If you're wiped out from reading yesterday's monster post on poker-playing physicists, and just want to watch/listen to something instead as a bit of a break, you can hear me chat with George Johnson over at Bloggingheads.tv about all things calculus. It's all in there: Archimedes and the method of exhaustion (pioneered by a Greek dude named Eudoxus, who studied under Plato), why killing Archimedes was "the Romans' greatest contribution to mathematics" (h/t to fellow science writer Charles Seife), the poolside "death ray" at the new Vdara Hotel in Vegas, zombies, and Newton's bitter fight with Leibniz over the title "inventor of calculus." Poor George could hardly get a word in edgewise. What can I say? I was feeling chatty. About calculus. Me, the former English major. Because the universe has a wicked sense of humor. Besides, ask any writer who's just finished a book to expound on the subject of said book, and you're bound to get an earful — it just pours out of us, like lava (or Exorcist-style vomit). If you've got some time this weekend, give it a listen.
3 thoughts on “heads will blog… about calculus”
If it wasn’t for the Roman soldier killing Archimedes, we would have hover cars and colonies on the final frontier by now. JK
In all seriousness, the book seems great from watching the discussion. I took Cal II and III at my summer college, and after watching this video I wanted to take out my notes and calculus book and look up all the theorem and rules they mentioned. I also thought how the book includes parabolic curves that produces death rays, simulated zombie apocalypse scenario, and the Calculus war between Newton and Leibniz was relatively interesting.
Check out this observatory
They have a verifiable story about a 2 metre para telescope mirror set up in the foyer of the vistors centre, which melted a cash register when the afternoon sun came in through the glass walls.
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