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Matt Parker talks percentages

If anyone caught BBC1′s consumer moanfest Watchdog this week, they may have been pleasantly surprised to see Aperiodicobber1 Matt Parker featured in the show. Following a segment about a UK sports chain and its shocking use of the classic ‘UP TO 70% OFF’ ruse, they invited Matt on the show to explain how to calculate percentages more easily, and so that Anne Robinson could mock him for being Australian, apparently.

Since the tips Matt presented were useful, we at the Aperiodical thought it was worth reproducing Parker’s Patented Percentage Ploys here, for your reference.

  1. The internet assures me that ‘cobber’ is Australian slang for ‘friend’. []

Google Doodle: The Witch of Agnesi

witch of agnesi

Today’s Google doodle (for those not in the know, the Google homepage alters its header based on the date, and on dates of special nerdy significance, they theme them around relevant birthdays/anniversaries) is about Maria Gaetana Agnesi, a female mathematician. Agnesi was born on 16th May 1718, making today her 296th birthday. This means you have four years to prepare for her 300th birthday bash, which I hear is going to go off big style.

Primo: now a colourful, actual mathematical board game


Primo, a board game which puts the ‘fun’ in the fundamental theorem of arithmetic, has now been successfully funded via Kickstarter. In a recent blog post, the creators Katherine Cook and Daniel Finkel boast:

The game plays beautifully in play test after play test. It’s one of the most mathematically rich games we have ever seen, and at the same time avoids that icky “educational game” feel. Primo is a real game and it’s worth playing because it’s fun. Really fun.

Rubik’s Cube is 40 years old

rubik's cube

Invented in 1974, patented in 1975 and released for sale in Hungary in 1977, Rubik’s Cube could certainly be considered to have reached its 40th birthday this year. To celebrate, inventor Ernő Rubik has helped put together a special exhibition at Liberty Science Centre, New Jersey, celebrating the history of the hexahedral enigma. The exhibition, called ‘Beyond Rubik’s Cube’, opens on 26th April for several months.