## Murderous Maths

Reviews of the "Murderous Maths" series book by pre-teens.

**Murderous Maths, by Kjartan Postkitt**** **

I thought that Murderous Maths was a great book. It is short, but packed with information. The book starts out by talking about the basics of math (+, -, =, x, -:-). Then, Murderous Maths moves on to discuss things like time, short cuts for problems, Roman numerals, calculators, time, clocks, right angles, the invention of nothing, mathematicians, and the magic square. Eventually the author talks a little bit about algebra and why it is useful. What I think I liked the best was the way the author put in little humorous anecdotes so as to keep your interest.

Here are 2 examples of problems from the book:

(2) “You are locked in a bathroom with a fungus crawling toward you shooting deadly spores at you!!! You have a set quantity of different shaped sets of tiles in the room with you, but which set can cover the whole fungus without any spores left uncovered to fire at you?”

**MM: Vicious Circles and Other Savage Shapes, by Kjartan Postkitt**, reviewed by Troy** **

Vicious Circles and Other Savage Shapes starts off with a chapter called "The Secret Vault" where you get to go and see the most famous sand drawings ever. This zone doesn't use ANY numbers, unless you want to. All you need are one or two decent pencils, a ruler, scissors, a geometrical compass, clean paper, and a protractor. This book is obviously about geometry and throughout the book you see a furious judge yelling, "PROVE IT!" It talks about Pythagoras, Thales, and other fathers of geometry. It talks about angles, shapes, radii, perpendicular bisectors, and angle bisectors (how not to get splattered against the wall of a magnetically charged cave on your cosmic phazmacycle, watch spellcheck hiccup), impossible shapes, why triangles don't collapse, and then it talks about dimensions.

Then you are introduced to the gangsters, which are in, by the way, every book. They are trying to learn how to divide 3,000 BP between seven people. The reason the math is murderous is because as they are fighting over the last odd cent, they accidentally knock over a candle, which burns the money, which in turn starts to burn the oil reserves next to the table. The gangsters get out in time, but the shack they were hiding out in isn't so lucky.

**MM: Numbers, the Key to the Universe, Kjartan Postkitt**, reviewed by Troy** **

If you thought that any of the other books were good, you obviously haven't read this one. This book is my favorite because this goes into almost all of the other number subjects (minus geometry), and it's the thickest book yet, so there's more of the good stuff. It goes over such stuff as useless numbers, Fibonacci numbers, superstitious and lucky numbers, prime numbers, irrational numbers, triangular and square numbers, and my personal favorite, binary numbers and number bases. Amicable numbers whose factors add up to each other are in there.

*Spookyyyy . . .*