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The physics of Luke Cage’s skin, meet the ‘mathekniticians’, lessons from the only girl in a physics class

By Hamish Johnston

Marvel’s Luke Cage is a superhero television series that has just debuted on Netflix. Cage’s superpower is that his skin is impervious to bullets and other projectiles fired at him by villains. But could it be possible to create a skin-like layer that would allow someone to emerge unscathed from machine gun fire? The Nerdist’s Kyle Hill has the answer in the above video.

“Mathematics through knitting and crochet,” is the motto of Pat Ashforth and Steve Plummer, who describe themselves as “mathekniticians”. The couple are former maths teachers and live in Lancashire – an English county with a long traditional of producing textiles. There is a wonderful article in the Guardian about their knitted and crocheted blankets that represent a range of mathematical concepts. There are photos of many of the works – some of which are owned by the Science Museum in London – in “Meet the mathekniticians”. And you can buy patterns from Ashforth and Plummer on their Woolly Thoughts website.

Unfortunately, it is still the case that girls are under-represented in high-school physics classes and I suspect that some female readers of found themselves alone in a sea of boys – just like like BuzzFeed’s Kelly Oakes. “Seven things I learned when I was the only girl in my physics class” is Oakes’ reflection on that experience, good and bad. My favourite pearl of wisdom is number two: “You shouldn’t confuse confidence and intelligence.”

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