Fun with numbers |

Fun with numbers

Dear Editor:

Ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, it’s time to play the Aspen/Burlingame Math Show. Welcome to all our contestants (sometimes called constituents).

Here are the rules of the game:

1. Everyone can play (and you will).

2. Choose a number between 1 and 70 million (the smaller the number, the easier it will be for those of you who are mathematically challenged). Double it. Add 100. Divide by 2. Subtract your original number from the number you have now. Your answer is … 50! (really).

OK, let’s play again with new rules:

1. Everyone can play (and you will).

2. Choose a three-digit number whose digits are different (e.g., 123). Reverse the digits and subtract the smaller number from the larger one. If you have a two-digit result, place a 0 in front of the number. Now reverse the digits of your result and add those two numbers together. Your answer (all of you) is 1,089 (and if it isn’t, you screwed up!).

So the Aspen/Burlingame Math Show rules are really simple.

No matter what we have told you; no matter what we have published; no matter what you have been led to believe is true … you are wrong


We will tell you the answer, and contestants (contrary to the base of the word) may not contest it.

Next round, our players will get to guess the cost of our damage-control spin ads in each day’s paper.

So, don’t forget to trust our math (without question) and vote the way we instruct you to this fall. Sorry, you all lose, but thank you for playing, and, as a consolation, we will ask you to pay an even bigger bill. Please don’t let the door of the voting booth hit you on the behind on your way out.

Bennett A. Bramson

Old Snowmass

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