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I am looking for some relaxing, funny maths article that one can read when tired. For instance, I found Bouton's paper "Nim, a game with a complete mathematical theory" very funny. If you know something similar, like articles dealing with simple games that you can play with friends, or with a combinatorial theory that you can write down in a C program, or any other amusing aspect of mathematics that does not require a huge background and that you can read when you are very tired, but not too much tired to give it up, I would be grateful if you could share it!

Thank you, bye!

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4  
I would recommend almost anything by Martin Gardner. –  Grumpy Parsnip Oct 27 '11 at 13:18
10  
Since you asked for funny: I'm fond of this one... –  J. M. Oct 27 '11 at 13:30

5 Answers 5

up vote 11 down vote accepted

As one of the nicest series of (often) relaxing articles I found the following of Ed. Sandifer about tools, tricks and considerations of L. Euler : http://www.maa.org/news/howeulerdidit.html

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Raymond Smullyan has some awesome puzzle books. You might want to check out "What is the Name of This Book" or "This Book Needs No Title".

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Look at the Mathematical Intelligencer. Some of what they publish fits this description; other things don't.

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I came across this paper recently. It is about the octonions and their role in string theory, and how they may provide an answer to why our universe might have 10 dimensions. This is a very fun paper to read and does not require much in the way of physics.

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Thanks a lot to all of you! A lot of good papers! –  fatoddsun Nov 1 '11 at 15:09

Almost any article from Princeton Companion to Mathematics.

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