The Secret Algorithm That Controls Everything About Orange Juice

If you ever wondered how orange juice can always taste so damn perfect every time you have it, it's because of an algorithm. Coca Cola, which makes Simply Orange and Minute Maid, has an algorithm called the "Black Book" which allows it to standardize Mother Nature. It's crazy. Read More >>

uncategorized
Calling All Music Nerds: Hole Up With This Awesome Board Game

We're still getting hit by the snow in a lot of the country,  fun in the beginning, but you're going to need something to occupy you. Booze is a good start, but the next step is Virtuoso, a music theory board game. Read More >>

science
Math + Animated GIF = Nerdgasm

This could be the most deliciously geeky animated GIF ever created. Just in case you didn't believe that Pythagoras' Theorem worked, you now have no reason to doubt it whatsoever. [Chart Porn] Read More >>

science
Scientifically Speaking, Would Following a Star Have Gotten Three Wise Men to Bethlehem?

Two thousand years ago, wise men of this world weren't lucky enough to have GPS. In the Christmas story, then, the wise men chose to follow a star to navigate their way to Bethlehem—but, scientifically speaking, would that really have worked? Read More >>

internet
How Much Physical Space Does the Internet Take Up?

The internet is one of the most ethereal concepts in tech: it's nowhere and everywhere, all at once. But if you could measure the thing, how much physical space would it take up? Read More >>

factoid
It Takes 20 Seconds Before People Get Annoyed About Waiting for the Elevator

Theresa Christy, a mathematician who works for Otis Elevator Co (they probably power your building), told the WSJ that once you press a button and wait for the elevator, it takes about 20 seconds before you start getting impatient and annoyed. Read More >>