Tags

, , , , , , ,

My DH presented me with a puzzle first thing this morning. Take the last two digits of the year you were born and add to them the age you will turn on your birthday this year. The answer should be 111. For everyone. (But just this year.)

“Mathematics is a liberating entertainment. We can discard the kid gloves of reality’s restrictions and let our minds play where they will. Mathematics is about what can be thought, what can be imagined, what can be dreamed. And it leads us to new truths. . . . Mathematics and our imaginations have no bounds, no ends, no finish line.” (From the conclusion of Coincidences, Chaos, and All That Math Jazz: Making Light of Weighty Ideas)

This is a fascinating book. In the first chapter, “Understanding Uncertainty,” the authors, Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird, lists the following:

Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.
John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.

Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860.
John F. Kennedy was elected president in 1960.

Lincoln’s secretary was named Kennedy.
Kennedy’s secretary was named Lincoln.

The list continues with these seemingly overwhelming coincidences. Then the author goes on to discuss the probability of coincidences and concludes that we should expect the unexpected. That chapter ends with the tale of two identical twins separated at birth and reunited when they were 39 years old.

The coincidences ranged from the “oh brother,” namely, they both drove a Chevrolet and drank Miller Lite beer, to the “Oh my goodness,” they were both named James. They both had a first wife named Linda and a second wife named Betty. They both had a dog named Toy.

Here’s a final math trick: (Back to the number 11 in honor of this year.)

When you multiply 11 by a 2 digit number, push the number apart, creating a space for a third digit. Then add the two outside numbers and insert it. For example, 11 x 34 = 374.
If the middle sum is greater than 9, add the first digit to the first digit of the new number:
11 x 78 = 7 __ 8. 7+8 = 15 Add the 1 of the 15 to the 7. 11 x 78 = 858.

P.S. Both Lincoln and Kennedy were shot in the head on a Friday. And . . .
Lincoln was shot at the theater named “Kennedy”.
Kennedy was shot in a car called “Lincoln”.

Advertisements