**Inspired by real events…**

*Accessible articles on mathematical topics inspired by everyday life (or by some approximation of everyday life).*

**Secreter Santa
**Building on the method in my book The Indisputable Existence of Santa Claus: The Mathematics of Christmas (written with Dr Hannah Fry), I discuss the secretest possible Secret Santa.

**Understanding an abused unit – the kilometre hour
**In France, it is common to refer to “kilometres per hour” as “kilomètre-heures”. I find this deeply mathematically troubling. But what is a kilometre hour really? With turtles!

**US Electoral Maths – Seeing the funny side
**Back in 2012, I did some stand-up comedy on the maths of the US presidential election. See the video here, with a brief discussion of the maths (or perhaps an apology for the maths).

**How much is a set worth in tennis?
**A simple analysis of the how much winning or losing a set affects your probability of victory in a tennis match.

**The worst tennis players of the millennium
**The structure of a knockout tournament dictates that for every champion, there is a corresponding anti-champion.

**Some very Pointless maths
**An accessible article on a mathematical sequence arising from the episodes of the BBC TV quiz show

*Pointless.*

**Even more Pointless maths
**A follow-up with even more on the

*Pointless*mathematical sequence. Our investigation involves simulating enough episodes of

*Pointless*to keep the show on air for over eight thousand years.

**The electoral maths may favour Labour, but by how much…?
**Posted in the run up to the 2015 UK general election. I raise some queries about two very interesting articles on Labour’s electoral prospects from the excellent political site May2015.

**Mathematical messing around**

*The results of going off on irrelevant mathematical tangents.*

**Fractal factorials!!!
**While messing around with the factorial function, I stumbled across some incredibly beautiful fractal images.

**A revolutionary new equation
**A video. An equation. Fifty-eight seconds. A bit of fun.

**Covering all the bases
**What is special about the number 82000? A tricky and surprising mathematical sequence.

**Is the answer to this question obvious…?
**What is the answer to this square tiling problem? Seriously, I don’t know.

**Seek, locate, investigate**

*Investigations into intriguing mathematical facts, questions and puzzles that I have come across (often on Twitter).*

**Queues of Cubes**

The mean of 3 consecutive cubes is always an integer, but what about 4 consecutive 4th powers, 5 consecutive 5th powers or 117 consecutive 117th powers? Let’s get proving.

**Diabolical Digits
**You can find all sorts of things in the digits of Pi. Sometimes the discoveries may seem quite surprising, but are they really that unexpected…?

**Beautiful roots
**A quick investigation of the “Rachael formula”, a coincidental equation that links square roots and mixed numbers in an aesthetically satisfying way.

**Cards on the table
**Deal a pack of playing cards into 13 piles of 4, face up. Can you reorder each pile so that the 13 top cards form a complete straight? A mathematical puzzle solved using colouring in.

**Squares, primes and the numerical stratosphere
**Can a square number ever consist of the same string of digits repeated (e.g. 118118)? A number theory investigation featuring an unexpected cameo from a topic at the cutting edge of maths.