Yet Still More Quick Snippets

Published on Thursday, January 17, 2013 in , , , , , ,

Luc Viatour's plasma lamp pictureIt's time to introduce 2013 to our tradition of snippets!

This month, we'll explore a wide variety of unusual mathematical treats,

My post about making math visual with Wolfram|Alpha may have been slightly ahead of its time. Wolfram|Alpha's latest blog posts cover the use of equations to draw pictures and the visualization of basic arithmetic problems.

• James Grime is back, and he's covering a topic that is near and dear to his heart. In the video below, he talks about the Enigma machines that the Germans used to code messages during World War II, and the race to break this allegedly unbreakable code:

If you enjoyed this, there is another video detailing the flaw that allowed the Enigma codes to be broken, as well as some tidbits and outtakes.

• I've always encouraged people to learn at least a few amazing feats. Cracked.com is now doing the same thing, albeit with a harsher title, "5 So-Called Signs of Genius That Any Idiot Can Learn." Grey Matters readers will be familiar with many of these, if not all of them. Looking around the web, you can find many examples of such feats, including quickly multiplying by 9, dividing by 9, squaring numbers, and more!

* I'll wind up these snippets with some offbeat links. First, here's a very unusual magic square, featuring resistors that form a magic square if wired in parallel. If your resistor math is a little rusty, here's a short video to get you up to speed.

And because I'm a fan of iOS apps that help you train your brain, check out becomeananny.com's list of 10 iPhone apps that boost brain function.

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