## Archive for March 28, 2014

### Math Pranks

Jeff Gordon recently pulled a prank on a blogger who claimed that one of Gordon’s previous pranks was fake. The video received 10 million views in its first two days, so it’s doubtful you haven’t seen it… but just in case (warning: PG-13)…

Now that’s a pretty good prank. Especially since it involves revenge.

But my favorite prank ever is a math prank. I don’t want to ruin it by telling you anything about it, so just watch…

That’s pretty good, no? Now be honest…

April Fools Day is just around the corner. Pretty cool that this year’s date is a palindrome in the U.S. (4/1/14) and a repeating number (1.4.14) in other countries. Here are a few more pranks to get you in the spirit.

In 1975, Martin Gardner published a *Mathematical Games* column with “Six Sensational Discoveries that Somehow or Another have Escaped Public Attention.” Among them was the claim that the following expression yields an integer value.

Not so much a prank as an optical illusion, the following image shows two tables that appear to be drastically different in size, yet both tabletops consist of the same parallelogram (one rotated 90° from the other). Cool, huh?

And finally, here’s a number trick.

- Start with a three-digit number
*abc*(|*a*–*c*| > 1). - Reverse the digits to form the three-digit number
*cba*. - Subtract the smaller from the larger.
- Now reverse the digits of the result.
- Add the numbers from Steps 3 and 4.
- Cube the result.
- Add 3,000,000.
- Add 40,000.
- Add 900.
- Use the following list to convert the digits of your answer into letters.

0 – R

1 – S

2 – L

3 – N

4 – F

5 – T

6 – P

7 – I

8 – O

9 – A

Enjoy!