Monday, 30 September 2013

Fermat's Last Theorem

Just thought I'd put all three videos I did with Simon Singh about Fermat's Last Theorem onto one page here.

Main Video

Fermat v Simpson

Extra Footage

Simon's new Simpsons book - BUY IT HERE
His earlier Fermat's Last Theorem book - BUY IT HERE

The brown paper from this video is on ebay. Simon was kind enough to sign it for us.

Friday, 20 September 2013

One small gift

Last night my suspicion was aroused by unusual behaviour by two people I THOUGHT I knew well - Mrs PeriodicVideos and YouTube buddy Destin (from Smarter Every Day).

I have since found out they have been in secret contact for weeks.

But it's okay - they were only conspiring to get me THE BEST PRESENT EVER!

It was this signed photo of Neil Armstrong!


I am a big fan of the Apollo missions of the 1960s and 1970s.

Many years ago - when I finally had a job and some money - I started collecting Apollo memorabilia.

Most notably the autographs of moonwalkers.

I know it is silly - but we all have hobbies!

Over time I've accumulated quite a collection but never Neil Armstrong.

This is because he had "retired" from signing autographs and buying a second-hand version is super expensive (and risky, with forgeries everywhere!).


I left my collection in Australia when I moved to the UK in 2002.

But eventually I had it shipped to the UK.

Mrs PeriodicVideos admires my passion but does not particularly like space photography plastered everywhere.

BUZZ - sits on my office mantle

So most of the collection lives in a secure trunk, with just a few pics on "public display".

For very special (and nerdy) guests I unlock the trunk and show off the collection.

Many of them are framed with elaborate plaques and mission patches, etc.

One such guest was Destin, who stayed with us in the UK last year (along with his wife Tara).

Destin has a long family history with rocketry and NASA.  I am sure he will be an astronaut one day.

He loved the collection and, like everyone, was told that it is missing a Neil Armstrong.

The elephant not in the room, I guess!


Unbeknownst to me, Destin and Mrs PeriodicVideos plotted to acquire a Neil Armstrong autograph.

(Of course, the great man sadly died last year - an older signature is the only option)

I had no idea, but my wife was being suspiciously guarded about her email communication in recent weeks!

(I have since learned it was because Destin was using "Neil Armstrong" in the email subject fields!!!!)

And last night - very much out of character - she asked me to switch on Skype so she could test something!?

Then Destin called me and the trap was sprung.

The signed picture was revealed and Destin was able to enjoy (and photograph) my bemused response.

CONFUSED - Destin watches me get the gift

I later learned that Destin - ever the stickler for detail like Armstrong himself - had put the autograph through a rigorous and costly authentication process.

I feel a bit disappointed that I was perhaps not excited enough about the gift - but honestly after all these years, I was just a bit shocked.

Best present ever.

Thanks guys!

Monday, 16 September 2013

A Four-Day Run

For while we've been following Ed Lester's work in the world of nanoparticles.

Check it all out here: PLAYLIST

The University of Nottingham professor is heading a spin-out company with ambitions to take the technology further.

Here's the latest video - an ambitious four-day run of the company's nanoparticle reactor.

Of course, running a new reactor for four days continuously will not be without problems?

SHYMAN research project.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Brown Papers on Ebay

Brown papers from these Numberphile videos are currently available on ebay.

Click on the link under the video if you're interested.

Thanks for supporting Numberphile.

(LIST LAST UPDATED 21 NOV 2013 - some may no longer be available)



Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Lighthouse Photos

I just spent a few days at the Start Point Lighthouse - which I loved.

Got a little bit of video which I may put together soon.

But for now, here are some photos...

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Monster Prime

Wearing my Numberphile hat, many people have drawn my attention to the recently uploaded Adam Spencer TED talk about Monster primes.

I just thought I'd use my blog to group reply...

I actually watched it on the day because I was lucky enough to be at the TED Active event earlier this year (as a guest of TED-Ed).

And I thought it was great - can't believe they took so long to "publish" it!

Great to see a fellow Aussie on the TED stage too!

Numberphile has also done plenty on the subject, including this.

And here is our whole prime number buffet.