For several years, Tanya Khovanova’s Number Gossip was an invaluable resource for maths fans whenever they found themselves saying, “that looks like a special number!” It was a simple list of integers and all the interesting facts known about each one; there were prime numbers, odd numbers, evil numbers, perfect numbers, and countless facts about unique properties of numbers.
Had Hardy been alive today, a quick search on Number Gossip would have told him straight away that 1729 was the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways, without need for reference to Ramanujan. It would also have told him that 1729 is the smallest number that is a pseudoprime simultaneously to bases 2, 3 and 5 and that it is a Carmichael number, composite, deficient, odd, odious and square-free.
Peter Rowlett opened each of his Travels in a Mathematical World podcasts with a fact about the episode’s number, most often picked from Number Gossip.
So I was shocked to see a few days ago that www.numbergossip.com was returning a blank “Default Website Page”.
I emailed Tanya to ask if she knew what was going on. Maybe she was just changing hosting providers, and I happened to catch it in the process of moving. She replied saying she had no idea why the site was down, and would investigate.
A couple of days later, Tanya has published a post on her blog explaining what happened: her hosting provider was bought by another company, who behaved so incompetently that Tanya had no idea anything had changed so didn’t pay them, eventually resulting in the site being taken down. So Tanya’s looking for a new host for her site. If you can recommend one, please leave a comment on her blog.
More: Number Gossip Has Been Killed on Tanya Khovanova’s blog