Archive for the ‘MEDIA MATHS’ Category


Stranger Things Math 2: Now You are the Galton Ball

July 22, 2022

Mathspig has become obsessed with the Galton Board since watching ELEVEN dropping discs into the peg board on STRANGER THINGS 4.

Now thanks to David Butler, University of Adelaide, you can turn your middle school class into Galton Balls. You can find 100 randomly generated instruction sheets for each human Galton Ball at David’s website. (Link above)

Ideally, you would have 3,000 students to do this activity. But the class exercise ends with something approximating a Normal Distribution or Bell Curve constructed from video tap casettes. And the NOrMal Distribution is spooky.

More on the Galton Board Math here.


Stranger Things Math: Eleven and the Galton Board

July 3, 2022

NOTE: Michael (above), who seems appropriately scary for this post, uses a commercial Galton Board.  It has one flaw. Many balls feed into the grid at once and this will change the pathways taken because the balls bump into one another. The best results come from dropping in the balls one at a time. If you had the patience to drop in 3,000 balls one at a time.


FOR THE LONGEST KICK or THROW in Football you need this MATHS

April 19, 2022

Mathspig Football Maths 1

Mathspig football Maths 1a

Mathspig Football Maths 2aMathspig Football Maths 3Mathspig Football Maths 4


The following maths is suitable for Year 9+

but can be presented to lower grades just to show

maths is cool!

Mathspig Football Maths 5Mathspig Football Maths 6bMathspig Football Maths 7


Mona Chalabi’s Data Art: Maths never looked so good even the dick graphs

April 10, 2022

Mona Chalabi is a British-Iraqi data journalist and illustrator based in London. She specialises in all things data.

An outstanding communicator her work proves that MATH can be artistic and ART can be data-based. She is an honorary fellow of the British Science Association.

Mona Chalabi Self Portrait on INSTAGRAM

WARNING: Mona Chalabi INSTAGRAM account is politically graphic and contains sexually explicit graphs. Yeah! Dick graphs etc. The Instagram links in this post connect with individual illustrations.

1. Mona Chalabi on Jeff Bezos’ Wealth. 

I found Mona Chalabi through her illustrated New York Times article (7 April, 2022) 9 WAYS TO IMAGINE JEFF BEZOS’ WEALTH. 

So Jeff Bezos personal wealth is $172 Billion (US$) Her Toblerone Block vs Mt Everest comparison was in this article.

NOTE: Median wealth is the mid-point wealth ie. 50% of Americans have more wealth. 50% of Americans have less wealth.


Mona also includes relevant the data in her posts. eg.



4. Mona Chalabi on Earth’s Orbit on INSTAGRAM


Killer Easter Egg Math

March 30, 2022

According to The Guinness Book of Records the largest chocolate Easter Egg went on display at Le Acciaierie Shopping Centre, in Cortenuova, Italy, on 2011.

 Egg Weight   = 7,200 kg  = 15,873 lbs

Height = 10 m =  34 ft

Circumference = 19.6 m = 64 ft

The sugar content for easter eggs is: 55-65% by weight

So we will assume the sugar content of the giant egg was in the middle:


The weight of sugar in the giant egg equals:


NATHAN CHEN wins Gold but Figure Skating Scores can be BAD MATH

February 10, 2022

Nathan Chen, 22, USA, wins GOLD in the Men’s Figure skating with 5 brilliant, soaring quadruple jumps executed to perfection to Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” and “Rocket Man.”

Nathan Chen’s Winning Performance on You tube HERE.

According to the fab NBC video, Mathletes,  nine Figure Skating judges score competitors for the complexity of each element (eg. Triple axel or triple spin jump) and the quality of the performance producing a score out of ten.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir(Above) GOLD Medal performance at Pyeongchang 2018 here.

Kailani Craine, Australia

figure skating score 9 judges nbclearn

This is a typical figure skating score card for one competitor.

The final score, however, is based  on the average for only 5 of these scores. Two are eliminated by random selection (Red Brackets). Then the top and bottom scores are removed and the remaining five scores averaged.

Screen grab NBC Mathletes

Screen grab NBC Mathletes



of Skater A & B:

figure skating score A

Skater A:

Four scores are removed. Two by the random selector (in brackets) and then the top and bottom scores (with line drawn through them)

7.00 + 7.00 + 7.00 + 6.75 + 7.00


=  34.75/ 5 = 6.95

figure skating score B

Skater B:

Four scores are removed. Two by the random selector (in brackets) and then the top and bottom scores (with line drawn through them). But this time the random selector eliminates two low scores.

The average:

7.00 + 7.25 + 7.00 + 7.00 + 7.00


=  35.25/ 5 = 7.05

Same score cards but Skater B gets a higher average score than Skater A.

Skater A is, in fact, beaten by a random number selector!!!!


Winter Olympics 2022: Why do figure skaters spin so fast?

February 3, 2022

Here is the sensational pairs team from the 2018 Winter Olympics.

But why do ice skaters spin so fast?

Here is the math!


Well, mathspiggies, the girl in this video is right. Angular momentum remains constant unless external forces are applied.

