## News from the world of Maths

Negative numbers are easy to imagine if you think of the number line as

a giant thermometer which includes sub-zero temperatures. This makes

addition and subtraction easy, as you just move up or down the number

line by the according amount.

Sixteen-yeat-old Rebecca Simpson has won a national competition to produce a creative photo connected to maths. The competition was run by Maths Inspiration, who organise maths lecture events in theatres around the country. Rebecca's entry, entitled *Box and whiskers*, depicts a cat being measured for its level of cuteness. It's a play on *box and whiskers* diagrams, which will be familiar to any GCSE maths pupil.

Mathematicians are often good musicians. To prove this, here are some impressive compositions. Enjoy!

Oh, Christmas is so magical! But of course magic often boils down to being surprised. Find out how mathemagicians trade off the fact that you can usually predict precisely the outcome of doing something in mathematics, but only if you know the secret beforehand. Here's for some maths and magic!

This is it! The holidays have started, the turkey is defrosting and the presents are all wrapped ... all you have to do now is relax and be kind to one another. So the very last door of our advent calendar is devoted to love. The *Plus* team wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!

It's time to get out those party invitations! Trouble is, your sister doesn't get on with your boyfriend, your boyfriend doesn't like your best mate, and your best mate's just broken up with your cousin. Who do you invite?

For those of you whose holiday has already started, here are a couple of christmassy puzzles to cuddle up on the sofa with.