number funDid you wake up this morning feeling that something was just a little bit … odd? Well, if you did, you are most certainly not the only one. Today, July 9, 2011 (or 7/9/11) is a consecutively odd date — a funky little mathematical surprise that pops up only six times per century.

Yeah, we realize that this is a pretty random bit of information to share with everyone out in the ether, but, hey, some people get really into this kind of stuff. We even found a website dedicated entirely to the “odd days,” see!

We encourage everyone to use this wonderfully weird holiday (is it even really a holiday? We’re not entirely sure … ) as an excuse to act as oddly as possible. Prepare to be awed.

Image Source: DrBacchus under Creative Commons


A new study by a research team that includes UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education Professor Marcia Linn assesses whether or not there is a significant difference between male and female math ability.

The first part of the study looked at math skills of about 1.3 million people while the second examined results of a few long-term studies. Both studies revealed that the difference between sexes was so close as to be meaningless.

Marcia Linn commented to the Graduate School of Education bulletin that the equality in math ability is widely accepted amongst education researches (well, duh, they’ve researched it) but read more »

Hold onto your Catbus, ‘cuz it’s about to get crazy!

Chancellor Robert Birgeneau signed proverbial nuptials with UC Berkeley’s Japanese counterpart, the University of Tokyo. Esteemed to be among the “top public universities in the world,” the two schools plan to exchange brain power primarily in the fields of physics, math, astronomy and cosmology.

UT is even going to build a satellite facility on our campus. Now that’s commitment.

Image Source: Jim Epler under Creative Commons
University of Tokyo, UC Berkeley to exchange scholars in cosmology, other areas [UC Berkeley News]

It’s no secret that the science, math and engineering departments on campus could use a little more estrogen. Males historically dominate any field that involves numbers–but university researchers (including one from UC Berkeley) argue that the ladies, too, now own at math. In fact, females have caught up quite a bit with their math-savvy male counterparts, according to new data derived from standardized test scores.

There are still gender performance differences everywhere, of course–from algebra classes to presidential primaries. But we see a bright future for gender equality in the math and sciences. If this study and its all-female collaborators are any indication, we could be kicking the “girls suck at math” stereotype in no time.

Image Source: ntr23 under Creative Commons
Girls no longer left behind in math, study shows [SF Chronicle]

The average heterosexual man and the average heterosexual woman do not differ when it comes to the frequency of sex, says professor emeritus David Gale.

This mathematician proved–after 15 years of study–that someone has been lying. The numbers aren’t adding up.

Heterosexual men and women, because they are each other’s partners, must average out to having sex the same amount of times. We’re surprised!

Surprised it took 15 years to figure out this doozy.

The Daily Cal quotes Professor Gale as saying:

bq. It’s really common-sense arithmetic because you are counting the number of partners for each gender and the number has to be equal.

But of course the frequency of sex evens out. You have to have the push to match the pull, an equal and opposite reaction, right? It makes sense.

It made sense even before this study. Kinda sad, really, that this made news.

We here at the Clog, however, ask the tough questions and strive to dig deeper. What of mixed-gender threesomes? Orgies? When you mix homosexuality into the pot, what do you get?

And, yes, what is a “sexual partner?” The DC notes that in adding up the numbers, “men may include a brief sexual encounter while women may not count a similar event.”

Please, let’s see the math on that.

15 Years of Doing the Math on Sex [Daily Cal]