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To share, or not to share

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The Montagues and the Capulets have never been friends and Juliet is quite aware of this. Even at her young age, she knows that her love for Romeo is an impossible dream her father will never accept. So, she designs a strategic plan. She will take a couple of sleeping pills, just enough to make her look like she is dead to trick everyone into thinking that she has passed away. Brilliant! If everything goes right, she will always be happy with Romeo… but if things go wrong… well, you never know. Continue reading

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Should you buy a Valentine’s day present?

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Valentine’s day is just around the corner and you are still not sure whether or not you should buy your beloved one a present.  It’s a tough call. Should you spend money on buying your partner some chocolates and a teddy bear (that no one wants anyway), or will you risk it and bring only a charming smile to your romantic dinner? Continue reading

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The spider witch project

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If spiders could count all the way up to forty, calculate angles and tensions, then perhaps we could explain why their webs all follow a similar pattern, having a similar number of strings and turns and flips… but the reality is that they (probably) can’t, so the fact that webs are similar must be because spiders are really good at minimising functions! Continue reading

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Hairy balls, cyclones and computer graphics

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Suppose we have a ball that’s continuously covered with very fine hair. The challenge is to smoothly comb it down, without creating any tufts. There is an oddly sounding result in algebraic topology called ‘the hairy ball theorem’ (yes, that is the actual name so google for images with caution) that states that this, is in fact, impossible. Continue reading

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The mathematics of tea-making

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Due to the immense popularity of tea, many heated arguments have been started in kitchens, at dinner tables and indeed on the internet concerning the proper way of making it. There is a lot of confusion surrounding tea–making, including—but not limited to—the question of the right brewing temperature, the amount of milk one should add and the correct order of adding milk and hot water. Clearly there’s way too many variables and one can easily get lost in all that madness. On top of this, looking for advice on the internet results in an inundation of contradictory advice and very hysterical arguments. So let’s put all the emotions aside and seek refuge in the realms of maths and science. Continue reading

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Spherical Dendrite by Mark J Stock

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We are surrounded by complex structures and systems that appear to be lawless and disorderly. Mathematicians try to look for patterns in the seemingly chaotic behaviour and build models that are simple, and yet have the capacity to accurately predict the reality around us. But can a scientific or mathematical model have any artistic value? It seems that the answer is yes. There is a group of digital and algorithmic artists that use science and computational mathematics to create visual art. However, there is an even smaller group of people whose art and science coincide. Meet Mark J Stock. Continue reading

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