Archive for the ‘TV SHOW Maths’ Category


Popular Culture and MEAN GIRLS Maths

November 15, 2013

Lindsay Lohan may not be seen as the pin-up girl for Maths.

Yet her character Cady in the Mean Girls TV Series, not only does ‘math’ in 12th grade, she joins the the maths geeks as a mathlete and adds the term ‘The Limit does not exist’ to pop culture.

Her teacher is Mrs Norbury (Tina Frey).

Here is the good:


Here is the bad:

Do girls still do this? Pretend they are dumb to impress a boy?

FYI Aaron!!!!!!!!!

n factorial = n! = 1x2x3x4x5x6x7x8x9x10 ………………………


Here is the Whoa! This is real maths … on the tellie:

And here is the maths from openstudy that Cady did in her head while thinking about not calling people stupid or fat:

The limit doesn't Exist


Trick 10: Math Mentalist Devises Foolproof Gambling System

November 30, 2012





Math Mentalist Devises Foolproof Gambling System

Requirements: Smart board/Data Projector

or Chalk & Talk

This is the most awesome way to introduce probability.

Mentalist Derren Brown devises a foolproof gambling system. He sends a girl , Kadisha, the number of a winning horse in race to be run the next day. It wins. He sends her the winning horse and race number 4 more times. She ends up with winnings close to £ 1000 before the final race. Derren convinces her to borrow money for the last bet. She does. She places £4,000 on a horse. Did it win?????

Watch Part 5 of The System



If you are not convinced Derren Brown can come up with a foolproof system for horse race tipping, let me explain The System. He took 7,776 e-mail addresses, divided them into 6 equal groups and sent each group a different number for a horse in a 6 horse race to be run the next day. Naturally, one group of 1296 had been given the winning horse number.  This group was divided into 6 again and given the number of the ‘winning’ in a six horse race the next day and so on.

Race 1: 7776

Race 2: 1296

Race 3: 216

Race 4: 36

Race 5: 6

Out of 7776 punters, only one punter was given in advance five horse race winners in a row. Was it Kadisha. You will have to watch the Youtube above.

You can watch THE SYSTEM in full here. It takes 47 mins.


Jumping Hair Gel or Sticky Maths

May 17, 2011

Eurovison 2011

Here are JEDWARD, the ex X-Factor, UK,


identical twin contestants who have morphed into super


hair-gelled stars of Eurovision 2011.

Jumping Hair Gel, there is a lot of maths in hair products!!!!!



  There are all sorts of instruments for testing hair gel.

 It must be tested so that the same product is produced each time.

  This piece of equipment tests the ‘stiffness’ of hair gels. You can find a lot more hair product test equipment at the manufacturers.


The hair gel and mousse market is worth $US 581 million in USA alone.


  Hair gel contains polymers (long chain molecules) and alcohol. The alcohol dries off leaving the polymer clinging to the hair strand which consists of  long stands of proteins. The hair gel seals in the moisture making the hair firm. 


This piece of equipment tests the stiffness of hair gel on hair. Cosmetic chemists make up the product formulas, test the products and produce graphs like the one below.


Note: Hair gel becomes more floppy in humid conditions. RH is relative humidity.

You will find this graph and more information at the Styling Technology website.




You can see from this early photo that Jedwards’ hair is growing fast.

So, mathspigs, when will their hair be taller than Jedward?


We can work it out!


Jedward Height (according to Jedward) = 5ft 11 inch = 180 cm


Measuring Jedward on the Left in photo above:


Jedward Hair Height in pic= 1.7 cm


Jedward hairline to chin length in pic = 3.2 cm


Jedward hairline to chin in real life = 19.1 cm*


Jedward hair height in real life = x cm


*This measurement is the 50 percentile or median of hairline to chin measurements for adult males.

Jedward hair height = 10.1 cm


Jedward Height = 180 cm


When will Jedwards’ hair be taller than Jedward?


