The story so far...

Alert readers of our humble blog will recall that in a recent press conference with Gordon Brown, President George W Bush was asked the key question: what is 37 times 23? The good Mr Bush gave what can at best be described as an evasive answer (see here if you've forgotten). But we here at TPIOT are made of sterner stuff, and so we recently managed to sneak into a recent press conference, bribe the PR guy with several twinkies, and ask the question again.

Now, dear reader, read on...

(Transcript of press conference follows)

TPIOT: Mr President! Mr President!

GWB: Yup, the... um... the geek with the glasses. Yo! Whassup, dude?

TPIOT: Mr President, back in July at a press conference with Gordon Brown...

GWB: Yup, I remember. Scottish guy. Big. Not dour.

TPIOT: That's right... anyway, at this press conference you refused to give a definitive answer to the question, what is 37 times 23? I was wondering if, now you've had time to read the reports, you might have an actual answer?

GWB: Um... well, yeah, kinda. Me an' the boys bin kickin' this one round for a while. I mean, I'm no mathematician, right, but we called in the experts and I think it's maybe time to set the record straight on this one. We dun looked at this from all the angles, and though we're not prepared to say exactly what 37 times 23 is, we can reveal that the answer is... an even number.

TOPIT: An even number.

GWB: Bullseye! Now we ain't ready at this time to reveal just how big this even number is, but we at least hope that y'all will give us credit for the progress we made so far. Knowin' that the answer is an even number... well, sir, that kinda military intelligence takes years of hard work an' countin'. I mean, just getting' all them fingers in the same place, so we can count on 'em.... makes me proud to be an American. Next question?

TPIOT: But Mr President, isn't it generally accepted that, if you take an odd number and multiply it by another odd number, the result will be odd itself?

GWB: (audible sigh) Y'see, this is exactly the kind of... um... unpatriotic line of questionin', that makes me wonder if you even care about the war against terror. Oh sure, the liberal elite will tell you that an odd times an odd is odd, they've always believed that... but the rules have changed, son, the rules have changed. 9/11 put paid to that. An' y'know... this kinda talk, it's just emboldening the enemy, is all it's doin'. You gotta trust me on this one.

TPIOT: So, 37 times 23 is even?

GWB: Welcome to my world, son, welcome to my world.

## Wednesday, September 05, 2007

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## 1 comment:

hi there,

since you are a math teacher and i thought this was really cool when i noticed it at school i will point it out in case you are unaware.

23 x 37 is "obviously" 851 because it equals (30 - 7)(30 + 7) which equals (30 squared - 7 squared) which equals 900 - 49 which equals 851.

In other words (a + b)(a - b)= a squared - b squared. Therefore if you are multiplying two numbers and they are equidistant from a multiple of ten, say 10a + b and 10a - b, then when they are multiplied you get 100(a squared) - (b squared). So clearly say 29 x 31 = 899 and 37 x 43 = 1591 etc.

Anyway it livens up the formula and everyone can feel clever that they can multiply big (often both prime) numbers like these.

Good luck

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