Fun stuff and more reading

This page will contain links to fun and interesting things that I find. If you have any suggestions please let me know!

Here is a link to the book “Quick and Easy Math” by Isaac Asimov on how to do math (arithmetic, mostly) quickly and sometimes in your head. This is a fairly large pdf file and not searchable, so if you read a bit and like it, you may want to buy it. (Source:

Here is a review of Quick and Easy Math which mentions some other tricks that Asimov omitted.


Maybe the most famous science fiction story Asimov wrote is “Nightfall”. It is the story of a world with 6 suns, so that there is almost always at least one sun in the sky. Only once in every 2049 years, there is a day when all of the suns are below the horizon at the same time. Scientists on that world are speculating what will happen when that day comes, which is predicted to happen soon. What happens… is not quite what they imagined.

If you read it and you start wondering whether a world like that could exist, here is some science for you.

Asimov is also known for his Foundation trilogy (which later added more books) and “I, robot”, which was incorporated into the Foundation universe later on.


Here are two essays from mathematician Steven Strogatz on the “equation that broke the internet”: in the second part he responds to questions that readers had from the first part.

First part

Second part

The links lead to the NY Times website: you may be asked to create a free account to view them. if you have trouble accessing the essays through the links, I have also posted them on Blackboard for this course – look under “Content”. (Two pretty big pdfs.)

Here is something just for fun: Lou Costello “proves” that 7 times 13 is 28, three different ways.

Abbot and Costello proving 7 times 13 is 28


Twitter user Diogenes the #Cynic has made some quite amazing graphs using Desmos. Take a look if you dare!

[link goes to Twitter]