The Weird Maths Behind Paper Sizes

Despite all the talk of the paperless office, for some reason most of us still seem to drown under piles of dead tree. But while we’re all intimately familiar with the stuff, understanding where those weird sizing conventions came from never seems to get any easier.

Turns out there’s plenty of maths behind the puzzling history of paper sizes: from the way the page dimensions are defined, to the units they’re measured in. In this video, mathematician-turned-stand-up comic Matt Parker explains the confusing history of paper. Fortunately, he manages to make it both interesting and amusing. (Though, as a disclaimer, he may be slightly biased to the A paper size convention…) [YouTube]