Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

She Wolves: England's Early Queens

Helen Castor explores the role of queens in medieval and Tudor England, analysing how they evolved from being the wives of kings to powerful figures in their own right - but faced great struggles to impose their authority in a male-dominated society.

She begins by recalling the life of Matilda, the daughter of Henry I, who waged war against her cousin Stephen in the mid-12th century in a bid to be recognised as her father's rightful successor. The historian also charts the turbulent life of Eleanor of Aquitaine, the wife of Henry II, who played a major role in governing England during the latter half of the 12th century.

To find out more about this exciting new BBC4 series, click here.

Empress Matilda
(about to watch She Wolves on her iPad... I think)

Friday, 2 March 2012

Fibonacci and the Mathematics of Mother Nature

Leonardo Pisano Bigollo (c. 1170 – c. 1250) also known as Leonardo Fibonacci, or, most commonly, simply Fibonacci, was an Italian mathematician, considered by some to be the most talented western mathematician of the Middle Ages.

Fibonacci is best known to the modern world for spreading the Hindu-Arabic numeral system in Europe, primarily through the publication in the early 13th century of his Book of Calculation, or the Liber Abaci; and for a number sequence named after him known as the Fibonacci numbers.

Now the Fibonacci sequence is something rather amazing and appears again and again in nature. If you want to know more, watch the following (almost as amazing) videos.