Here’s the second edition of our new podcast, All Squared. This time we talked to Dr Andrew Taylor, PhD, about nonsense formulas in the news. In particular, since we recorded very close to pancake day, we took a close look at the various “formulas for the perfect pancake” printed in UK newspapers.
Here are some links to the things we referred to, along with some further reading. Since we found so many nonsense formula stories, I’ll split the links into two sections: nonsense and the rest.
Nonsense formula stories
- Flipping clever! Formula for the perfect pancake revealed by maths boffins (but we’ll still end up with ours stuck to the ceiling) – Daily Mail (2013)
- The perfect pancake? Easy, just follow this formula … 100 – [10L – 7F + C(k – C) + T(m – T)]/(S – E) – Daily Mail (2009); the one with the amazing stock photo
- Formula for perfect pancake unveiled by scientists – The Telegraph (2009)
- How to toss the perfect pancake – Daily Express; the one without the actual formula
- The perfect pancake toss – Shortlist; includes the formula
- Why today’s the perfect day to change your life – Daily Mail
- Revealed: The formula for a perfect family Christmas – drink two parts wine for every three chocolates – Daily Mail
- Scientists are serious about having a laugh – The Telegraph
- Scientists reveal formula for the perfect sitcom – The Telegraph
- Horror’s perfect formula – London Evening Standard; the one where “blood and guts” = $\sin x$.
- Here’s my happy marriage secret: avoid romance – The Telegraph
- The formula for perfect parking – NPR
- The geometry of perfect parking – Simon Blackburn; PDF
- The Tommy Westphall universe
- Jewish Problems – Tanya Khovanova’s collection of Russian “coffin” problems on the arXiv, including number 1’s quickly-read puzzle.
- Mathematical Puzzles, a Connoisseur’s Collection, by Peter Winkler
- The Muddy Children: a logic for public announcement – slides by Jesse Hughes
- CP’s Interesting Esoterica collection
Number 3 will appear in exactly 9 days. You can probably guess what it’ll be about. But can you guess who we’ll be talking to?
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