“I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you're going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.” - C. JoyBell
Background Illustrations provided by: http://edison.rutgers.edu/
Reblogged from thespacegoat  82 notes
we-are-star-stuff:

The World’s Favourite Number
Go ahead, admit it. Like a lot of people, you have a favourite number.
Maybe your favourite number is your birthday, or the jersey you wore in high school. Or maybe it is your significant other’s birthday.
But what is the world’s favourite number? 
Alex Bellos, a mathematics blogger for The Guardian, started collecting favourite numbers a few years ago. One of the most frequent questions he got from readers was, “What’s your favourite number?” He didn’t actually have one, but then he started asking readers the same question. Quite to his surprise, he found that a lot of people were passionate about numbers… or at least one number in particular.
Bellos set up the website http://favouritenumber.net and asked people to cast votes for their favourite numbers and explain why they liked them. More than 44,000 people did. Along the way, Bellos noticed lots of patterns. “Definitely, non-mathematical reasons were more frequent than mathematical ones” he says. “Dates and birthdays are the most common”. Odd numbers do better, in general, than even ones. In China, 8 is popular because it sounds like “prosperity” and 4 is unpopular because it sounds like “death”. English has sound-alikes, too: one voter said his favorite was 11, because “it sounds like lovin’”.
Round numbers, ending in 0 or 5, are quite unpopular. “My theory, which is not scientifically proven, is that we use round numbers to mean approximate things” says Bellos. “When we say 100, we don’t usually mean exactly 100, we mean around 100. So 100 seems incredibly vague. Why would you have something as your favourite that is so vague?” It seems that we like our numbers to be somewhat unique, which may be why prime numbers are popular. They aren’t divisible by any smaller numbers (aside from 1).
Bellos announced the results on the BBC and in his new book, Alex Through the Looking-Glass (it’s published under the title The Grapes of Math in the US.) Let’s count them down: 
The bronze medal goes to the number 8.
The silver medal goes to the number 3.
But the number cited most often as a favourite number is… 7.
To be honest, this is hardly a shock. “People’s strongest emotional reaction is to the number 7, and this has been true throughout history” says Bellos. But strangely enough, no one really knows why. “The argument most frequently given, which I think is not credible, is that there are seven visible planets or seven days in the week,” Bellos says. He thinks that we like 7 because it’s the only number between 2 and 10 that is neither a multiple nor a factor of any other. It somehow stands apart from the others. 
But if you don’t feel any attachment to 7, that’s okay. Rebels like the number 13, which finished way up in sixth place. If you like the number 0, join the smart aleck club. More than any other number, people seemed to pick 0 because they thought it was a clever thing to do, Bellos says. As for the world’s “least favourite” number, that would be 110. It was the smallest whole number that didn’t get any votes at all.
One nice thing about favourite numbers is that there are so many to choose from. “Numbers are like gold coins - you might see a lot of them, but they’re all wonderful” says Neil Sloane, a retired mathematicians at AT&T Labs and curator of the Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences. “I have quite a few favourites” he says. “240 (the number of billiard balls that a single billiard ball can “kiss” in eight-dimensional space) is near the top, but so are 1, 2 (“the oddest prime” because it’s even), and 1089” (check Wikipedia if you want to know why).
[Continue reading →]

we-are-star-stuff:

The World’s Favourite Number

Go ahead, admit it. Like a lot of people, you have a favourite number.

Maybe your favourite number is your birthday, or the jersey you wore in high school. Or maybe it is your significant other’s birthday.

But what is the world’s favourite number? 

Alex Bellos, a mathematics blogger for The Guardian, started collecting favourite numbers a few years ago. One of the most frequent questions he got from readers was, “What’s your favourite number?” He didn’t actually have one, but then he started asking readers the same question. Quite to his surprise, he found that a lot of people were passionate about numbers… or at least one number in particular.

Bellos set up the website http://favouritenumber.net and asked people to cast votes for their favourite numbers and explain why they liked them. More than 44,000 people did. Along the way, Bellos noticed lots of patterns. “Definitely, non-mathematical reasons were more frequent than mathematical ones” he says. “Dates and birthdays are the most common”. Odd numbers do better, in general, than even ones. In China, 8 is popular because it sounds like “prosperity” and 4 is unpopular because it sounds like “death”. English has sound-alikes, too: one voter said his favorite was 11, because “it sounds like lovin’”.

Round numbers, ending in 0 or 5, are quite unpopular. “My theory, which is not scientifically proven, is that we use round numbers to mean approximate things” says Bellos. “When we say 100, we don’t usually mean exactly 100, we mean around 100. So 100 seems incredibly vague. Why would you have something as your favourite that is so vague?” It seems that we like our numbers to be somewhat unique, which may be why prime numbers are popular. They aren’t divisible by any smaller numbers (aside from 1).

Bellos announced the results on the BBC and in his new book, Alex Through the Looking-Glass (it’s published under the title The Grapes of Math in the US.) Let’s count them down: 

The bronze medal goes to the number 8.

The silver medal goes to the number 3.

But the number cited most often as a favourite number is… 7.

To be honest, this is hardly a shock. “People’s strongest emotional reaction is to the number 7, and this has been true throughout history” says Bellos. But strangely enough, no one really knows why. “The argument most frequently given, which I think is not credible, is that there are seven visible planets or seven days in the week,” Bellos says. He thinks that we like 7 because it’s the only number between 2 and 10 that is neither a multiple nor a factor of any other. It somehow stands apart from the others. 

But if you don’t feel any attachment to 7, that’s okay. Rebels like the number 13, which finished way up in sixth place. If you like the number 0, join the smart aleck club. More than any other number, people seemed to pick 0 because they thought it was a clever thing to do, Bellos says. As for the world’s “least favourite” number, that would be 110. It was the smallest whole number that didn’t get any votes at all.

One nice thing about favourite numbers is that there are so many to choose from. “Numbers are like gold coins - you might see a lot of them, but they’re all wonderful” says Neil Sloane, a retired mathematicians at AT&T Labs and curator of the Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences. “I have quite a few favourites” he says. 240 (the number of billiard balls that a single billiard ball can “kiss” in eight-dimensional space) is near the top, but so are 1, 2 (“the oddest prime” because it’s even), and 1089 (check Wikipedia if you want to know why).

[Continue reading →]

Reblogged from elamoresblanco  315,236 notes

floozys:

straight boys are weak and pathetic, queer girls walk into the ladies changing room and see ten women naked, do they stare? do they say something inappropriate? do they make them uncomfortable? no because they have the common fucking sense to recognise when a situation is sexual and that people deserve the most basic level of respect to not be harassed, yet here we are banning shorts and low cut tops in school because straight boys are weak and pathetic