Archives for April, 2012

As you have probably guessed from the blog drought around here, it’s the end of the semester. That means tons of grading, office hours, meetings with students, deadlines to meet, and all around not much time for blogging. Final exams are this week. Once those are graded I reach the promised land of summer break.…

I’m in the mood for some math today, so here’s an amusing little proof I recently showed to my History of Mathematics class. We shall derive the formula \[ \frac{\pi^2}{6}=1+\frac{1}{4}+\frac{1}{9}+\frac{1}{16}+\frac{1}{25}+\dots \] Note that the denominators of the fractions on the right are all perfect squares. The problem of evaluating the sum on the right has…

Some Very Cool Card Magic

I recently attended the Gathering for Gardner conference in Atlanta, held every two years to honor Martin Gardner. Gardner was a prolific writer on a variety of topics, especially mathematics, magic and pseudoscience. Since those just happen to be three major interests of mine, you can imagine how much fun I had! Alas, since we…

As part of my one-man media blitz for my new book Among the Creationists: Dispatches From the Anti-Evolutionist Frontline, let me call your attention to a few posts. P. Z. Myers has posted a nice review.: What do you do on airplanes? I usually devour a book or two, usually something popcorny and light, sometimes…

Hardcover BECBs Now Available!

The official publication date for the BECB (that’s the big evolution/creationism book for those not up on the local slang) was April 10. Alas, as the tenth drew near I was dismayed to find that the book was only available for pre-order. My previous two books were both available two to three weeks prior to…

Here’s the latest from Michael Ruse, over at the blog for the Chronicle of Higher Education. He is discussing the anti-evolution“academic freedom” bill that just passed in Tennessee: On the left, the New Atheist movement frightens me immensely. Its supporters openly and explicitly link evolutionary thinking with non-belief, sneering at those (like me) who think…