Warped ideas

I was in Rome airport not long ago, and noticed that the reflection of the striped ceiling looked warped and bent due to the non-flatness of the reflecting surface:

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What else to do when waiting in the departures lounge?

As I’m sure will be familiar to any traveller, the excruciating boredom of an airport drives the mind to wander, so here is my derivation of the underlying mirror surface structure from this image.

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Axes of rotation

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.

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England and Wales House Prices

The last time I looked at house prices it went pretty well, and I ended up winning a data science competition. There I was only dealing with a million or so records, and a relatively small 120 MB dataset. Then I found out it was possible to download 3.7GB of property sale records for all of England and Wales since 1995, so let’s have another go. Continue reading

On which shaped planet am I the heaviest?

Continuing on from my last post concerning optimisation and Lagrange multipliers, I came across a neat little paper on the arXiv here, which asks and answers the question: what shape should a planet be to maximise the gravitational force at a given position? This is a fun problem, solved using an extension of the techniques from the last post, namely the use of Lagrange multipliers to optimise a function given some constraint.

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Stereographic Lampshades

I saw an article on the Guardian website here on the 3D-printing of shapes which project interesting patterns of light. Ignoring the strangely forced Halloween reference, I thought this would be an interesting project to attempt for an arbitrary pattern, perhaps as a personalised lampshade. Buoyed by the continuing high of leftover sweets from Friday night, let’s have a look.

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