Thursday, 7 April 2005

Nerdling - The Online Magazine

Today's interesting link is Nerdling, the online pdf magazine for, um, people like me.

In issue #11 :
University in the middle ages, featuring twelfth-century frat songs and post-graduation bullfights ... Erwin Schroedinger, self-titled sex god ... the Borg versus My Little Pony ...

Watching a presentation at a medieval university was not the dull PowerPoint-driven yawnfest we often encounter today. Instead it was more like going to watch a boxing match. When a student was nominated by his professor to give a ‘disputation’, all other classes were cancelled and a large band of students and eminent visitors would attend. In the manner of a tournament, the student would
present his thesis and then be expected to try and defend it against all opposition from the audience. The professor would act as the student’s second and trainer. A spirited defence was hailed with shouts of applause.
Woe to the student who didn’t entertain or educate the audience if there were loose stones around.
PhD candidates take note. Lots of good stuff, well worth the 2.8 MB download.
Nerdling has reached the significant milestone of eleven issues: eleven,
  • the only palindromic prime number with an even number of digits;
  • eleven, the number of the first manned mission to land on the moon;
  • eleven, the number of Tim-Tams in a packet.
Eleven is strange and symmetrical and sneaky. There are secret ways to find if a number is divisible by eleven: take the number, start at either end, and alternately add and subtract its digits. If the answer is either zero or divisible by 11, then the number is divisible by 11 too. For example: 1595 gives 1-5+9-5 = 0, and is hence divisible by 11.
Ah Brain Food!

No comments: