For many of us it will take quite a drive in order to escape the light pollution of urban metropolises… but the reward of being able to see the array of countless stars in the night sky is certainly worth the effort. Through experiences such as these we may find ourselves asking, where are all the aliens?
It certainly has been a while since I last wrote about chaos. Perhaps you could say I’ve been a little… unpredictable? Maybe the seemingly inconsequential decision of a certain someone on one side of the world, having read the post and enjoyed it, to not give the post a like (yes, I’m looking at you) somehow had the net effect of delaying me writing this one on the opposite side of the world. Or maybe I’m just incredibly unorganised… nah, it can’t possibly be the latter.
There’s this fairly popular social media site I frequent which has a small blue square logo with the letter “f” to one side. Over the past few days, I noticed that I’ve been getting a large number of notifications on this site (not that I normally don’t, given how undeniably popular I am, as you can tell from the way I’m sat here on a Sunday evening writing a blog post). Every morning, I’ll awake to a sharp ping on my phone, indicating that either someone wants to communicate with me in some way, or there’s a particular event which might take my interest. Grabbing my phone with vivid anticipation, I’m immediately disheartened to see that “Yanhao and 3 others have their birthdays today. Help them celebrate!” It’s not that I’m not appreciative of Yanhao’s date of birth, I just don’t want to be seeing the same thing every single day (Psst… don’t tell him, but I don’t actually know when his birthday is).
You are delegated the task of designing a new motorway system to connect three towns that form the vertices of an equilateral triangle. Don’t worry, it’s not difficult. All you must do is connect the towns in such a way that you use the minimal length of motorway.
As with many technical terms in mathematics, the word brachistochrone originates from the Greek for ‘shortest time’. This curve has been rightly named, as you’ll see.