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.)
Yet another year zooms past as we tip-toe precariously into 2018, in nervous anticipation of what the year bears and what surprises might be awaiting us. At this time of year, it becomes customary to look back and reflect on the year gone by; the good and bad experiences, the people that have had an influence on your life, the skills and knowledge gained, the goals achieved or narrowly missed. No matter where you stand and what you may be feeling, have comfort in knowing that we have all arrived here together, as fellow humans of the this little blue planet. I think it’s safe to say that we are all just as confused about this whole life thing as the next person. Here at the Nexus we hope that through our weekly scientific posts we are contributing our part to help understand this odd universe we live in just that tiny bit better.