Monday, November 5, 2018

Hoodwinked or merely gullible?

I received the following email from my step-sister-in-law in Texas (my step-brother's wife), who just had a birthday:

We are all 2018 today –
Today the whole world is the same age! Today is a very special day. It happens only once every 1,000 years.
Your age + your year of birth = 2018. This is true for everyone.
It is strange and inexplicable! Try it and see! It will not happen again for another 1,000 years!


and thought immediately, 'That's ridiculous!'

It is not a very special day. Well, maybe it is, but it is not strange and inexplicable. It doesn't happen only once every 1,000 years.

I said in my reply that this was true all the time for everyone. It doesn't just happen in 2018. It happens every year. That's what one's age is, subtracting the year you were born from the current year. So it follows that adding your age to the year you were born, you will ALWAYS come up with the current year, provided that your actual birthdate has passed.

She wrote back that her son Sam and I were the only two to have figured this out and that we were real smarties!

My step-sister-in-law is not dumb, she just didn't think things through, or perhaps is easily swayed.

Her hair color is immaterial.

I take my compliments wherever I can find them, always remembering that Mama said to consider the source.

12 comments:

  1. I have read that little "amazing" fact every year for years.

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    1. Emma, life would be so much more pleasant if we could get rid of unwanted emails.

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  2. "Very interesting" I thought as I used my own age. Then I tried it with two other people and it didn't work. Both their birthdays are in December (mine is in June). It did not occur to me, however, to try it for another year.

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    1. But Graham, their birthdays being in December and yours being in June and it now being November only proves that the caveat I included, "provided that your actual birthdate has passed", is true.

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  3. I am a little vexed. Took me few minutes to realise this is very silly. It only works on December the 31st and then it works for every year.
    What is the odd number out in this sequence:
    4,5, 11, 31, 33.
    It's 11 as eleven is with chips and the others are with rice.

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    1. Adrian, very astute of you to realize that December 31st is the only time it works every year for everybody. I don't understand your math riddle at all unless those are items on a menu. Is it a Scottish joke?

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    2. Chinese take out. All their dishes are numbered in the UK.

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  4. Your step sister-in-law had no idea that she was dealing with Numberman - the alter ego of a certain bearded former employee of IBM - now residing in Georgian obscurity. Numberman is a little like Superman who was of course the alter ego of Clark Kent, a bespectacled newspaper reporter from a fictional city called Metropolis. Numberman puts on his cape and flies to arithmetical crises around the world but most especially within The United States. His familiar trademark yell is "Tally ho! Numberman is on his way!"

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    1. Nebuchadnezzar, I mean Neil, one goes where one is needed and I suspect there are more arithmetical crises per capita within the United States than anyplace else. Up, up, and away! (Note use of the Oxford comma.)

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  5. Who makes this stuff up and dont they have better things to do?

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    1. Kylie, it is silly but number puzzles are fun. I used to have to teach practical spherical trigonometry to merchant cadets. They were supposed to know it but introducing a bit of tomfoolery lightened the mood. Navigation is a very serious business and they tended to panic a bit. The most important thing is to recognise number patterns so that you know when you are miles away both literally and figuratively.

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    2. kylie, I don't know but I wish they would stop.

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