Blog

Cashmere jumpers for goalposts

Cashmere jumpers for goalposts
By Mark Mason on 04-09-14 17:14. Comments (0)
The football transfer window closed this week, prompting the usual comments on how the modern game has been ruined by money.

A better way to win a bet

A better way to win a bet
By Mark Mason on 03-06-14 20:45. Comments (0)
The World Cup is on its way, so bets are being made left, right and centre-half. You might pick the right two teams for the final, perhaps even the right score - but when it comes to beating the bookies, you'll never match Ray Spiller for sheer front.

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Books


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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.
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Quizzes

Tailor made quizzes
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Podcasts

Aural delights from the world of trivia
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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.