## 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.

$e^{\pi \sqrt{163}}$

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.

2. Reverse the digits to form the three-digit number cba.
3. Subtract the smaller from the larger.
4. Now reverse the digits of the result.
5. Add the numbers from Steps 3 and 4.
6. Cube the result.
10. 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!

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• 1. goldenoj  |  March 28, 2014 at 10:03 am

I’ve been meaning to make a GeoGebra version of the table illusion for a while. http://www.geogebratube.org/material/show/id/100906
Thanks for the reminder. And curses for getting me with the YT video.

• 2. venneblock  |  March 28, 2014 at 8:45 pm

Getting you? What do you mean? Didn’t it load for you? 🙂

The Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks blog is an online extension to the book Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. The blog contains jokes submitted by readers, new jokes discovered by the author, details about speaking appearances and workshops, and other random bits of information that might be interesting to the strange folks who like math jokes.

## MJ4MF (offline version)

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