Monday, September 14, 2009

Links on Monday

• The day after I added Puzzling Queen to my blogroll, she linked to this amazing collection titled Geometry and Perspective. Looks to me like Escher may have been influenced by this stuff from the 1500's.

Review of a movie about Godel, Cantor, Turing and Boltzmann, at Reasonable Deviations.

• Diandra, at Cocktail Party Physics, asks: "Which is better: going from a car that gets 34 miles per gallon (mpg) to one that gets 50 mpg, or changing from a car that gets 18 mpg to one that gets 28 mpg?" It's not as straightforward as you'd first think.

• What if you have a coin that lands heads more often than tails? Can you devise a way to use it for a fair toss? Yep. Bill the Lizard explains how.

• Gwen Dewar blogs at Parenting Science, where she passes along research of interest to parents. From an article on helping young children develop their math skills, here's a fascinating bit on the connection between math, language, and an innate counting ability:
Recent research [was] conducted by cognitive neuroscientists on kids who speak only Walpiri or Anindilyakwa, two native Australian languages (Butterworth et al 2008). These languages include number words for only three numerosities--“one,” “two,” and any imprecise quantity that is "more than two." Yet 4- to 7-year old speakers of these languages performed as well or better than English speakers when they were asked to

• briefly examine a small set of tokens and then assemble an identical set of tokens from memory

• listen to a series of up to 7 taps and then place the corresponding number of tokens on a mat

• spontaneously subdivide a set of 6 or 9 items into three equal sets when they were told to “share” these items among three toy bears

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