News: Nerd Sets Up Petition To Change Shape Of Road Signs

Mathematician Matt Parker, part of the Festival Of The Spoken Nerd science/comedy group, has set up a petition to "Update the UK Traffic Signs Regulations to a geometrically correct football." It has reached 18,243 signatures meaning it will receive a response from government (at 100,000 signatures petitions are considered for debate in parliament).

The petition explains that “The football shown on UK street signs (for football grounds) is made entirely of hexagons. But it is mathematically impossible to construct a ball using only hexagons. Changing this to the correct pattern of hexagons and pentagons would help raise public awareness and appreciation of geometry.”

Parker discusses this issue in greater details in their new show ‘You Can’t Polish A Nerd’ which is currently touring. Being known as a stand-up mathematician caused earlier versions of this petition to be dismissed as a joke by the parliamentary petitions committee. But having further explained the serious issues with the inaccurate football geometry the petition was allowed – it’s proving very popular.

Possibly the only person to hold the prestigious title of London Mathematical Society Popular Lecturer while simultaneously having a sold-out comedy show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Matt Parker is always keen to mix his two passions of mathematics and stand-up. He is part of the oddly popular YouTube channels Numberphile and Stand-up Maths, where his videos have reached over 50 million views and he regularly talks about maths on Discovery’s Outrageous Acts of Science and BBC Radio 4’s More or Less. Matt is also the author of Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension (Penguin, 2014). His favourite number is currently 4,900.

You can show your support for geometrically correct footballs on traffic signs by signing the petition here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/202305

And find details for the new touring show from Festival of the Spoken Nerd at http://festivalofthespokennerd.com/tickets/ 

 

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