Judging by this video, British mathematician Alex Bellos loves cake but hates the way we’ve been serving it. We have been dooming ourselves to stale cake for years by cutting it into triangular slices. Unless we finish the entire cake in one sitting, these inferior slices leave part of the cake exposed to the elements, resulting in a lot of potentially wasted dessert the next day. But Bellos has the answer. Following a strategy set out over 100 years ago by his countryman and fellow mathematician Sir Frances Galton, he thinks we will be able to save our cakes for days. Galton’s method is to cut out the middle of the cake, pulling one long, rectangular slice out of the center, then pressing the remaining pieces together. With the help of a rubber band around the outside, the cake stays together and remains nice and moist.
We admire Galton and Bellos for their ingenuity, but they seem to ignore the extra effort required to pull a slice out of the middle of the cake, not to mention the sunk cost of all the triangular cake serving spatulas we all own. And have they even considered the mess the rubber band will create? This is probably why Galton was a theoretical mathematician and not a baker.
We should mention that Galton and Bellos aren't the only people with creative ways to cut cake.