IN THE ARID, sun-soaked northwest corner of Australia, along the Tropic of Capricorn, the oldest face of Earth is exposed to the sky. Drive through the northern outback for a while, south of Port Hedlund on the coast, and you will come upon hills softened by time. They are part of a region called the Pilbara Craton, which formed about 3.5 billion years ago, when Earth was in its youth.
Calculators are awesome, but they’re not always handy. More to the point, no one wants to be seen reaching for the calculator on their mobile phone when it’s time to figure out a 15 percent gratuity. Here are ten tips to help you crunch numbers in your head.
Math is basically magic. So it’s no surprise that a clever use of the Fibonacci numbers—a series of numbers (1, 2, 3, 5, 8, etc.) where each number is the sum of the two preceding numbers—and a super-slick shuffling method can combine for a card trick that makes it impossibly easy to guess the number and suit of the two cards you’re holding.
Mathematicians have discovered a surprising pattern in the expression of prime numbers, revealing a previously unknown “bias” to researchers.
Here’s another classic math riddle for you to prune your brain on a little bit: if people were lined up from tallest to shortest (meaning a person can see everything in front of them) and all wearing black or white hats, can you figure out which color hat you were wearing even if you had no idea how many black or white hats there were total? The answer is yes, you can!
Calculus: A word that triggers involuntary fear spams in the best of us. But the days of slogging through tedious textbook derivatives are over, if you want them to be. For the past few years, people across the world have studied calculus for free online, by exploring a set of gorgeous, dynamic animations.
Riddles can be fun but can also be really stressful when you start to feel your decently well-wrinkled brain shrivel into a prune. But hey! Tease the brain and the satisfaction of solving it outweighs the unnecessary stress added to your life, right? Right! Here’s the classic bridge riddle in animated form from Ted-Ed. How can you get a group of people across a bridge in a certain amount of time?