Once upon a time in a land far, far away, there only existed four basic elements: earth, water, air and fire. The ancient Greeks believed that these four elements constituted everything – in varying amounts and in varying proportions.
Mankind has long been fascinated and perhaps envious of the ability of the bird to fly in the air with such ease and elegance. Inspired by the humble wing, the first ever man-made aircraft that could be controlled and sustained was invented by the Wright brothers in the early 1900s. Their first successful flight took one pilot over a distance of 120 feet in 12 seconds, at an altitude of 20 feet. Impressive as this was at the time, we have since come a long way in our aviation technologies. Steaming through the skies above our heads there are now 500 tonne hunks of carefully engineered metal that can carry upwards of 500 people over the entire stretch of the Pacific Ocean in much less than a day. A reasonable guess as to what this post might pertain to would be something along the lines of the mechanics of flight, right? Truth be told, I didn’t think this introduction through very thoroughly, but just go along with it…
It’s an intense moment. You watch the lottery presenter press the button. A ball swiftly rolls out and its number rotates onto the screen. Sadly, it’s not the number you would have liked. What are the chances of that?
What better way to wind down after a long hard winter’s day than by slumping into your favourite chair with your hands wrapped snugly around a nice warm mug of hot chocolate? Today we will be looking at something coined as the ‘hot chocolate effect’. And no, this is not the amazing effect it has on your taste buds and mood, although that can be considered equally as fascinating.
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If you ever happen to get your hands on a scientific calculator, you’ll notice a smorgasbord of intriguing symbols and letters – ‘nPr’ and ‘nCr’ to name a couple. These functions calculate permutations and combinations respectively – useful if you wanted to calculate the probability of you winning the lottery (there are far more significant applications, of course.)