XKCD book is out

That’s right folks, the first ever XKCD book is now officially out and available. It’s available in the xkcd store for a price of $18.
The author, Randall Munroe, says…

been fun putting it all together. It was neat to go back through
various huge stacks of old drawings, some on the back of school
assignments, and scan them at print resolution. I also had fun with the
marginal notes. I’m really excited to finally have it in print, and I’m
looking forward to seeing people and signing copies at the release
events this weekend. I’m also excited about getting back to work on
some other projects which have been on hold for a bit, at least one of
which will involve lakes and a recently-acquired Arduino.”

the book is being published by BreadPig, a company founded by Randall’s
friend, and their portion of the profits will go to build a school in

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Notre Dame suing worker for accidentally giving her a $29,387 tip

Ya so, a woman named Sara Gaspar used to work for the University of Notre Dame doing catering for events. Then one paycheque she saw that the school tipped her


Of course she thought this was AWESOME (who wouldn’t). She payed off all her debts, and even bought a brand NEW car! She said she tried to call the school a few times about the payment but didn’t hear back from them. But then just over a month later she received a phone call from the school demanding the money back.
They claim it was a typographical error and was supposed to be $29.87 –
of course it was!!… it’s blatantly obvious that the 3 was supposed to
be a period. Just look at the number pad, instead of typing 29.87,
someone hit the “3” key instead of “.” and it came out as 29387.

Notre Dame filed a lawsuit against her accusing her of fraud,
conversion and unjust enrichment. You can check out the story on Yahoo.

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Crazy math joke – lesson for all you undergrads

Let this be a lesson to all the undergrads who think they should get part marks for having a correct answer:

In a mental hospital, three patients are up for release. The Doctor decides to give them a test.

He turns to the first guy and asks, “What is three times three?”

“274,” the guy replies.

The Doctor asks the second guy, “What is three times three?”

“Tuesday,” replies the second guy.

The Doctor turns to the third guy, “Okay, your turn. What’s three times three?”

“Nine,” says the third guy proudly.

“That’s great!!!!” says the doctor. “How did you get that?”

“Simple,” says the third guy. “I subtracted 274 from Tuesday.”

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When to get married

Do you know when to get married?

When you meet someone, how do you know you won’t find someone better? Love aside, let’s look at this from a mathematical viewpoint.

Suppose you are a guy, and are interested in say… girls. Let’s say over the course of your life you meet 100 girls and each girl is ranked by how good of a mate she would be with you. The obvious solution is to just meet each of the 100 girls and pick the one that is ranked the highest. BUT… by the time you met all 100, you will be an old geezer and on your death bed. So what is one to do?
Mathematicians have already worked out all the details. They say that
the best choice is to wait until meeting 37 of the 100 girls (more
specifically: 36.7879441). So just more than a third of the way into
your dating life you should get married. [For your information, the
number 0.367879441 is actually 1/e.]

So assuming that the dating
range for men is like… 20 to 50, a man had about 30 years to find a
wife. Since 30/e ~= 11, that means a man should get married around the
age of 31. By that age, he would have met a girl who ranks high enough
in his books :-D.

Considering most of my friends got married
before they were 21, I’d say they definitely weren’t worried about the
mathematics behind it.

Source: John Gilbert and Frederick Mosteller, Recognizing the maximum of a sequence. J. Amer. Statist. Assoc. 61 1966 35–73.
Link: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2283044?seq=1

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Amazing Math Tattoos!

6 x 9 = 42
6 x 9 = 42 math tattoo

Summation Tattoo
Summation Tattoo

Complicated formula tattoo
Complicated formula tattoo

Golden ratio tattoo
Golden ratio tattoo

Quadratic formula tattoo
Quadratic formula tattoo

Silly math tattoo
Silly math tattoo

Determinant tattoo
Determinant tattoo

e^{i pi}+1 = 0
e^{i pi}+1 = 0 tattoo

2^5 Tattoo
2^5 Tattoo

e^{i pi}+1 = 0
e^{i pi}+1 = 0 Tattoo

0/1 Matrix Tattoo
0/1 Matrix Tattoo

Physics Tattoo
Physics Tattoo

Physics Tattoo
Physics Tattoo

Knuckle Tattoo
Knuckle Tattoo

e^{i pi}+1 = 0
e^{i pi}+1 = 0 Tattoo

Numbers Tattoo
Numbers Tattoo

Numbers Tattoo
Numbers Tattoo

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World of Warcraft – Negative gold problem

