My hands are up


My hands are up and they would also be hiding my blushes if I visibly blushed which I don’t.   Sylvain! And I don’t only mean that as a factorial function.   

This blog will be about the magic calculator.  At first, my blood ran cold.   People who know me well know that I tend to have charming mood swings at times.  “This is supposed to be for kids?  Maths is fun?  Maths is easy more like.”  I raved.

I didn’t like the instant and smug ‘change a digit calculator and the tiles cascade into a different figure’.   Where was the sophisticated break down of the formula revealing the beauty of each point carefully selected and balanced within a line? 

And then I followed the link for in-depth analysis and I forgave all.   Ok, so it’s for kids, but as seen by last week’s attempt, I could do with a bit of brushing up.   I’ve never said that my fruit salad was a combination of grapes, bananas and apples but I did make a series of sculptures called combinations, which can seem just as abstract.  More importantly the order didn’t matter back then as well, and it was a visual explanation, something that the magic calcualator does so well. 

I shall be shortly thinking about a series called permutations very soon. 

So here comes the rationalization bit where I sort of pretend that my flirtation with a-level maths maths could have got me there.

If you ignore that my formula lacked all the usual notation and that my number was millions out because I added the descending sequence of numbers as opposed to multiplying them then I might have been closer but I’d still have been wrong.

And it’s great.  I like it.  It’ the same pain / pleasure combination (repetition allowed) that I get from drawing my large murals in pen.  The line is what it is and when you put it down you can’t change it into something else or hide it under a network of other lines until it almost disappears or smudge it into a Rembrandt chiaroscuro.  As library.thinkquest this time said so succinctly, and who can’t love this:

‘If an event cannot happen, the probability is 0.  If an event is certain to happen, the probability is 1.’