We must know something about hair growth.According to Tom Dawson of Procter & Gamble, the hair growth cycle for young, healthy scalps,involves  hair typically growing for three years then stopping  and remaining dormant for three months. You’ll find more information at the Happi website (Household and personal products industry)


Hair growth rate = 1.25 cm per month


But hair grows on average only 11 out of12 months:

Assuming Jedwards hair just keeps growing


and hair gel just keeps getting stronger then


Jedwards hair would be as tall as Jedward


in 12 years time!!!!!! 


Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!! That’s spooky.


Top 10 Funny Maths Videos

September 10, 2010

James Blunt : Love Triangle

That’s Mathematics  Song plus Maths Mistakes Galore!!!

Mad TV Funny Maths video

Tom Lehrer:  New Maths

Fab I will derive Song

Weird but funny!

I am Algebra

How to AVOID the Top Ten Algebra Mistakes

by Following these Top Ten Algebra Rules

Black Adder Addition

Fractions to Beatles Song

And now for our Celebrity Top of the Pops:

Simba Sings a Maths Song


Make me feel real loose like a long legged goose!!!

May 4, 2010

Everyone knows that women’s magazine editors digitally alter photographs of models that appear in their mags. When I finally did the maths I was shocked.  See: Odd Bods in Marie Claire

This model had legs 89% longer than a standard size 12 model in the same edition of the magazine and with the same waist to hip measurement! Looking at this model made the standard size 12 model look like a dumpy little garden gnome. Looking at these images distorts our view of normal body sizes or anything close to it.

Models can be given the appearance of long legs by the angle of the camera (Looking up at the model on the catwalk, for instance), by wearing extra high stiletto heels and/or by wearing bathing costumes with high cut legs. Then photo editors use photoshop to stretch their legs.

While pictures of male models may be digitally altered to remove skin blemishes, body hair and add abs, it seems to me that their legs are not digitally stretched and certainly not by 89%! But we have this 89% number now and we should use it.

So Mathspigs here are some male celebrities with a standard pic and then with their legs – from the hip down – stretched by 89%.

This was very simple maths. I used photoshop to edit the pictures and set their legs at a 189% vertical stretch. 

Check the maths:

Standard leg length = 100%

Vertical Stretch        = 89%


Look at these pics and you decide if they look OK or ridiculous. I cannot decide for you. But I have thrown in the pics of the horse and the giraffe just to show how the practise of digitally stretching models images distorts reality. 

Here we go mathspigs. Lets play STRETCH LIMBO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Zac Efron

Maybe these

long legs would

help his

dancing, but…..  if he did the splits he’d never get up again.

Robert Pattison


Edward Cullen

in the Twilight series. See TWILIGHT MATHS II

Edward is an ethical vampire

at this height he’d have to chase giraffes.

Justin Beiber

As my photoshop leg stretching skills improved

I found that

our eye begins to accept legs stretched

from the top of the thigh but not higher up the body.

Check out these stretch-horses.

Both images have legs stretched by

89% but the second horse has been stretched from the mid-body point down. Now look at the normal horse. It looks like it has SHORT legs!!!!!!! These images have distorted our sense of reality.

Here are some sports stars.

Sam Gilbert plays Aussie Rules football 


PS: Mathspigs dad and two Uncles played for St Kilda.

My Dad broke his leg when he ran into the goal post. 

They sent him off to hospital using the local bus!!

This was along time ago.

My dad


two uncles

are in the

St Kilda team





Heath Grundy 


Aussie Rules 




Sydney Swans.


 Usain Bolt

 We would like to believe that Usain Bolt has long,

long legs.

 However he doesn’t need legs as long as the stretch photo suggest.

He is already the world’s fastest runner.


  The giraffe looks quite reasonable with extra long legs.

 Then again you could argue that

the real giraffe shape

is weird.

Now for a few rock stars.

 This is Vampire Weekend.

 The long Weekend is  Left.


Cut Off your Hands UNCUT is Right.

 This is the rock group GRIZZLY BEAR.

Look at the way our eye works.

Look at the guy in the shorts. His leg has been extended from the knee down. Looks wrong.

