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We’ve done a bit of Spring cleaning

It’s daylight outside at the moment, which hasn’t been the case for pretty much any of the past few months up here in the North-East of England. That means Spring is on its way, so my cleaning and tidying instinct has activated.

poppy on a chair

When I can’t think of anything else to put here, I’ll use a picture of Poppy, the Aperiodical Dog.

We’ve had the same layout here since 2013, I think, so it was high time it was freshened up. I’ve made a bright new header image, and I’ve banished the sidebar to the bottom of the page so there’s nothing to interrupt your reading of our very interesting articles.

Additionally, we’re always finding that we want to add extra bits of information or quips, with nowhere sensible to put them. Parenthetical statements ruin the flow of reading if they’re too long, and footnotes don’t really work on the web. You’ll have noticed there’s quite a bit of space on the right (unless you’re reading this on your phone) – that’s set aside so we can put whatever little notes, links, or images we think would be worthwhile, without getting in the way of the main text.

So, I hope you like it, and please let us know if anything’s broken in the comments.

Review: Pythagoria


Pythagoria is a puzzle game for PCs. It’s the same idea as Naoki Inaba’s Area Maze: you’re shown a geometric construction, not drawn to scale, and you have to work out a missing length or an area.

Each puzzle is constructed so that it can be solved without ever dealing with fractions, though what exactly that means is up for debate. Whatever it means, it keeps you from breaking out pen and paper to solve a problem algebraically, when you know there should be a way of doing it in your head.

Messiaen’s “Quartet for the end of time”, animated by Simon Russell and Marcus du Sautoy

Marcus du Sautoy has teamed up with animator Simon Russell to create this animatino to accompany Messiaen’s Quartet for the end of time. It’s got all the usual arty maths things in it – the Fibonacci sequence and golden ratio, prime numbers, polygons and polyhedra of all sorts – as well as the less well-trodden sporadic group $M_{12}$. It all comes together quite nicely, though I much prefer the elegant end to the spiky-frenetic start.

There’s a page describing all the maths ideas to be found in the video at Sinfini Music.

via Marcus du Sautoy and Sinfini Music on Twitter