Solutions to the May, 1768 Gentleman’s Magazine’s math exercises…

July 20, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Last week we posted a set of math exercises which were provided in the May, 1768 issue of The Gentleman’s Magazine. Today we post the solutions (see below). Understanding that the set of problems were a bit cryptic to the 21st century mind, the bottom of the solutions below provides yet another set of problems to explore – which appear a bit more straight-forward. We’ll post the solutions to these next Thursday. Before you throw in the towel, don’t forget the famous words of W.E. Hickson: “If at first you don’t succeed…”

Are you smarter than a 18th century 5th grader? Math exercises within Gentleman’s Magazines…

July 13, 2017 by · 2 Comments 

As we continue to explore the diversity of content found on the pages of 18th and 19th century Gentleman’s Magazines, our attention was drawn to the abundance of Mathematical challenges found within many issues – particularly those from the 1700’s. Rather than opining on the difficulty level of the quests as opposed to what might be expected of the average reader of a common (blog) post or publication of the 21st century, especially since we have no idea as to the intended target audience. Instead, let’s just enjoy the challenge as if we were living just prior to the American War for Independence.

The challenge: On a somewhat regular basis the publisher would provide a set of Mathematical exercises and invite their subscribers to submit solutions. These responses would then be printed (along with the names of those who submitted them) within a future magazine – typically 1-3 months later. The set shown below is from an issue dated May, 1768. Go ahead and give the problems a try. As an act of 21st century kindness, next Thursday I’ll post the solutions which were submitted in 1768. Are you bold? Go ahead and reply with your solutions prior to next Thursday and allow the collectible world to observe your mathematical genius – or at least your ability to rival the math-prowess of a 17th century 5th grader – or mathematics professor of the period. Enjoy.

“A self-worth reality check… Isaac Newton edition”

May 22, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

“How valuable am I?” “Am I indispensable?” “Will I be remembered when I’m gone?” Truth be told, if our value, degree of indispensability, and/or staying power in regards to remaining in the forefront of people’s minds is what determines our ultimate worth, we’re all in big trouble. This point was recently brought home when our staff discovered Isaac Newton’s burial report in a London Gazette dated March 30, 1727. As is typical, once discovered, we began to search the issues surrounding it for additional mentions of him, and quickly unearthed an article in the very next issue which hit us like a ton of bricks. By the time this follow-up issue went to print, Isaac Newton’s position and office had already been filled! No multi-week vigil. No adherence to mourning-etiquette before filling his shoes. No appreciation for his abundance of contributions to humanity through the claiming of his “space” as a memorial. No tour-bus route altered to include the very office where he likely pondered, explored, and then detailed some of the greatest thoughts of man. No! Within less than a week his position and office were filled, and life moved on. Quite sobering isn’t it. I don’t know about you, but this tandem of events reminds me of my own mortality, and the need for a worth which reaches beyond life’s veil.  Please “enjoy” both reports shown below.