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The Hidden Maths of Eurovision

Every year, the Eurovision Song Contest brings with it fresh accusations that the results are affected more by politics than music. But how much of the outcome is in fact determined by mathematics?

App review: Incredible Numbers, by Ian Stewart

Mathematician and author Professor Ian Stewart, helped by Touch Press and his publisher Profile Books, has recently released a new app for iOS (suitable for use on an iPad) called Incredible Numbers. We saw this tweet:

and how could we resist? We borrowed a nearby iPad, downloaded the app and had a play.

How to solve a Rubik’s Cube in one easy step

Note: If you’re looking for instructions on solving Rubik’s cube from any position, there’s a good page at Think Maths.

One day some years ago I was sat at my desk idly toying with the office Rubik’s cube. Not attempting to solve it, I was just doing the same moves again and again. Particularly I was rotating one face a quarter-turn then rotating the whole cube by an orthogonal quarter-turn like this:

Having started with a solved cube, I knew eventually if I kept doing the same thing the cube would solve itself. But this didn’t seem to be happening – and I’d been doing this for some time by now. This seemed worthy of proper investigation.

An infinite series of blog posts which sums to -1/12

Many of you who are aware of the internet will have noticed that some mild controversy has surrounded a recent Numberphile video, posted last week:

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Infinite Monkey Maths

The latest episode of BBC Radio 4’s Infinite Monkey Cage took “an irreverent and rational look at numbers, logic and mathematics” and is available to download for a length of time unbounded above in podcast form.

More information

Series 9, Episode 4: “To Infinity and Beyond” on BBC Radio 4.

The Infinite Monkey Cage, on the BBC website

The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast

BBC News webchat with Simon Singh

Today, author Simon Singh took part in a Twitter-based webchat for the BBC News website, taking questions about his new book on Maths in the Simpsons, and mathematics in general. Here’s how it all went down.