Plus Blog

March 10, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008

Maths and Science through the medium of song

They say that music is a very mathematical pursuit. Here at Plus, we have written about mathematics and music many times.

The MASSIVE database is a website that contains information on over 2500 science and mathematics songs. Some songs are for children, others for professors. Some are by professional recording artists, others recorded in garages. The site is maintained by Greg Crowther, who is affiliated with the University of Washington, Science Groove, and the Science Songwriters' Association. MASSIVE is part of the US National Science Foundation's National Science Digital Library.

My personal favourite science song? She Blinded me with Science by Thomas Dolby — and you can find this song in the database. Another way of tracking down science songs is by doing a search for science at LastFM. What is your favourite science or mathematics song?

posted by westius @ 3:00 PM <


At 3:25 PM,  westius said...

Weird Science by Oingo Boingo is another classic

At 12:14 PM,  ogs22 said...

An interesting webpage here -

Along with a visualisation of Deep Purple's "smoke on the water" on a Mobius strip...

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March 7, 2008
Friday, March 07, 2008

Got something on your chest?

At Plus, we would love to hear what you have to say.

On our news page, you can add comments to all our news and blog articles, ask further questions arising from the stories, and engage in discussion with other Plus readers. Violently disagree with the author of an article? Here is where you can get your opinion across.

Plus is also proud to bring you the Mathematics forum on the Nature Network. The Nature Network was developed by science journal giant Nature as an online meeting place for scientists to gather, talk and find out about the latest scientific news and events. In the maths forum, you can connect with other mathematicians to ask your questions or post your news and events.

Got a burning maths question you need answering? Can't quite solve that equation? Ask all your confusing, baffling and confounding maths questions at Ask NRICH.

Happy posting.

posted by westius @ 5:00 PM


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March 7, 2008
Friday, March 07, 2008

The Big Questions

As part of this year's National Science and Engineering Week, the BA are running a project called The Big Questions, which challenges the public to pose their burning science and engineering questions through live events, online and via the media.

Sir Roland Jackson, Chief Executive of the BA, said:

"Questioning is at the heart of scientific discovery. From evolution to space exploration British scientists have always been courageous in asking and solving some of the big questions of their time. In doing so, they have expanded our knowledge, earned our respect and enriched our lives. We want to celebrate our nation’s innate curiosity by encouraging the public to share with us their big questions on life, the universe and beyond. In return, we will ask some of our best scientific brains to come up with an answer."

Helping to answer the questions are Oxford University Press, Brainiac LIVE!, The Punk Scientists, The British Library and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

Questions that have been asked already include:

  • I understand that DNA is the basis for all life on Earth - but how could such a complex molecule come into existence? Phil Parry from Berkshire (age 55+)
  • Why does different music trigger different emotions? Paige Day from Hampshire (age 5-14)

Scientists who have posted their own questions include:

  • Science writer Simon Singh (who has been featured on Plus) asked: "Computers can beat humans at chess, but which games are still dominated by humans?"
  • Ian Pearson MP, Minister of State (Minister for Science and Innovation) asked: "How much life is there left in our planet?"

You can find a list of the questions that have been posed so far, or post your own question, at: The event will be launched to the national media on 6th March. The BA is currently looking for more scientists and experts to help answer some questions, and so if you know the answers to any of the questions posed and want to help out, you can answer by posting on their blog.

Apart from online, other Big Questions are going to be answered at events organised by the Science Museum, Jodrell Bank, the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Cambridge Science Festival and the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience.

posted by westius @ 5:01 PM


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March 5, 2008
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Love maths and think you've got what it takes to be a designer? The Further Mathematics Network and Rolls-Royce plc are inviting entries for a new UK national poster competition for undergraduate and PGCE mathematics students. The academic year 2007-8 is the first year that the competition has been run, and there is a £100 prize awarded for the design of each winning poster — it is likely that two posters will be selected. The winning designs will be sent to schools and colleges around the UK, meaning that your poster may be exposed to tens of thousands of teachers, students and parents — the potential audience is over 2000 schools and colleges.



posted by westius @ 5:00 PM


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March 4, 2008
Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Evolution is the main theme of this issue. With Darwin's anniversary year not too far off, we find out how to reconstruct the tree of life and how to spot the fingerprint of natural selection. We report on the rapidly melting Arctic, bound to destroy much of evolution's achievements, and explore the maths used in ice and ocean models. And we have a look at cellular automata, simple mathematical models that can evolve surprisingly complex behaviour. Plus you can learn how to best distribute money amongst your employees without evolving envy.

Apart from that you will find the usual Editorial, Outer space, puzzle and book and film reviews.

Read issue 46 now!

posted by Plus @ 4:26 PM


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March 1, 2008
Saturday, March 01, 2008

Bacon sandwiches, drinking while pregnant, obesity — health risks are a favourite with the media. But behind the simple numbers quoted in the headlines lies a huge and sophisticated body of statistical research. We talk to Professor Sheila Bird of the Biostatistics Unit in Cambridge about her work in public health and its impact on policy, and discuss bias in pharmaceutical studies, as recently highlighted by the controversy around antidepressants.

Hear more...


posted by Plus @ 4:18 PM


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