Brendan O'Connor · 01/19/16 10:51PM

Earlier in this month, a computer in Missouri, part of the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search, discovered the largest known prime number: 274,207,281–1. Actually, the Guardian reports, the number was discovered in September, but nobody noticed until just recently. Anyway, congratulations everyone!

More People Than Ever Are Reading This Post, Maybe

Tom Scocca · 08/26/13 03:36PM

If you're reading this, your chair might feel crowded, because there's 63 percent more of you than there used to be. Or 56 percent, maybe. Who knows? Last week, Quantcast, the web-traffic-monitoring service whose numbers are the basis for Gawker's editorial decisions, announced in a vaguely worded blog post that it had performed "a major measurement update" for "even greater measurement accuracy."

Happy Pi Day, Nerds! Here's Pi to Around 100,000 1 Digit

Max Read · 03/14/12 10:14AM

Today is Pi Day, for obvious reasons. Pi is a Greek letter representing the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, a mathematical constant. If a circle's diameter is one, its circumference is approximately 3. Happy Pi day.

Illegal Immigration Slows Dramatically

Adrian Chen · 09/01/10 11:07PM

The number of immigrants entering the U.S. illegally dropped to 300,000 a year between March 2007 and 2009, down from 850,000 per year between 2000-2005. They took one look at the Pizza Burger and ran the other way.

No One Likes Sarah Palin Anyway

Ravi Somaiya · 04/11/10 09:30AM

We've just run across this intriguing CBS poll which shows that the Palin is viewed favorably by just 24 per cent of people, and unfavorably by 38 per cent. Admittedly, the numbers get better among Republicans. But still. 2012? [CBS]

Smoking's Harm Exaggerated Unnecessarily

Hamilton Nolan · 02/17/10 05:09PM

"Every cigarette you smoke can take years off your life," says this ghostly new anti-smoking ad. Technically that's a lie. But if it were true, smoking would be awful! More so. Click through to watch this counterproductive tricknology. [via Adfreak]

Science: Americans Can't Count

Hamilton Nolan · 01/18/10 10:59AM

Number-talkin' scientists report that Americans can speak English and count to ten, but not at the same time. A study shows that our brains perceive the vowel sounds in "two" to represent something large, while the vowel sounds in "three" represent something small (in our brains, still). So people estimated that a $3 item marked down to $2.22 was actually more expensive than a $3 item marked down to $2.33.