Archive for the ‘Lampooned Lyrics’ Category

An ode to Andreia Chaves

December 14, 2009

(To the tune of “The Christmas Shoes”. Sorry about that.)

It was almost exam time
Sum. Solve. Is this a prime?
Trying to find a good shape or two
Not really in a polygon mood
Then appeared right in front of me
As I surfed somewhat anxiously
The creativity that designers do
But these were mathematical
Artsy pairs of shoes

And these shoes weren’t worn or old
They had V+F=E+2 from heel to toe
Fit for show more than for play
And I couldn’t believe, but they made me say

Yes I wanna show these shoes
To my classes please
There’s origami
Which adds quite a bit of style

I’d better hurry now
My datebook says there’s not much time
You see, classes have met for quite a while
And I know these shoes will make them smile
Cuz those shapes look kind of beautiful
While everyone is studying tonight.

These shoes, designed by Andreia Chaves of São Paulo, Brazil, were featured on yatzer (found via cnet).    All photos are used with permission from the folk at yatzer (Thanks!)

Predicting Avalanches and Tsunamis

October 25, 2008

Equations, exciting and new
Oh Tsunamis, they’re expecting you
And Math, life’s sweetest reward
Let it float, it floats back to you

soon will be making another run
With Coulomb
promises something for everyone
In the course of a landslide
On Alborón can still be romance

Because Tsunamis won’t hurt anymore
There are open smiles on these friendly shores
It’s Math
Welcome aboard it’s math
Welcome aboard it’s math

Thank you, thank you, we’ll be here all week. Today’s news story was brought to you by Science Direct, and concerns a paper written by E.D. Fernández-Nieto, F. Bouchut, D. Bresch, M.J. Castro Díaz, and A. Mangeney. They took the Savage-Hutter equations, which have already been used for rock avalanches, added some information about the Coulomb friction term (which is related to the fact that when a liquid spills it spreads evenly all over the floor, but when something more solid like sand spills it forms a pile), and used it to examine landslides from the Spanish island of Alborón (Almería). It might even be possible to predict tsunamis, although not necessarily to prevent them.

And if you can’t concentrate on any of that because you have the theme song for The Love Boat stuck in your head, here’s a little something TwoPi and I found when we did a guest post for Our Best Friend Craig on Puntabulous when he was on a cruise:

Not so simple games

June 27, 2008

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip
That started from a Rubik’s Cube
(Erno gets a hat tip).

The authors were the mighty Igor Kriz,
Paul Siegel brave and sure
With simple groups they tried that day
for a three game tour, a three game tour.

The puzzles started getting tough,
The Monster game was tossed,
If not for the courage of the fearless pair
The new games would be lost, the new games would be lost.

The pair made games from the math of three
Sporadic simple groups
With M12
M24 too,
(From Émile Mathieu, not his wife)
The final star*
From Professor John Co-on-way
Here on Sciam Isle!

* Dotto, based on Conway’s group .0

See this article in Scientific American about how the authors, inspired by the Rubik’s cube, used sporadic simple groups to create new games. The games can be found here.

The Larsson-Cederlöf Bunch

May 19, 2008

Here’s the story
Of a quantum code
That was happy as a little code could be
Because all of its parts were so secure
At least they seemed to be.

Here’s the story
Of a man named Larsson*
Who was thinking a vulnerability could be shown
In collaboration with a former grad student**
But the results weren’t known

Till that one day when those math guys cracked that code
And they knew that it was much more than a hunch
That this code could be broken by a hacker
Who gave a one-two punch.***

A one-two punch
A one-two punch
And that code’s security is now questioned a bunch.****


*Jan-Åke Larsson, a math prof at Linköping University in Sweden
**Jörgen Cederlöf, who now works for Google
***by “simultaneously manipulating both the quantum-mechanical and the regular communication needed in quantum cryptography” according to Science Daily
****Or maybe just a little – according to IEEE, Larsson and Cederlöf have provided a patch