The competition known as the Mathematical Ashes was created by analogy with the better-known cricketing Ashes, and is an annual competition between Britain and Australia. At the moment, Britain is in the lead, with Australia attempting to reduce the gap. Results should be released in the next 24 hours on Joseph Myers’ website.
For the convenience of being in the propinquity of the IMO location, the Ashes are taking place in Colombia. Last year, concerns were raised as to how difficult it would be to depart Colombia with a suspicious urn of white powder, and whether the airport security would believe some contrived story about a mathematical competition between Britain and Australia.
It transpires that this is not the only hype arising from this year’s competition. There is a website following the competition from an interesting point of view, which has been producing such delightful headlines as ‘Shakira in Ashes row’ (when she had no involvement whatsoever, other than being born in the right place several decades earlier).
Does anyone know who is responsible for this website? The skewed perspective and colloquialism ‘Pom’ is indicative of it being of Antipodal origin, although their esteemed leader Angelo Di Pasquale* would not lower himself to producing tabloid journalism. Hence, one can only assume that it is the opus of one of the members of the Australian team.
Anyway, the latest headline on the website portrays members of the British team as being economical with the truth, substantiating it with quotations**. I assure you that I have known not a single student who attempted this Machiavellian trick, and that the article is a gross travesty.
* Not, as James Cranch was quick to point out, related to the charitable bank robber Pasquale D’Angelo.
** Probably fabricated, since during my time as a student the term ‘cross’ was never used as an intransitive verb to refer to the obliteration of an erroneous proof.