Mathematics

How 1 Song Cost Me £Thousands$

Twenty Dollar Bill by John Haberle, 1890

Now, I may not live in “America,” but I think I’m pretty good at counting money, whether it’s in dollar bills, or pounds, shillings, pence, ha’pennies, farthings, etc, etc, etc. . . . (By the way, I still got me a few two bob bits, but the darned old curiosity shop in town won’t take […]

Converting Units of Horses to Cows

Headless camel.

Dear The Flying News, How do you convert between units of horses and cows? Would it be correct to use their respective weights, the amount they eat, the cost of purchase, the weight of meat alone (lean or full-fat?), or meat plus gallons of milk produced? The reason I need to know is that I […]

Charles Augustus Fortescue

Charles Augustus Fortescue Who Always Did what was Right, and so Accumulated an Immense Fortune The nicest child I ever knew Was Charles Augustus Fortescue. He never lost his cap, or tore His stockings or his pinafore: In eating Bread he made no Crumbs, He was extremely fond of sums, To which, however, he preferred […]

The Flying News Guide to Statistics

It is widely known that if you include a number in a statement, 79% of people will believe you without question. If you include two numbers, then 82.3% of people will take your statement as definitely true.1 Don’t go overboard, of course. If you make a statement such as “01001001 01110011 00100000 01101001 01110011 00101100 […]

The Horrors of Majuba

’Twas after the great Majuba fight: And the next morning, at daylight, Captain Macbean’s men were ordered to headquarters camp, So immediately Captain Macbean and his men set out on tramp. And there they were joined by the Blue Jackets and 58th men, Who, for unflinching courage, no man can them condemn; And that brave […]

Geometry and Evolutionary Biology

Photo by Lynn Locifero, © The Flying News, 2014.

Statisticians have known of the strong positive correlation between interest in geometry and number of descendents for more than thirty years. Until recently, no one had proposed any explanation for this curious fact. A recent study by Nikolaj S. Henriksen of Louisiana University suggests that the correlation is causal, that is, studying geometry makes one […]

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