Home » Mathematics


Episode 1398

Hang a Salami

What’s so special about the phrase Sit on a pan, Otis? It’s an example of a palindrome — a word or phrase that’s spelled the same backwards as it is forwards. This year’s contest known as the Oscars of the palindrome...


In architecture and design, an affordance is a part of something that serves a function, like the handle on a cup or the notch in a dictionary where you put your thumb. In language we have affordances, too, such as words that indicate a place for...


Why do we make a hand-crank motion when asking someone to roll down their window? After all, in most new cars, that’s done with the press of a button. An outmoded gesture like this is similar to a skeuomorph, a design element that still used...


What do you call the sign used in long division that looks a bit like an awning separating dividend and the divisor? How about a gazinta? As in, two gazinta four twice. Otherwise, you’re stuck with boring terms like long division sign or...


Another word of the year candidate is immappacy, which is formed by analogy with “innumeracy,” and means the inability to understand maps. This is part of a complete episode.

Recent posts