Freaky Math

Monday, August 10, 2009

numberDerrick Niederman, author of Number Freak: From 1 to 200, The Hidden Language of Numbers Revealed, shares his intense love of integers. As he explains, every number 1-200 tells a story, except maybe the number 138.

7 > One basic test for dementia onset is asking patients to subtract 7 from 100.

17 > There are 17 different symmetric patterns of wall paper.

19 > There are 19 holes in sink or lavatory drains, arranged symmetrically, they are a hexagon.

34 > The theoretical maximum number of Senate contests in any particular election year is 34.

40 > Is the only number whose letters are in alphabetical order when written out in English: abcdeFghijklmnOpqRsTuvwxYz.

42 > The computer Deep Thought in Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy calculates the Ultimate Answer to the Great Question is 42.

50 > The show Hawaii Five-O comes from Hawaii being the 50th state.

81 > The number 81 appears on Hell’s Angels insignia because 'H' is the 8th and “A” the 1st number in the alphabet.

Listen to The Brian Lehrer Show segment:


More in:

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.


Latest Newscast




WNYC is supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation: Because a great city needs an informed and engaged public


Supported by