Did you hear the one about...

Not Numerology!


A dozen, a gross, and a score,
Plus three times the square root of four,
Divided by seven,
Plus five times eleven,
Equals nine squared plus zero, no more.

Remember school? All those tedious mathematics classes where we studied really useful things like how to find the x and y intercepts of the quadratic y=x2-5x+4 ?

Well now it's payback time. Time to have a bit of fun with numbers!

Greek Cross
St. Andrew's Cross

There are three kinds of people: those who can count, and those who can't.

You've probably already seen what we've written about the numbers seven, eleven and billion. Here are a few 'useful' English System conversions/units:

  • A league is 2.4 statute miles. Therefore 2.4 statute miles of intravenous surgical tubing at Yale University Hospital is one I.V. League
  • 2,000 pounds of Chinese soup: Won ton
  • Time it takes to sail 220 yards at 1 nautical mile per hour: Knot-furlong
  • 365.25 days of drinking low-calorie beer because it's less filling: 1 lite year
  • 1,000 aches: 1 kilohurtz
  • Time between slipping on a banana peel and smacking the pavement: bananosecond
  • 2,200 mockingbirds: two kilomockingbirds
  • 10 cards: 1 decacards
  • 1 kilogram of falling figs: 1 Fig Newton
  • 1 million billion picolos: 1 gigolo
  • 2 monograms: 1 diagram
  • 8 nickels: 2 paradigms

And here's a rather interesting palindromic thing about the decimal system:
111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

Of more interest perhaps, is what happens when you divide 100 by 3.
No great mathematics in that - elementary school children know that the result is 33.333... But let's see what happens when we divide that result by 3.

We get, of course, 11.111... And when we divide that by 3, we get 3.703703703703...

Now we reach the interesting part. Don't trust your calculator or Excel spreadsheet program, they're probably pre-programmed to round after a few decimal places. Get some old-fashioned pen and paper, and check this result:
3.70370370370... divided by 3 = 1.23456790123456790...

So here's the puzzle: Why is there no '8' in the answer?

(When you've struggled for long enough, click here for the answer.


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