The Number of the Beast

By Anupum Pant

666 is probably one of the most infamous numbers and is known by many as the number of the beast. That is because the Bible, as translated in English, mentions 666 as the number of the beast. Revelation 13:18 says this…

Let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.

However, it is very interesting to note that, since the Bible wasn’t written originally in English, the number 666 wasn’t actually there in the original form. In the original Greek manuscript, a language (like Hebrew) which uses letters for numbers, the number is written as 3 letters. I did not know this before. That means, all of the Greek and Hebrew text can also be read as numbers!

This is called isosephy – Meaning a practice of writing text where a text can be a number too. Normally the number values associated with each letter of a word are added to form a number.

So, the letters of my name (A, N, U, P, U, M), in order, would be the numbers: 1, 50, 300, 70, 300, 40. Total: 761 – Which is not very close to 666, I’m not a beast. What about yours? You can look at the table below and calculate.

Nero Caesar written in Hebrew can be converted to numbers and the total is 666. A way of saying, by the author, that Nero Caesar is the root of all evil. At the same time, the author doesn’t end up in trouble for writing this.

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Also, all the 36 numbers on a Monte Carlo roulette wheel add up to 666. Watch more in the video below.

The Birthday Paradox

By Anupum Pant

Imagine you meet a random person in the street and ask him/her when is their birthday, there’s a huge chance that the person’s birthday will not be the same as your birthday. In fact, the probability of both your birthdays being on the same day is around 0.27%. Fat chance. At the back of our heads, this is something that is very clear to all of us.

Again, if you repeat this by asking about 22 people the same question, the chance of you finding someone having the same birthday as yours is still around 5%. Too less. This is too is a very intuitive piece of information.

But consider this. If I put all of the 22 guys and you in a room, there’s a big chance that 2 people in that room will have the same birthday – a 50% chance. Moreover, if there are 70 people in the room, this chance increases to about 99.99%. This is called the birthday problem or the birthday paradox.

So, what changed when 20 people went into the room? It was just the fact that in the room, we are picking 2 people from a group of 23 people. That is equivalent to this – everyone is asking everyone their birth dates. Everyone doing it simultaneously makes the probability much higher. The probability of two people sharing a birth date among a group of 23 people is far higher than you alone going around and asking all the 22 people, and finding someone having the same birthday as your’s.

Suppose there are 200 people in the room. The probability of 2 people sharing their birthday is massive (and yet not definite). There is in fact a 99.9999999999999999999999999998% chance!

1024px-Birthday_Paradox.svg

Finally, if you had 367 people in a room, at least a pair among these 367 people in the room would definitely have the same birth date. The 99.99% chance shoots up to a definite (100%) probability if there are 367 people in the same room. Think about it for a minute.

An Elegant Proof of the Pythagorean Theorem by a Former US President

By Anupum Pant

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, was probably a math whiz. Doesn’t it sound like an extremely rare combination of things a person could possibly be? – a president and a math whiz. And yet, he was not the only one. James Garfield, the 20th president, was very much into mathematics too.

Garfield wasn’t a professional mathematician. He was a president. But, much like Abraham Lincoln, he was very much into geometry! Before he went into politics, he wanted to become a mathematics professor.

While he was a member of the US house of representatives, five years before he was elected president of the US, he came out with a very elegant and unique proof of the Pythagorean theorem (yes, another one of those Pythagorean theorem proofs). Here’s how he did it with the help of a congruent flipped triangle…

Doing it with a piece of paper is really easy…

Pythagorean theorem proofFold a paper and cut 2 exactly same right-angled triangles out of it. Now, put them together as shown in the image here (click the image). Next, write down the area of the trapezium – (a + b) . ½(a + b) – 1

Now write the area of all the 3 triangles and add them. This is what you’d get – 2 x ½ ab + ½ c – 2

Since both these areas are same, just written in a different way, equate them and solve. You’ll end up with the Pythagorean theorem!

a2 + b2 = c2 

Or, simply watch the video to understand better…