Archive for May, 2006

“Numbers”: 7 bridges, 2 islands

Friday, May 26th, 2006

This evening the TV show “Numbers” mentioned the famous “Seven Bridges of Königsberg” math problem.  Königsberg in East Prussia

included two large islands which were connected to each other and the mainland by seven bridges. The question is whether it is possible to walk with a route that crosses each bridge exactly once, and return to the starting point. In 1736, Leonhard Euler proved that it was not possible.

The islands are still there, in Kaliningrad, Russia, though some of the bridges are gone.

Tetepare: still uninhabited?

Thursday, May 18th, 2006

Seacology, one of my favorite charities, reports that it is funding “a dormitory to house rangers” on Tetepare, an island in the Solomon Islands.

Now Tetepare’s claim to fame is that it is one of the largest uninhabited tropical islands — sometimes erroneously called the largest uninhabited island in the world.

If rangers are living there all the time, won’t it cease to be uninhabited?

(Note to Seacology: it will be difficult preserving “72 square miles of primary lowland rainforest” on Tetepare, as the island is only about 46 square miles in size.)

Double island in “Pride and Prejudice”

Saturday, May 13th, 2006

A double island — a lake island on the island of Great Britain — has several minutes on screen in the new “Pride and Prejudice”.

It is in the background while Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth are arguing in a pillared pavillion, one hour and eight minutes in on the DVD.

The real island is part of the gardens of Stourhead Estate; the pavillion seems to be the Temple of Apollo.