Math

Chalk Apocalypse

So, when Hagoromo announced that it was going out of business in 2014, it caused a rupture in the math community.”

I referred to it as a chalk apocalypse,” Conrad said. In a panic, mathematicians across America began stockpiling resources in preparation.”

I calculated how many boxes I would need to last 10 to 15 years and I bought that many boxes,” says Lieblich.Dave Bayer took things even further. “I single-handedly bought the rest of the Amazon supply in the middle of the night,” he said.

Source: How a brand of chalk achieved cult status among mathematicians – CNN

I was gifted with an old sliding blackboard in my 2nd year of teaching (and my first year of teaching Physical Science). I loved that board and was sad to leave it later in my career when I went to a new school.

There’s something special about chalk covered hands and the feel of writing on a blackboard to make a point about F=MA or the structure of an atom.

Now I want to go stock up on some Hagoromo and find a good blackboard for my children.

“Random” prime numbers and human projections

“So just what has got mathematicians spooked? Apart from 2 and 5, all prime numbers end in 1, 3, 7 or 9 – they have to, else they would be divisible by 2 or 5 – and each of the four endings is equally likely. But while searching through the primes, the pair noticed that primes ending in 1 were less likely to be followed by another prime ending in 1. That shouldn’t happen if the primes were truly random –  consecutive primes shouldn’t care about their neighbour’s digits.”

Source: Mathematicians shocked to find pattern in “random” prime numbers | New Scientist

Math, philosophically, is spooky.

Does it “really” exist in the cosmos or is it (like most things we consider to be intrinsic to the universe) a human projection based on our finite nature?

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