# The math behind Gravity’s Rainbow (Part 5): Going all around on a swing

My grandmother always encouraged me to try going all around on a swing. At the time I thought this was pretty reckless of her and I was much too scared to try it anyway. But she probably had read this section of Gravity’s Rainbow and knew I would be fine: Diverging oscillations of any kind…

# The Math behind Against the Day (Part 1): How to win at roulette

Yashmeen Halfcourt is a mathematician and one of the major characters in Pynchon’s book “Against the Day”. And she seems to have figured out a way to beat the odds in roulette using prime numbers? But then wheels all up and down the Riviera, at Nice, Cimiez, Monte Carlo, Mentone, through the winter season and…

# Global Game Jam 2020

This year was my fifth time participating in the Global Game Jam and my third time being at my favourite jam site at WERK1 in Munich. Every time I’m going there I’m surprised at how rapidly the area is growing. This year there was a huge new skyscraper being built and also a giant Ferris…

# Book Review: The Phoenix Project

This book was free for a day, so I picked it up on a whim. After reading it, I have an idea why they gave it away: It seems like a thinly veiled advertisement for one of their other (non-fiction) books. At the end of the book, there is an excerpt of it, and it…

# The math behind Gravity’s Rainbow (Part 4): The Poisson Distribution

Pynchon’s work is often accused of being quite ‘random’. But while Gravity’s Rainbow contains a lot of text about bananas, it could certainly not have been written by a monkey with a typewriter. There is an order to the madness. And I will show this by employing the same technique as one of the book’s…

# The math behind Gravity’s Rainbow (Part3): Double Integrals

A part of Gravity’s Rainbow plays in the mines of Kohnstein that were repurposed for production of the V1 and V2 rockets. Prisoners of the Nazis concentration camp Mittelbau-Dora worked there under inhumane conditions. More people died manufacturing the V2 than were killed by its deployment. One of this section’s themes is the architecture of…

# Team Report Pokemon SwSh Season 1

In November the new Pokémon games Sword and Shield came out for the Switch. I bought Pokémon Sword on release day and jumped straight to building a competitive Team and trying to climb the battle stadium singles ladder. The main inspiration for the team came from a Japanese team I played a lot in the…

# The math behind Gravity’s Rainbow (Part 2): Motion under the aspect of yaw control

Gravity’s Rainbow is one of those books I could devote my whole life to and still wouldn’t understand half of it. Many parts probably aren’t meant to be understood. Fortunately, there are also some math formulas: For an excellent explanation of the formula’s origin and a discussion of its meaning within the context of the…

# The math behind Gravity’s Rainbow (Part 1): The speed with which Earth rotates

The speed with which Earth is rotating is not something we think about every day. The only time I really noticed it was on a nightly hike in the mountains. It was a starry night, and at some point, the full moon was rising up behind a mountain massif. With the mountains as a reference…

# The math behind competitive Pokemon, Part 5: Game Tree pruning

In 6vs6 Pokemon games, you have up to 9 choices every turn: 4 moves and 5 possible switches. Sometimes there is also the option to mega evolve or use a Z-move which can increase possible options to 13. As your opponent has also ~9 choices to make, there are ~81 possible ways the next turn…