In maths

I was watching The Weakest Link at work the other day.

“In maths, what is 300 divided by 6?”

Um, I don’t know Anne… I think in maths it is 50. In fact, in physics it is 50, in computing it is 50 and in the sodding supermarket it is 50.

So there you go: there is the thing that has been weighing on my mind the last week. I hope you have been well.

(The competitor gave the answer as 100 by the way, which is why I gave up on retards on the telly and went back to the real life ones at work.)

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9 thoughts on “In maths

  1. I think the Weakest Link is brilliant and Ann was on the American version for a while and then they replaced her. I think all Americans think English people are evil because of her and Simon Cowell. Why is it I like them both so much?

    Going back to the progam – yes, it was a stupid way to ask the question but obviously, the contest was stupid so it all evens out!

  2. In hexadecimal, 300 divided by 6 is 80. And in octal, it’s 40.

    That’s maths for you.

    However, there is no non-zero base in which 300/6 can equal 100. But… can you prove it?

  3. Er… sure. (Maybe not.)

    300 is 3bb (where b is the base and curse you blogger for not allowing superscripts in comments).

    100 is bb by the same token.

    So… 3bb/6 = bb
    or bb = 2bb or 1 = 2.

    Reductio ad absurdam, etc, etc, and so you can’t have a base where 300/6 = 100.

    I can’t quite decided if that’s quite proved yet?!

    How about for bases less than 6?! What would you even do there?

    I am out of practice, dammit!

    Sorry about dreadful setting out, I haven’t done much maths recently.

  4. PS Brilliant answer by the way, I would love to see Anne’s face if you had said that.

  5. i confess, i never got past the “i was watching the weakest link” part of this post….

    i was too busy laughing.

  6. She didn’t ask about hexawotsits and octal (which are not the same as octaves, I sadly assume?) did she; she asked “in maths“… But I prefer your answers. I hate Anne Robinson. And it actually has nothing to do with the fact that she hates all Welsh people.

  7. That’s a good point.

    I suppose the mathematically correct answer, therefore, is “half of b squared, where b is the base in which the count is performed, and must be strictly greater than 6.”

    This is distinct from the engineering answer, which is “50, plus or minus an acceptable margin for error”, or the statistical answer, which is “what do you want it to be?”

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