# Category Archives: Fun

## Quarter the Cross: An Elegant Construction

Last month, I presented an infinite pattern of nested crosses as a response to the  #QuarterTheCross challenge on Twitter.  The idea is to find interesting ways to shade one-quarter of the area of the cross built from five squares.Now David Butler, a math lecturer … Continue reading

## Quarter the Cross

Yesterday, I noticed that some of the math teachers I follow on Twitter were challenging their students, and themselves, with the #quarterthecross problem.  The problem is simply to find interesting regions of a five-square cross that take up exactly one-quarter of … Continue reading

Posted in Fun, Math | | 3 Comments

## Spaghetti Puzzle #1

About a month ago, math educator Marilyn Burns tweeted this puzzle: Here's a problem I've thought about for a long time. Not making progress, but I'm still fascinated. Help? pic.twitter.com/r6iagNUn76 — Marilyn Burns (@mburnsmath) December 6, 2015   Spoiler Alert: … Continue reading

Posted in Fun, Puzzles | | 6 Comments

## A Mathematical Family Tree

I am delighted by what I just learned about my mathematical family tree.  It started with this tweet by scientist and writer Paul Halpern: More than 120,000 mathematicians can trace their scholarly heritage back to Byzantine thinker Manuel Bryennios: http://t.co/ejlzX2AO3KContinue reading

## Puzzle #9 (Follow-up): Melting Fractals

The song “Let it Go” from the movie Frozen celebrates “frozen fractals.” I suppose a frozen fractal is something like the Koch snowflake. Lately, though, one of my puzzles has made me more interested in melting fractals. The challenge of Puzzle … Continue reading

Posted in Fun, Graphic Presentation, Math, Puzzles, Visualization | | 2 Comments

## Puzzle #9: Island of Games

Life is fun on the Island of Games.  The thousand inhabitants enjoy competing at chess, checkers, and contests to solve the Rubik’s Cube puzzle as fast as possible.  The islanders are rated for their skill at each of the three … Continue reading

Posted in Fun, Math | | 8 Comments

## Puzzle #7 (Follow-up): Treasury Island, Part 1

In Puzzle #7: The Mysterious Islands, I told the story of two islands where each individual’s remaining lifespan can be perfectly predicted. The lifespans on Uniformia are evenly distributed, and their average remaining life expectancy will gradually decline over time. … Continue reading

## Quasi-random Christmas Trees: at the Movies

In Quasi-random Christmas Trees, I applied quasi-random numbers to the decoration of Christmas trees.  Quasi-random patterns can be used to arrange ornaments without bunching them together or leaving large blank spaces (problems that typical random numbers can cause).  You don’t … Continue reading

Posted in Fun, Math | | 3 Comments

## Puzzle #8: James Bond

Few know that a scene was cut from the James Bond movie Goldfinger.  Bond has been captured by Goldfinger and is strapped tightly to a large turntable.  Bond’s feet are at the center of the platter and his head rests … Continue reading

Posted in Bonds, Fun, Math, Puzzles | | 2 Comments

## A New(?) Way to Visualize Numbers

After I saw Matt Henderson’s visual demonstration of how the geometric series 1/4 + 1/16 + 1/64 . . . adds to 1/3, I thought about how to generalize this for any geometric series. This led to a way to … Continue reading