negative-gold.jpgThere is a flaw in World of Warcrafts statistics for “Total gold acquired”. A couple years ago, players discovered that the most a character can hold is 2^31 (or 2147483648) copper pieces of currency. This is what is known as the “gold cap” in World of Warcraft. A single character cannot hold more gold than this in his backpack, otherwise an error is reported.
Unfortunately, the statistics Blizzard keeps works differently. If you
were to acquire more than 2^31 copper pieces, it basically goes into
the negatives. That is, it will go as:
…, 2147483646, 2147483647, 2147483648, -2147483648, -2147483647, ….
and back to 0.

tried this and managed to get into the negatives, and eventually get it
back to 0… and then up to 2147483648 again lol. I wonder if blizzard
has a counter to see how many times you went into the negatives and got
back up to 0.

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Patricia Heaton has troubles with easy math

Patricia Heaton (from the tv show “Everybody Loves Raymond”), has a hard
time on one incredibly easy question for $50,000 for charity on the
Millionaire 10th Anniversary Celebration. The question is:

If a euro is worth $1.50, five euros is worth what?
a) thirty quarters
b) fifty dimes
c) seventy nickels
d) ninety pennies

After five minutes of struggling, she FINALLY managed to get it right.

millionaire.jpgYou can find the video on youtube with a simple search of her name.

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Hunch.com – a decision-making tool

Hunch.com is a decision-making tool that gets smarter the more you use it! It was created by a bunch of c.s. / math nerds who have a background in machine learning.

What is Hunch?

Hunch is a new way to help people make all kinds of decisions:

  • Where should I go on vacation?
  • What kind of phone is right for me?
  • Which museum should I visit in Canada?
  • What blogs should I read right now?

Results are based on the collective knowledge of Hunch’s users. It
asks you 10 questions to answer then gives you results. If you don’t
like the results, you can train Hunch to learn from its mistakes 😀

So the next time you are stumped on a tough decision, let Hunch decide for you!!

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Happy 09/09/09 day!

For those of you who don’t know, it is indeed 09/09/09 day. Woohoo? Ya I know, it’s just another day, but for some reason the general public LOVES symmetry, so let’s give them what they like to hear 😉

First, since it’s not a leap year, September 9, 2009, is the 252nd day of the year. But,



9 x 9 x 9 = 27



WOW! Are you amazed yet (directed towards the non-mathematicians). But wait, there’s more!
The day falls on a Wednesday, and both Wednesday and September have:

9 letters!

WOW! And of course if you put 999 upside down you get the number people
associate with evil. Because of this, some people think the world is
going to end today (it’s not so take off your tinfoil hats please).

nice fact is that 9 in mandarin (chinese) sounds like forever. So 999
emphasizes this and is considered very lucky. So don’t be surprised if
there are a lot of weddings today.

But wait, there’s more!
09/09/09 is also the last of single digit dates for a long time.
Actually, 92 years until it happens again. And guess what?


Neat eh? And also,


and there is a 2 in 92, and also 27. And 9^2 is 81. And there is a 1 in both 11 and 81!! WOW! Okay okay, I’ll stop. ^_^

Boy, I just can’t wait until 10/10/10 day!

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Top 7 excuses for not doing your math homework!

  1. I had a constant amount of homework. I tried to derive its purpose,
    but I got nothing.
  2. I could only get arbitrarily close to my textbook, but I could
    never reach it.
  3. I am sure that I put it inside my Klein Bottle last night, but this
    morning I could not find it.
  4. I locked it in my trunk, but a four-dimensional dog got in and ate
  5. I wanted to, but I couldn’t find its Godel Number.
  6. I did some of it – the part I have left to do, is 0.9999…
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