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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

If I Were Stranded on a Desert Island...

...and could only have one book to read I think I know what it would be. . . .

Yes, I'll squeeze in one more bit about Martin Gardner before his day of honor tomorrow (to any who are tired of hearing about Martin Gardner by now, I apologize, but HEY! it's MY blog so deal with it ;-))
When Gardner's "The Colossal Book of Mathematics" came out in 2001, I looked at its size, price, and the many chapters covering topics I wasn't particularly interested in, and ignored it (I already had plenty of Gardner books on my shelf).  It was only years later that I checked it out from a public library and discovered not only how many chapters were of great interest to me, but also how many of the topics I wouldn't normally have found interesting were made so by Gardner's deft and insightful writing.
So again I highly recommend this volume to anyone lacking it on their shelves. If you're ever stranded on a desert island it would offer you weeks/months of mental entertainment (...and, as an alternative, just in case I got tired of math, I might take along Gardner's essay-anthology, "The Night Is Large," as well!).

Meanwhile, 'Mathematics Rising' blog has just covered the 3rd of my 'Fab Four,' Bernhard Riemann, here:


Finally, a couple of recent math blog carnivals here for your enjoyment and delectation:



And I'll end today with a factoid lifted off an old Twitter posting:

A 10,000 number gap in prime numbers: 9973! + 2 through 9973! + 10006 are all composite (non-prime).

...someone please double-check those for me over the lunch hour and get back to me to confirm.


.mau. said...

Am I wrong, or _The Colossal Book of Mathematics_ is a collection of chapters from the column he had on Scientific American? If so, and since I am not stranded on a desert island and have at disposal all 15 books (in paper and pdf) I won't care for it :-)

"Shecky R." said...

You're correct, EXCEPT, that the book has wonderful addenda/updates and letters added that were not part of the magazine.