The hallways of maths and science history are overflowing with the achievements of white men, from Sir Isaac Newton to Steve Jobs; their faces are printed into primary school textbooks everywhere, and their achievements have been indelibly drilled into our minds, with countless awards and institutions named after them. To be brilliant is a gift, but who gets to be remembered as such involves privilege.
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Researchers from the University of Liverpool have shown that it's possible to detect neurodegenerative disorders in famous artists by analysing subtle changes in their brush strokes over time. The technique could eventually be used to flag Alzheimer's and Parkinson's in artists before they're diagnosed.
Each year, tens of thousands of passengers get bumped from their scheduled flights because of overbooking. A new video from TED-Ed explains why companies do it, and why you have a right to be pissed off when it happens.
If you've ever been frustrated at your inability to complete a level of Super Mario Brothers, here's a little something to cheer you up. Computer scientists have demonstrated that solving a level in the popular video game is tantamount to solving some of the hardest problems in computational science.
More than a thousand years before the first telescopes, Babylonian astronomers tracked the motion of planets across the night sky using simple arithmetic. But a newly translated text reveals that these ancient stargazers also used a far more advanced method, one that foreshadows the development of calculus over a thousand years later.
A new fractal analysis of London's dense network of streets and intersections reveals that a green belt meant to encourage migration to the suburbs had the opposite effect. The city has just became denser. People really seem to love urban living, especially in a thriving city like London. The work could shed light on how modern cities evolve, and help guide future urban growth policies.
The complexity of a puzzle is usually dependent on how many tiny pieces are crammed inside its box. But by introducing mathematical fractals into the design, this plain nine-piece puzzle by Oscar van Deventer looks like a nightmare to solve.
Your cousin's Facebook friends are probably going nuts over this image that claims to show how the early history of Arabic geometric design informs how we write numerals today. "Each figure contains its own number of corners and angles," reads the text. That's half-true of the drawings in the image. The rest is patently false.
Earlier this year, an 80-year-old Japanese chalk company went out of business. Nobody, perhaps, was as sad to see the company go as mathematicians who had become obsessed with Hagoromo Fulltouch Chalk, the so-called "Rolls Royce of chalk".
Video: The MinutePhysics series has always been a goldmine of interesting facts and science explainers. But prepare to have your mind blown wide open this time as Henry Reich shows you an alternate way to manually subtract large numbers — by doing addition instead.