My Book:New - Time Machine
Starting with the Big Bang and ending in the present day, Australia’s favourite mathematician is back with a wild ride through the ages.
G’day and welcome. whether you’ve purchased my two previous books World of Numbers and the Big Book of Numbers or if you’re getting on board this bus for the first time, it’s great to have you along. My new book Time Machine starts tens of thousands of years ago with an ancient “counting stick” perhaps the oldest scientific device we’ve ever found and ends earlier this year with a single mathematics proof that needed so much computer grunt it would take one person 10 billion years to read! In between we stop along the way at hundreds of interesting, inspiring or just plain bizarre moments in human history.
Did you know that some of the earliest astronomers were Indigenous Australians? Or that Lord Byron’s daughter, Ada Lovelace, was a pioneer of computer programming ... despite dying in 1852? Can you believe that pinball was actually illegal across much of the US until the 1970s? And who or what is the Witch of Agnesi?
All this and more is in my new book, Time Machine. Jam-packed with fascinating facts, quizzes, anecdotes and trivia, this full-colour geek’s guide is the perfect companion for curious minds.
World of Numbers
The World of Numbers is basically an avalanche of information about the world we live in. How fast is Usain Bolt and would he beat an ostrich over 100 metres, if you're 18 years old, how old are your taste buds (10 days!), how do bitcoins work, how hot is it at the core of our sun (trust me it's steamy), which Australian city houses the largest gold coin in the world which sport propels it's 'ball' at the fastest speed, what is the most popular colour for an M&M and how far into space can i see with my naked eyes? Hundreds, possibly thousands of things to read, wonder about, perhaps haver a giggle and learn something too.
And of course there is maths. In the World of Numbers, you'll meet the largest prime number we've yet discovered, learn about an object that lives in 196,883 dimensions, understand how some infinities are bigger than others and be challenged by hundreds of maths problems to really take your grey matter for a wander.
Big Book Of Numbers
The Big Book of Numbers was a geeky love story, a dedication from me to the thing i've loved all my nerdy little life; the numbers 1 to 100.
The philosophy behind the Big Book was to serve up both numerical trivia, bizarre facts about us and our world along with a healthy dollop of mathematics. Not your basic primary school times table stuff but beautiful, deep mathematics that you might not encounter inn some cases until well into university. But presented in a clearly laid out way, walked through step by step so anyone who was curious and a little bit persistent could get it.
When I was about 6 my parents bought me a book called 'Oddities'. I still have it. It was a collection of mathematics, word games and general, I guess, oddities and I loved it. There were things I understood straight away and other things I can still remember feeling "I don't quite get that but I can't wait until I do".
Well in many ways this is my version of that book. A collection of maths, science, pop culture, history and general 'oddness' to enthuse young minds and entertain and educate the curious of all ages.
A lot of people have asked me "how long did it take to write" and that's an interesting question. I wrote a much slimmer volume on numbers back in 1998 and have been harvesting facts ever since. But the actual compilation of all the material, the choices on diagrams and lay out, the scrambling to find a couple of facts to pad out the 'thinner numbers' and the difficult decisions to let some great stuff go all happened in about 6 weeks.
I would not recommend anyone reading this EVER try to write a book like this in 6 weeks. Thankfully 15 years of breakfast radio had girded me for the fatigue and stress, but the guys who helped put it together, JMac, RoMo and RayRoy (not their real nicknames) performed above and beyond.
But here we are, as they say in the space business ... ready to launch. So hop on board the Big Book of Numbers and let's see where this takes us.
An overview of the Book
The Big Book of Numbers will reveal the numbers 1 to 100 like you've never seen them before.
All the mathematics, science, pop culture, history and general trivia of the first 100 counting numbers - you'll find out, perhaps for the first time
Why did the ancient Greeks consider 6 and 28 to be 'perfect numbers'?
How long would all the nerves in my body be if I pulled them out? (please don't - just buy the book, it's much less painful)
Should Aussie cricketers really be scared of the number 87?
How did the number 77 help stop the Nazis in World War 2
All in one volume.
Great fun to dip in and out of at you leisure but also a class aid for teachers wanting to challenge gifted students.