Adam Spencer's Book of Numbers

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Basic Books, 2004 - Mathematics - 164 pages
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How many people do you need in a room before there'll be a birthday in common? Why is 70 weird, and what can we do about it? How can 56 people eat 1 pizza? In 100 bite-size chapters of no more than three pages each, Adam Spencer gives each number, 1 to 100, its place in the limelight. For example, take 65. It's the constant of a 5 x 5 "magic square" -- a square that contains the numbers 1 to 25, where all the rows and columns and each diagonal add up to 65. Elizabeth Taylor had 65 costume changes in Cleopatra. And sharks can travel up to 65 kilometers per hour (about 40 mph). After reading Adam Spencer's Book of Numbers, readers will never look at numbers the same way again.
 

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Contents

The garden pea French kings again Barbara Bel Geddes
25
Divisibility by 19 nonadekaphobia in Ancient Babylon Go
31
Pentagonal numbers pi catch22
38
Palindromic squares John Keats and Aubrey
44
Primorials lunar months Lego
50
Crosswords freezing Bart Simpson
53
The magic hexagon the shortest war James Bond
62
Euler again Jane Austen middlechild syndrome Mozart
68
Kaprekar numbers 2200 matchheads
74
Ulam numbers again the Moops Marilyn Monroe 77
77
Betrothed numbers potatoes piglets
79
SB Sums of squares Baywatch The Love Boat
82
Iodine a calculating genius Africa
88
SB Tetrahedrons ninja knockouts
93
B1 Twin primes Diophantine equations UFO sightings
99
B2 Baseball again Muhammad Elvis again
101

Amazing fact about its square and cube 110
71

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About the author (2004)

Adam Spencer -- who has a PhD in mathematics -- is a stand-up comedian and DJ in Australia, from whence he declares he is on a mission to "take the 'numb' out of 'numbers.'

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