Book Review: Fermat’s Last Theorem: The Story Of A Riddle…

Posted on by 5WC in Book
Fermat's Last Theorem by Simon Singh - Header

At the same time as I was given Simon Singh’s The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets, I was also presented with his book on Fermat’s Last Theorem (The Story Of A Riddle That Confounded The World’s Greatest Minds For 358 Years). Fermat’s Last Theorem is the idea that xⁿ + yⁿ ≠ zⁿ when n > 2 or in other words, that there is only a solution to Pythagoras’ theorem, any power greater than 2 and the formula that would give you the length of the hypotenuse of a right angle triangle falls totally apart.

This may sound like a really boring topic for a book. And in one respect you’d be right, however, it’s a problem that has plagued the mathematical work for over 350 years. It’s an itch that refused to be scratched. In maths an idea isn’t true until proof categorically provided. It has to be universal to be accepted. Pierre de Fermat, who created the theorem and gave the world the problem, simply stated that he had the proof it was true but not enough space to explain it in the margin of his book. In other words, he claimed it as fact but refused to divulge how he knew. Read more

Book Review: The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets by Simon Singh

Posted on by 5WC in Book
The Simpson's And Their Mathemtical Secrets by Simon Singh - Header

They may be yellow, and the voices in the first series may be unrecognisable to the point of rendering it unwatchable, but The Simpsons has raised a generation. As series followed series, subtly and subconsciously, Bart and Homer, Lisa, Maggie and Marge came to tease snippets of learning into the minds of all those laughing as Moe, once again, calls out for “Amanda Hugginkiss”

I grew up on The Simpsons and, in our house, they were a Sunday night staple. They were the soap opera of my childhood. Far-fetched, comedic and entertaining. But at their heart, behind the characters, lies academia. So often you hear people answer a question, recount a fact they shouldn’t realistically know and cite The Simpsons as the point of reference. I know I certainly have. The quality in The Simpsons is in its writing, its style, you learn by osmosis. You laugh and cry, enjoy and smile at their hilarity and misfortune, whilst all the time, learning. Read more

Film Review: Good Will Hunting

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I wrote during my review of Finding Forrester about how it was a little known movie. How it had never really managed to extend into the mainstream, remaining shamefully hidden, seen but not hard. And what makes that apparent invisibility even more surprising is that, just a few years earlier, director Gus Van Sant had given the world Good Will Hunting. A film that united critics, audiences and Hollywood studios alike in their admiration and love.

Like most people I hold a real fondness for Good Will Hunting. It certainly doesn’t have the draw of Finding Forrester. It doesn’t connect deeply within me. But it find it engrossing. I just love how every relationship within the film is designed to bring to life a different human emotion. How the film knows exactly what it wants you to feel, how it wants to talk to you through the scenes and events it portrays and how, it ties those events, emotions and ideas together through a clever, real and simply down to earth script. Read more