Mathematics is the science of numbers and shapes. Mathematics may also be considered a formal language to describe physics.

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Quibble with Dawkins's reasoning on the watch-stopping probability on a psychic audience [closed]

In Unweaving the Rainbow Richard Dawkins mentions the following (famous) reasoning on why it's almost certain that a psychic with a big audience will accurately predict/command rare events like ...
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3k views

Have you shared (one water molecule of) your glass of water with a dinosaur?

I saw on the web: La probabilité que vous buviez un verre d'eau qui contient une molécule d'eau qui est également passée à travers un dinosaure est de quasiment 100%. This translates to: The ...
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173 views

Was Napoleon right that “there cannot be a great nation without great mathematics”? [closed]

I am teaching mathematics. And I want to collect as many evidences as I can to let my students know that mathematics is very important. Accidentally I got a quote from Napoleon as follows. ...
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Summer Mathematics Workbooks for Elementary and Middle School

There is a wide variety of summer mathematics workbooks available for students in elementary and middle school (see here). With summer coming up, these books seem to be available everywhere. Thus my ...
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496 views

Was Shakuntala Devi able to perform complex computations far faster than the best living human calculators?

I heard about Shakuntala Devi for the first time today, an Indian Savant who allegedly performed such feats as finding the 23rd root of a 201 digit number in 50 seconds, unaided. There seems to be ...
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166 views

Has knowledge in mathematics in teenagers decreased through time?

I have been told that the level of knowledge in mathematics is much lower today than twenty or fifty years ago. Is it true? I'm looking for statistics that present the level of knowledge in ...
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354 views

Is it possible for Armavir to see ballistic missile over Mediterranean (how high was it)? [closed]

Some time ago there were several statements about missile launch detection over the Midterranean using russian Station Armavir: ...
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54 views

Is golden ratio the most aesthetically pleasing ratio? [duplicate]

I have read several claims in all kinds of literature (both scientific, less scientific and downwards anti-scientific) about golden ratio and its "aesthetics". However, all the "proofs" I have seen ...
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602 views

Is it possible to generate all photos ever taken by random sequencing of bits? [closed]

All JPGS, pngs etc are basically just sequences of bits. Is it possible to generate these by making a program that generates random sequences of bits? For example say that the sequence 100010111 is ...
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486 views

Can a body be dissolved by a few gallons of Hydrofluoric acid?

In the "Cat's in the Bag..." episode of Season 1 of "Breaking Bad," characters are shown with 4 gallon-jugs of Hydrofluoric Acid that they use to dissolve 2 adult corpses. Chemistry is a major plot ...
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359 views

Is it possible to solve problems without active thinking?

I am a mathematics major and I constantly hear people (including my professors) saying that when you are not actively thinking about a given problem and playing tennis for instance your subconscious ...
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2k views

Did the Ancient Egyptians use twenty-sided dice?

Ancient d20 die emerges from the ashes of time Many centuries before Dungeons & Dragons was even a glimmer in the eye of Gary Gygax, ancient Egyptians were rolling a d20 die. Metropolitan ...
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583 views

Did only a handful of people in Europe know how to do division before the 13th century?

Nicholas Nassem Taleb's latest book (Antifragile) continues to provide fascinating unreferenced claims. In the middle of an argument that much of the important knowledge in the world is practical, ...
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638 views

Did Abraham de Moivre Predict His Own Death?

According to the website I was perusing, found here, it stated that a mathematician named Abraham de Moivre, predicted the date of his own death (using some nonsensical method of when he had slept for ...
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2answers
932 views

Do higher mathematical abilities inversely correlate with good communication skills?

There is a persistent stereotype that geeks (let's formally define that as people a couple of standard deviations better than average in math, computers or other related abilities) as a whole have ...
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876 views

Is poker more a game of skill than chance?

I just read a NY Times article which claims that a US Judge ruled that poker is a game of skill and not one of chance. In a ruling that goes to the heart of what it means to play poker, Judge Jack ...
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537 views

Did John Padgett become a math genius after getting hit on the head?

There have been some news reports about a college dropout, John Padgett, becoming a math genius after getting hit on the head. Could this be true or how much of this could be true?
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2k views

Can Bruce Bueno de Mesquita predict the future with mathematics?

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita is called the "New Nostradamus". According to his claims he is able to predict (and has predicted) big economic events such as the 2009 economic crisis. Supposedly he has a ...
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1answer
626 views

Are STEM (science tech engineering math) suffering a shortage of people in the US?

I have been always hearing of not enough people in the science and technology field in the US. The government is always coming up with initiatives to increase the number of people. From my experience ...
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162 views

Does counting with fingers diminish the ability to work with numbers in the future for children?

There is a belief that says children who count with the aid of their fingers will be prone to having problems in math in the later years to come. Is this belief true?
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429 views

Do Imperial units make United States children worse at maths?

It is claimed on Cracked.com: There's also some evidence that our jalopy measurement system [imperial, ndr] is part of what's making U.S. students bad at math. In Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers, he ...
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415 views

Did ninjas use Pythagoras' theorem to determine the depth of moats?

Ninjas are alleged to have determined the depth of moats by taking a reed that's attached to the bottom of the moat, and measuring the height of the reed above water, and how far forward they had to ...
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Is Mecca at a special place on the earth's surface, dictated by the Golden Mean?

Mecca considered by Muslims to be the holiest city of Islam. This video about the Mecca makes the following claims: Mecca is at a special point on the Earth's surface in the sense that its ...
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Is kabbah the center of the earth [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Question about the Kabbah and the center of the earth In the following video it is claimed that Kabbah is the center of the earth. What is the scientific proof of this ...
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287 views

Did Grothendieck reinvent the Lebesgue integral?

I have heard multiple times the story that while being a first year undergraduate student, mathematician Alexander Grothendieck rediscovered the Lebesgue integration, which was not so known at this ...
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798 views

If children use calculators in primary school, is their learning impacted?

Others are against using calculator in lower level math teaching, saying that it makes children not to learn their basic facts, prevents students from discovering and understanding underlying ...
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963 views

Can you measure the area of a shape with a ruler and a bent coathanger?

This youtube video video from How Round is Your Circle? claims you can estimate area with a tool created from a bent coat-hanger. I am a little skeptical about the claim which is why I am posting ...
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586 views

Was the mathematical genius of Gauss discovered at school?

It is often said that the genius of Carl Friedrich Gauss was first discovered when his teacher told the students to calculate the sum of all integers from 1 to 100 to keep them occupied and young ...