L = mvr

L = angular momentum

v = linear velocity

r = separation of object

Louisa Barama, USA

Louisa Barama, USA

Let’s have a look at this equation:

Figure skate maths1

The fastest spin on ice skates was achieved by Natalia Kanounnikova (Russia) with a maximum rotational velocity of 308 RPM (rotations per minute) at Rockefeller Centre Ice Rink, New York, USA on 27 March 2006. See Guinness Book of Records.

 Record spin :  vr = 308 RPM

Other spins include:

Mao Asada, Japan, triple Axel

Mao Asada, Japan, triple Axel

Triple Axel spin vr = 220 – 280 RPM


 Maximum Triple Axel spin vr = 402 RPM

Skaters can spin faster during a triple axel jump because there is no friction from the ice slowing their spin.

To complete a quad axel, it’s estimated that the skater would have to rotate in the air at:

540 rpm.


Camel spin vr = 90 RPM

More info here.

Kim Yuna, South Korea

Kim Yuna, South Korea



How can a figure skater move from

a camel spin into a very fast standing spin?

Now, mathspiggies, you must separate Linear Velocity (v1 ) from Angular Velocity (vr ). Linear Velocity is measured in m/sec ie. it is the speed of, say, a skaters foot around the circle. Angular Velocity is measured in either RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) or degrees or Radians per minute. Ie. It is the rate of spin. We can’t judge how many m/sec a skaters foot is moving in a circle. We can only see how fast they spin. In other words, we see their Angular Velocity. When a skaters foot is in the Camel position that foot travels in a very big circle.

But when that same foot is in a Triple Axel postion it moves in a very, very small circle.

Patrick Chan, Canada, Camel Spin

Patrick Chan, Canada, Camel Spin

Patrick Chan, Canada, Triple Axel

Patrick Chan, Canada, Triple Axel

figure skate maths 2

By halving the radius, firstly, a skater’s Linear Velocity doubles due to the conservation of angular momentum.

Then, secondly, by halving the radius the circumference of the circle moved by , say, the skaters foot is halved.

Overall, by doubling the velocity around the circle and halving the circumference a skater increases their rotational velocity by a factor of 4.

Look at the numbers:

Camel spin vr = 90 RPM


Triple Axel spin vr = 4 x 90 RPM = 360 RPM

That’s about right.


WINTER OLYMPICS: How ski Jumpers Use Math to Increase their Jump Length

February 3, 2022

While air resistance has little impact on aerial skiers it is a significant factor used by ski jumpers to increase their jump distance.

The significant maths for ski jumpers is therefore X-section area.

Here is the jump at Pyeong Chang, 2018. Just imagine going down that at top speed!!!

              A ski jumper is set to jump in Pyeongchang.

                   Casey Larson USA Pyeong chang 2018

Ski jumpers increase their speed going down the ramp by reducing their X-section area:

Lindsey Van, USA, practicing in a wind tunnel

           Lindsey Van, USA, practicing in a wind tunnel

Once they leave the ramp, ski jumpers try to increase their X-section area like Ski Divers to slow their vertical fall. But they have to land safely so they keep their skis at a minimum  angle.

Abby Hughes, USA, practicing in a wind tunnel.

Abby Hughes, USA, practicing in a wind tunnel.

Abby Hughes, USA, in the air

          Abby Hughes, USA, in the air

Here are the X-section areas for Abby Hughes*:

Abby Hughes X-section

Here is the formula for Air Resistance of Drag:

D = ½CApv2

Where C is the drag coefficient or constant, which depends on the shape and spin of an object. It is found by testing the object in a wind tunnel.

A is the X-section Area,

p is the density of the air and

v the velocity of the object.

More here.

As Abby Hughes has tripled her X-section area in the air, she will have tripled the vertical drag during her jump. This will slow here decent.

*Mathspig calculated the X-section area by the old fashioned method of counting squares and rounding off the final count. Mathspig sized the two pics of Abby Huges so that her head was the same size in both pictures.


WINTER OLYMPICS 2022: One Rule Aerial Skiers Cannot Break

February 1, 2022

The Parabola Must Be Obeyed!!!!

Aerial skiers aim for height rather than length. Their aerial flight times are much smaller than ski jumpers so air resistance has minimal impact.

In fact, there is one law the aerial skiers cannot break. It is the law of gravity.

Here is an equation for  projectile motion from Wired magazine.

Screen grab from Wired Magazine

Screen grab from Wired Magazine

The equation for projectile motion also applies to Motorbike Jumps and Longbow Arrows.

Here is the x-y graph for different launch angles.

trajectory wired magazine

trajectory wired magazine


You can go to this page for complete calculations. Aerial skiers twist and turn but their CENTRE OF GRAVITY must follow this graph. More on centre of Gravity at The Great Back Pack Attack ie.

The centre of gravity of Aerial Skiers must follow a

parabolic curve.

Aerial Parabola final 2

Rocky Maloney Winter X Games Aspen

Rocky Maloney Winter X Games Aspen


How Gamers Gamed the Hedge Funds: Middle School Math

January 28, 2022