In case you were bored of hearing that amazing ‘mathematical’
fact number coincidence, don’t worry – 2013 is mathematical for other reasons. Even though we’ve run out of Alan Turing Centenary year, and the slightly-under-mentioned Poincaré Centenary year, apparently 2013 is both The International Year of Statistics (Statistics2013) and the year of scientific collaboration project Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013. Watch out for upcoming events related to both!
Since the Möbius band is such a cool object, it follows that anything made from a Möbius band or in the shape of a Möbius band is therefore also supercool. Also: the bigger, the better. So how about a Möbius house?
Korean architects Planning Korea have come up with a scale model and computer generated images of an amazing house based on the one-sided wonder, which uses the face of the Möbius strip as the roof and walls, with the front and back of the house covered in glass windows. It would take twice as long to paint the outside of your house (it’s also the inside), but otherwise you’d be sitting pretty. I do hope that’s a Möbius shed visible in the background, and a probability tree in the garden.
If you’re looking for something to sit on in your non-orientable domicile – presumably, while wearing your Conjoined Möbius Hat – there’s always this chair, which was incorrectly identified as being a Möbius strip by NotCot, and features a distinctly Möbiusy-looking wooden frame with coloured hanging net, to throw yourself into at the end of a long day of one-sided arguments and twisted stripping (don’t ask).
Via Alex Bellos on Twitter.
Here’s a quick round-up of some news stories from the tail end of 2012 that we characteristically failed to write up!
Puzzlebomb is a monthly puzzle compendium. Issue 13 of Puzzlebomb, for January 2013, can be found here:
Puzzlebomb – Issue 13 – January 2013
The solutions to Issue 13 can be found here:
Puzzlebomb – Issue 13 – January 2013 – Solutions
Previous issues of Puzzlebomb, and their solutions, can be found here.
At this time of year, lame and/or groan-worthy jokes come to the fore, and are completely acceptable, and in some cases encouraged, provided they’re preceded by a bang noise and read out from a tiny piece of paper.
Rummaging around on my computer today, I found a set of mathematical Christmas cracker jokes I wrote for a party thrown for a group of mathematicians a couple of years ago, where I hacked apart a set of crackers and replaced the toys with tiny slide rules, the paper hats with ones cut into fractal curves along the top, and the existing terrible jokes with terrible mathematical ones. I thought I’d share them with you all, since they’re more likely to be appreciated by maths fans.
People all over the world are today increasingly worried about the foretold end of the world, predicted by the ending of the current cycle of the Gregorian calendar. The calendar, which so far has been running for a period of around 355 days, will come to an end on 31st December, at which point experts  predict that the world will end, caused by mysterious gravitational alignments of planets, geomagnetic reversals and the cataclysmic collision with Earth of the fictional planet Nibiru.
While no evidence of any of these forthcoming events has yet been observed by scientists, and in fact many of them are contradicted by simple astronomical observations, sales of apocalypse survival shelters have increased (such as these fine ones from Atlas Survival Shelters; other brands are available), as have ticket sales to ‘Apocalypse Parties’, where people will celebrate the world’s ending by getting drunk, primarily to numb themselves against any possible catastrophic explosions or destruction. Musician Jools Holland is apparently planning an apocalyptic Hootenanny on 31st December, at which celebrities and musicians will come together to party and fear for their lives in a boozy huddle at the stroke of midnight.
We spoke to an unnamed Mayan, who said, “It’s a shame the world will be ending in 11 days from now, as our Mesoamerican Long Count calendar has just entered a new B’ak’tun, which to us symbolises a fresh start and new life – for us, the end of the calendar will be an opportunity for a huge celebration. It’s such a pity that after that, we’ll only have another 11 days of existence.”