## May 12th, 2013

### Happy Pythagorean Triple Day (5-12-13)

We all know (or should know if you graduated Jr high) what the Pythagorean Theorem is: for a right triangle abc, a^2+b^2=c^2.  For many this is one of the first natural laws that we learn.  For many more they don’t even learn this and wind up working at Walmart for the rest of their adult lives while their teeth rot out of their heads from all the diet coke they drink.  But that’s a different story…

A Pythagorean Triple is a special case of the Pythagorean Theorem, where all three sides are of integer length.  There are infinitely many Pythagorean Triples (that means that there’s more of them then there are mouth breathers at a Nickleback concert) since any integer scaling of a Pythagorean Triple produces yet another Pythagorean Triple: (ka)^2+(kb)^2=(kc)^2 where k is an integer.

Combine that with the fact that there are infinitely many Primitive Pythagorean Triples (a,b and c are all co-prime) results in a huge number of triples.

A cool way to generate a Pythagorean Triple is to use Euclid’s Formula: a=m^2-n^2; b=2mn; c=m^2+n^2, where m>n.  This generates a Primitive Pythagorean Triple if m & n are co-prime, and one of them is odd and the other is even.

So today is May 12, 2013 (5-12-13) and 5^2+12^2=13^2; 25+144=169.  The next Pythagorean Triple is December 5, 2013 (12-5-13 works just as well as 5-12-13).  After that we have to wait until August 15, 2017 (8-15-17).

## May 7th, 2013

Reblogged From: DiscoveryNews

Minimal Posters -  Five Great Mathematicians And Their Contributions.

## Apr 28th, 2013

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE INANIMATE OBJECT?

A Slinky.   Although, it’s probably not totally inanimate once it starts going.   But until then?   no way.

## Apr 28th, 2013

Just me.   Sitting in the office.   Confused as to the logic behind everyone’s actions….

## Apr 27th, 2013

Reblogged From: Science Junkie

So many of the kids I see EVERY frinkin’ day get this wrong. But then again, my school decided that teaching physics without calculus to PHYSICS AND ENGINEERING MAJORS is ok…

When your Thermodynamics class consists of reading selected steam tables in a book then there’s no hope.

## Apr 27th, 2013

Reblogged From: The Math Kid

I swear not enough people understand what an argument is. Fewer still would recognise a fallacy even if it punched them in the brain.