As I was watching an episode of Only Connect the other day, I learned an (almost) interesting fact about London tube stations:
St. John’s Wood is the only tube station not to share any letters with the word mackerel
Someone, for some reason, some time.
This was such a delightfully pointless fact, that my curiosity was instantly piqued. Why this station? That word? Is it unique, or unusual for this to happen? Let’s, dear reader, find out for ourselves.
This post is about me finally getting over a slight irritation that happened nearly a decade ago, one which was almost completely inconsequential. Fortunately, it was related to physics, so is fair game here.
Let’s get pedagogical. Often when analysing a system, it is useful to break a component down into pieces, and figure out which are the important ones (if any). There are many techniques for this, here I’ll look at one called ‘singular value decomposition’ in the context of image compression.
The world cup is almost once more amongst us, which means interminable weeks of breathless coverage, punditry, and heartfelt professions that each match will be played at 110%. In an effort to inject some more quantitative rigour to a field which, apparently, could do with some, let’s try and predict how the whole thing will play out.
I recently tried my hand at throwing axes at a wall, courtesy of Whistle Punks in London. While this was a fun and satisfyingly macho activity, I noticed that the attendants were careful to position people at various distances from the target to increase their chances of success. This piqued my curiosity, so here I’ll have a look at why that might be.
Since Christmas, at my house we’ve been cooking with 5 ingredients or fewer thanks to the acquisition of Jamie Oliver’s new book, the contents of which are mostly available online here. The recipes are unanimously very tasty, but that’s besides the point. The real mark of culinary excellence (in my humble opinion) is how efficiently one can buy ingredients to make as many of the recipes as possible in one shopping trip. Let’s investigate while the lamb is on.