Blog

Bet you've never noticed this about the Tube map

Bet you've never noticed this about the Tube map
By Mark Mason on 25-03-13 13:10. Comments (0)
Much celebration today at the unveiling of a blue plaque to Harry Beck, inventor of the cultural icon and design classic that is the London Tube map. You don't need me to tell you about his genius insight that the map didn't have to be geographically accurate: that's in all today's news reports. (If you want to see a pre-Beck map, there's a fantastic original in a glass case outside Temple station.) Instead let me share my favourite little quirk about the map as it appears today.

Showing 1 - 1 of 1 Articles

< Previous 1 Next >
 

Other pages in this section...

Books


Read more...


Walks

Inspired by my book Walk the Lines: the London Underground - Overground, each of these trivia-packed walks uncovers London’s history by following a section of a Tube line ... at street level.
Read more...


Quizzes

Tailor made quizzes
Read more...


Podcasts

Aural delights from the world of trivia
Read more...


Content

Rubik's Cube

A Rubik’s cube has more combinations than light travels inches in a century. This is my favourite illustration of how a very small number of factors can produce an absurdly complicated situation. A silly little toy, with only three squares in each of its three dimensions. How can that get complicated? Well, as anyone who's ever tried to solve one just by guessing will tell you, it gets very complicated. The number of possible combinations is 43,252,003,274,489,856,000. Forget billions - that's 43 quintillion and change. (In fact the cube's manufacturers just said ‘billions' in their advertising, figuring that no one would know what a quintillion was. It's a billion billion.) The number of inches light travels in a century, meanwhile, is a mere 37,165,049,856,000,000,000. Or thereabouts.