Life and Style

Johanes Kepler, who was born on 27 December 1771, was born near Stuttgart and made his foray into astronomy after he worked as a maths teacher in Graz, Austria - where he became an associate of Prince Hans Ulrich von Eggenberg.

Mandelbrot, father of fractals, dies at 85

Benoit Mandelbrot, the Polish-born mathematician who played a central role in Chaos theory, has died at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, aged 85, of cancer.

Maths prodigy Arran Fernandez is the youngest Cambridge fresher since 1773

Boy, 15, follows trail blazed by Pitt the Younger – but dad will take him to lectures

Boffinology, By Justin Pollard

After encountering the weird odds and ends in this book of scientific quirks – the "Halifax gibbet", invented for the dispatch of Yorkshire miscreants, was a predecessor of the guillotine; heroin, invented by the Bayer company, takes its name from heroisch because it made one user feel heroic; an Indiana mathematician persuaded his state to grant him a patent for pi at the incorrect value of 3.2 – the reader may recall a TV programme that specialises in unlikely revelations.

God didn't create universe, says Hawking

The universe was not created by God, scientist Stephen Hawking has said in his new book.

Official: just 20 moves needed to solve a Rubik's Cube

To be precise: there are 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 different possible configurations of the coloured squares on any Rubik's Cube. Yet now researchers have calculated that you're never more than 20 moves away from solving the famous puzzle.

Russian mathematician rejects $1m prize

A Russian mathematician has rejected a $1m (£700,000) prize for solving one of the most challenging problems because he considers it unfair.

Colombia set to elect the world's first Green leader

A former philosopher with some unusual policy ideas looks certain to take the country's presidency

Book mixing math and crochet wins UK 'odd' prize

A book charting the frontier between handicrafts and geometry on Friday won Britain's quirkiest literary award, the Diagram Prize for year's oddest book title.

Shy maths genius leaves million dollar prize money on the table

Russian recluse holed up in apartment urged to give unclaimed reward to charity

Keynes, By Peter Clarke

Shares in John Maynard Keynes are rising, and Peter Clarke's elegant, succinct biography could not be more timely. The first half is a chronological account of Keynes's life, reminding us what a polymath the man was. As well as the most influential economist of the 20th century, he was a mathematician and philosopher whose first published work was a treatise on probability, an essayist and journalist, an adviser to governments, and friend of most of the leading intellectuals of his day. (Bertrand Russell described him as the cleverest man he ever knew, and said that every time he argued with Keynes he felt as though he was taking his life in his hands.)

Last Night's Television: Vampires: Why They Bite, BBC3<br />Horizon, BBC2

My relationship with Horizon has been a bit rocky of late. We were pretty much inseparable back in the Eighties, but recently it's been nothing but bickering and rows. I've often thought about cutting my losses entirely and going for a clean break, perhaps even dating other science strands less obsessed with cosmetics and celebrities. The only problem is that there aren't any out there, and certainly none that can match the memories I have with Horizon. Also, every now and then, something clicks and I remember what made me fall in love in the first place. It happened last night, with Stephen Cooter's "To Infinity and Beyond", a dizzyingly enjoyably attempt to net the ineffable. It won't, I think, have been one for the real puritans, those for whom a Seventies Open University physics module remains the apogee of science broadcasting. But I thought it was close to exemplary in its quiet wit and patience and relish for paradox.

Seeing Further, Edited by Bill Bryson

This year the Royal Society celebrates its 350th birthday. The "Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge" was founded on 28 November 1660, when a dozen "ingenious and curious gentlemen" met at Gresham College, London, after a lecture by Christopher Wren, the 28-year-old Professor of Astronomy, and decided to found "a Colledge for the Promoting of Physico-Mathematicall Experimentall Learning." Among the signatories of that historic memorandum were Wren, chemist Robert Boyle, clergyman and polymath John Wilkins, Sir Robert Moray, and mathematician William, Viscount Brouncker.

The core of truth behind Sir Isaac Newton's apple

The manuscript that gave rise to one of science's best-known anecdotes is now online.

The schizophrenic genius whose worst fears came true

Walter Sartory made a fortune in the markets, but it never made him happy and was the motive for his murder, writes Guy Adams
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Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen