Singh, Simpsons and Skeptics...

This is a rather belated review of Simon Singh’s talk on The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets given for the Leeds Skeptics in the Pub in the Victoria Hotel pub. (There’s a chance to win the book, details below.) The Victoria is not a large pub so I did wonder where the audience was going to fit. In the end I counted nearly 100 people and this did not include those standing in the corridor or in the street outside. The Sardine Conjecture for @SLSingh at @leedsskeptics pic.twitter.com/XqE0p3lOs5 — Martin Iddon (@WalrusofComms) October 20, 2013 The talk is in two halves, the first covers the book and in the second Singh bravely invites questions on any topic connected to his work. The book part of the talk, accompanied by slides, delves into the mathematical backgrounds of the writers of The Simpsons and Futurama and how they inserted mathematical jokes into the programmes. Some of this was familiar as I’m a fan of both shows (though The Simpsons seems to have jumped the shark a while ago — Ned secretly married Mrs Krabappel!?) but Singh has done his homework and gained access to the writers so there is plenty here that was new to me. One of my favourite bits from the book wasn’t mentioned in the talk — there was a theorem invented purely for an episode of Futurama. So, the first part of the talk was about the book and during the interval Singh signed copies. Afterwards he did a question and answer session which amongst other things covered libel laws, Fermat’s last theorem, the Big Bang and quack medicine. The tour continues for another month, details can be found here. A great talk – you won’t be disappointed if you go. —-...

Simon Singh and the Simpsons...

The week has been so busy that posting this has been delayed – I’ve been to London, Birmingham and Sheffield in the last three days. I did manage to install for a newsletter sign-up form for the blog. You can see it in the sidebar unless my hacks to the code have destroyed it for your browser. Please sign up if you want to know about maths articles, events, etc. Back to business. Simon Singh‘s new book, The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets, is as the title suggests about the mathematics occurring in the long running cartoon The Simpsons. Now, I knew there were plenty of maths gags in the Simpsons but I’m surprised he has filled a whole book. Maybe he also includes stuff from Futurama which was packed with maths gags and even led to a lecture by Sarah Greenwald. This became a DVD extra on Bender’s Big Score (The audience features Simpsons and Futurama’s creator Matt Groening.) Singh’s book is not out yet but you can read an article about it in last Sunday’s Observer. He’ll be doing a (rather small) tour to promote the book, details are on his website. I’m planning to be at the Leeds event so maybe I’ll see you...