Blog

Blog posts written for the BSHM appear below.

Summer Surmises: Celtic Counting

Dydd Llun, y cynta Awst / Emancipation Day, Monday, August 1, 2022 / Yom Sheni, 4 Av, 5782.

David Orenstein, Toronto, Canada david.orenstein@alumni.utoronto.ca

Today is Emancipation Day, commemorating the abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire in 1834 on August 1 that year. It’s a day that has been celebrated here in Ontario for well over a hundred years and is on its way to official Canada-wide recognition.

Cédric Villani, Fields Medalist 2010, Misses Re-election By a Hair

/ Yom sheni, 21 Sivan, 5782 

by David Orenstein, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
david.orenstein@alumni.utoronto.ca

According to this morning’s online Le Monde, consulted at 7:00 am EDT = 12:00 Noon BST, 2010 Fields Medallist, Cédric Villani, lost his bid for re-election, as the candidate of the left-wing collation La Nouvelle Union populaire écologique et sociale (NUPES), by a hair. 

Cédric Villani, Fields Medalist 2010, On Way to Re-election in France

/ Yom revi’i, 16 Sivan, 5782 

by David Orenstein, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. david.orenstein@alumni.utoronto.ca

Previously I was posting and sharing announcements about the forthcoming, virtual, Canadian Society for History and Philosophy of Mathematics (CSHPM), 2022 Annual Conference (May 13–15, 2022), at the umbrella CFHSS Congress (May 12-20, 2022).

Happy Easter & Happy Passover!

Good Friday, April 15, 2022 / Erev Pesach, Yom Shishi, 14 Nisan, 5782.

By happy coincidence, this day is important for both Easter and Passover: Good Friday today, and the first Passover Seder tonight, after sundown.

But how do we know when it’s Easter or when it’s Passover? 

Since this blog post is being hosted by the British Society for the History of Mathematics website, let’s hear what a historic British authority on Christian Calendrics had to say:

The Pandemic and Mathematical Literacy

Yom shlishi, 28 Adar 5782.

One of the few benefits of the Pandemic has been an increase in mathematical literacy, especially in the traditional mass media, such as newspapers.

I was reminded of this, when I saw the centrespread “Folio” article in a recent issue of Toronto, Ontario’s, Globe and MailIt was entitled, “We have the supply and appointments – so why are so many kids unvaccinated?”

The story is illustrated by half a dozen graphic representations of data, situated in the lower right-hand corner.

Time Zones II: Sir Sandford Fleming and Standard Time

Yom rishon, 19 Adar I, 5782.

The importance of knowing your Time Zones was exemplified in the Schedule of last year’s very successful BSHM/CSHPM/HOMSIGMAA Conference, which began: 

“Times are given as:

BST = British Summer Time, e.g. London (UTC+1), 

EDT = Eastern Daylight Time, e.g. Toronto (UTC-4), 

PDT = Pacific Daylight Time, e.g. Vancouver (UTC-7). 

Time Zones I: “Half an Hour Later in Newfoundland”

Yom shishi, 10 Sivan, 5781.

Our title “Half an hour later in Newfoundland” is a standard joke line in Canadian comedy and is based on the fact that Standard Time on the Island of Newfoundland is in Zone P* = EST + 1h 30m (Toronto) = UTC - 3h 30m (London, UK [London, Ontario, which shares EST with Toronto, is also on a River Thames, but that’s another story]). The rest of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, that is mainland Labrador, is in Zone Q = Atlantic Standard Time = EST + 1h = UTC - 4h.

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