Grey Matters is Back!

Published on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 in , , ,

Mehran Moghtadaei's Pi Digit GraphicYes, I did take more than an extended break after my 10th blogiversary post, not posting at all in 2016, but with Pi Day coming around again, it seemed like a good time for a return! I probably won't have a regular posting schedule for sometime, as other commitments are keeping me busy, but I promise not to ignore this blog as I have been for about the past 1½ years.

While I've been thinking about returning on my own, one force that really pushed me over the edge to return to blogging is Brian Brushwood from Scam School. He recently used two of my submissions, and even encouraged people to go to Grey Matters!

The first of these two was posted back on January 18th. This was an update to Penney's Game, which was first taught on Scam School in their Sept. 15, 2010 episode (to which I also contributed!). Replacing cards with coins not might seem like such a big deal, it actually does have a significant effect. Coins can't run out of heads or tails, but cards can run out of reds and blacks. Watch the full episode and read more detail about the game here to understand it better.

Moving from cards and coins, we turn to dice. Here's an unusual dice scam from their March 1st episode. This one involves people picking how many dice of 5 they want, leaving you with at least 1 of them, and you're always able to predict the outcome. It seems like the odds are against you, but watch closely. At about the 3:30 mark, Brian asks the ladies how they think it's done. The theories included things such as particular numbers to pick, loaded dice, and changing the prediction based on previous evidence. The answer, as it so often is, is simple probability.

Even with all the troubles people have with most branches of math, probability is often the easiest to misunderstand and get wrong. As a result, many probability concept come across as counter-intuitive.

That's all for now. But I assure you, the time between this post and the next post will not be as long as the last post and this one.

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3 Response to Grey Matters is Back!

1:10 PM

Wow, I can't believe I missed the return of Grey Matters. I've been checking on and off since you first stopped posting. Welcome back! Already digging the new posts.


4:35 AM

What Jay said! Dude, I had given up. On a whim, I checked back. I'm excited to see you are back and doing well. I would love if you would email me personally or find me on Facebook. I was a bit concerned about you when you disappeared for so long.

Thanks again and welcome back!

8:19 AM

Thanks, everyone! I had to focus on schoolwork, which unfortunately didn't leave too much time for Grey Matters. Things have settled down now, so I figured it was time to bring it back.