The guy in the black pants legs look OK even though extended 89%.

The guy squatting is totally distorted as his whole body and head have been stretched.

 Now you’ve seen a horse, a giraffe and a grizzly bear. 

Finally, a bit of fun.

Here are some fictional characters. 

Harry who???? The batman toy looks appears in proportion mainly because action figure toys are usually made with short muscly legs.


  – I used the standard 89% stretch here. I was hoping to give Spiderman legs like a spider.


How Maths Solved a Real Murder!

October 1, 2009

Murder Correction

It is the aim of Mathspig to show you maths as it is used in the real world.  As this is a REAL murder conviction we will be very serious in our comments.

A woman was found dead at the bottom of The Gap at Sydney’s Watson Bay in 1995. It wasn’t until 1997 that University of Sydney physicist, Rod Cross, was asked if the victim could have jumped off the cliff.  In 1998, the coroner declared an open finding in the death of Byrne.murder victim Correction

It wasn’t until 2003, however, that the police contacted Ross to check the maths. He said that Caroline Byrne couldn’t have slipped or jumped.  The case was reopened and in 2006 Byrne’s ex-boyfriend Gordon Wood was arrested in London and eventually found guilty of her murder. Wood was sentenced last year to 17 years in jail with a non-parole period of 13 years.

Why we are interested in this case, mathspigs, is because Cross, The Physicist, made the comment when asked during the trial (See The Australian Wednes 30th Sept 2009 ) that the maths involved was not rocket science but maths high school students would be able to master. Can we?

Here is some information you might need:

Height of cliff = 29m later found to be 25.4m

Distance from base of cliff (of body) = 11.8 m

Weight of body = 57 kg

We will assume  influences of weather or air resistance are not significant. We will not include the sloping rock surface at the bottom of the cliff in the calculations.

cliff Correction

Parabola Correction

Parabola 2 Correction

So mathspigs, you can do it? And keep in mind this is a real case. It’s not Numb3rs or NCIS.

You know y (Height of the cliff) so you can calculate x (Position of body from cliff) for different velocities (Vx) of a person leaving the cliff. There was a limitation on the speed of someone running off the cliff as there was only a 3 – 4 m lead up to the cliff edge. Here are some known running speeds:

Speed of fastest man on earth = 10.4 m/sec       Usain Bolt ,Jamaica  running 100m in 9.58 sec (@  37.4 kph)

Speed of fastest woman on earth = 9.29 m/sec   Evelyn Ashford, USA running 100m in 10.76 sec ( @ 33.4 kph)

Speed of average sprinter = 19 – 24 kph

Murder bookThese calculations alone did not bring about the conviction. The prosecution then had to prove that a person could be thrown at sufficient speed to land 11.8m from the cliff base. To do this Cross re-enacted the experiment with two policemen and a policewoman of similar size to the victim. The policewoman was thrown into an Olympic Pool. The policemen could achieve an exit velocity of the policewoman of 4.15 m/sec, 4.37 m/sec and eventually using the strongest thrower 4.85 m/sec.

Could your maths put a murderer behind bars, mathspigs?

For more information see Rod Cross’s book, Evidence for Murder: How Physics convicted a Killer published next month. ( New South Books  )






24th FEB 2012

Wood Aquitted

On the 3rd DEC 2008 Gordon Wood was sentenced to 13 years jail for the 1995 cliff top murder of Caroline Byrne.

On 24th FEB 2012 Wood was acquitted on the murder charge in an unanimous decision by three Appeal Court judges. Justice McClellan said Wood’s behaviour around the time of the death had “raised suspicions”. The prosecution case was based on evidence given by Associate Professor Cross, but the Court of Appeal labelled his evidence biased as he had later written a book titled Evidence for Murder: How Physics Convicted a Killer. Justice McClellan noted in his judgement that “suicide could not be ruled out” and that “suspicion, even a high level of suspicion, was not enough” to convict someone of murder.

Of course, Caroline Byrne, may have been murdered. The question that remains unanswered is ‘By whom?’