Episode 2: python_powered (the tale of the caret and the double-asterisk)

Episode 2 · April 2nd, 2019 · 17 mins 45 secs

About this Episode

Episode 2 Show Notes: pythonoutloud.com/episode2

In this episode, Kevin’s mental math skills are put to the test as we explore options for calculating exponentials in Python.

The discussion begins with two popular sites for practicing programming, projecteuler.net and pythonchallenge.com, the latter being the inspiration for this episode. Both sites have fun problems to tackle, but we find Python Challenge more interesting because it requires more creative thinking.

After some “quality” jokes our statistician followers will enjoy, as well as bad comic book references, we also highlight Python’s flexibility for solving mathematical problems in many, many, many, many ways. In the process, we find out why the caret (^) isn’t used in Python for exponentiation, per the following Stack Exchange discussion:


That’s not to say you can’t just inherit from the built-in int class to create other uses for carets in Python because.... again.… many, many, many, many ways to do the same thing in Python. For more background, we recommend the following blog post:

Episode 2 Teaser Companion Blog Post: pythonoutloud.com/articles/the-magic-behind-integer-arithmetic-in-python

This episode features the song "Happy Ukulele" by Scott Holmes and the songs "And So Then", "Curiousity", and "Puzzle Pieces" by Lee Rosevere.

No, you’re not hearing a strange, alien language at the end of the episode. We’re telling a joke that’s been encoded with a Caesar Cipher as a preview of our next episode! Tweet the properly deciphered version of the dialog below to @PythonoutLoud with hashtags #WhenInRome and #PythonOutLoud, and we’ll randomly select a winner for a special prize!

Mpqem, Mpqem.
Yjq’u vjgtg?
Ecguct yjq?
Ecguct swkemna dghqtg ujg igvu cyca!