New out in theatres today is Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy. I can recommend the book; I plan to reread it during my Summer Leisure. I hope to catch the movie this weekend - I heard that it ends with "Six times nine is fourty-two." (Which is silly. Unless you're in base 13. Then it's just remarkably cool, since it was not on purpose, to the happy surprise of the author.)
Someone in NASA has a crack-smoking crazy plan to beam sunlight off of Mars through radio waves onto Earth to fill our energy deficit. (So, I guess radio waves wouldn't contribute to planetary warming? - I'm not a trekkie, so I'm not sure.)
Today on NPR - Talk of the Nation "Science Friday" the topic was:
"Appearances of and references to mathematics in popular culture have been used creatively and effectively in mathematics courses to reduce math anxiety and motivate students.With math sneaking in to primetime television, can we learn to love fractions and geometry, even calculus? We’ll also talk about the clash of cultures between mathematicians and TV writers behind-the-scenes. "
The program was interesting enough to recommend and will be archived for your listening pleasure sometime in the very near future on the Science Friday Homepage.
The most interesting was a certain desert ant which can zig-zag all over the place looking for food but once it is located, it can turn face home and walk exactly the distance required... if you move the ant it will turn the way home would have been and walk exactly the distance it should have been able to walk, get there and get confused. This is a very complex multivariable type of Trigonomotry called "dead reckoning" which, NASA supposedly used to retrieve the crew of a space mission that crashed - but I can't find anything supporting that.
1 week ago