The King of Recreational Mathematics
Those of us of a certain age will never forget the monthly thrill of opening Scientific American and reading Martin Gardner's Mathematical Games column. Totally accessible to anyone with perhaps no more mathematical education than High School algebra, but deep enough to puzzle honest-to-goodness professionals, Gardner's words were a treasure.
Martin Gardner celebrates his 95th birthday today, and the New York Times was nice enough to give him a nifty writeup. And while you're reading that, I suggest you try out the sample puzzle in the TiernyLab blog. (I'd reproduce it here, but it would be stretching fair use to the breaking point.)
Do you have a particular topic that you were introduced to in Gardner's columns? I know that reading through some back issues introduced me to the Game of Life, leading to what must have been hundreds of hours of programming diversion. And all just for fun, which I think was kind of the point.