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Old 03-10-2013, 06:23 PM   #11131
Shayne Parkinson
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A snippet of trivia I came across in a magazine the other day:

Robert Recorde invented something that I think is familiar to us all. What was his invention? A bonus point for giving the year he shared it with the world, to within 25 years or so. Another point for his country of birth.

If this isn't swiftly answered by someone who just happens to know the answer, I'm sure the answer can be reached by some yes/no questions to narrow the field.

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Old 03-10-2013, 06:29 PM   #11132
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The 'to within 25 years or so' makes me think it must have been some time ago. I assume it must be a fairly fundamental thing - perhaps something that people wouldn't immediately think of as being something a single person invented.

How about an item of clothing? Socks?
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:31 PM   #11133
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As the man with a steering wheel on his toilet said!

I can't believe that's the answer. If I was a little more supple I'd kick myself.
Pop round and we can take turns
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:40 PM   #11134
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The 'to within 25 years or so' makes me think it must have been some time ago. I assume it must be a fairly fundamental thing - perhaps something that people wouldn't immediately think of as being something a single person invented.

How about an item of clothing? Socks?
Not an item of clothing. And you're correct that it was some time ago.
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:41 PM   #11135
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Shayne, is it something on this blackboard (but the writer is blocking it)?

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Old 03-10-2013, 06:44 PM   #11136
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If you could get her to move aside I could say for sure. But it is indeed quite possible.

On a whim, here's an extra available point: give Recorde's country of birth.

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Old 03-10-2013, 07:21 PM   #11137
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On the blackboard there are a lot of summation signs. Did he invent the first mechanical calculator? About 1850? Born in France?

I'm just guessing here
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:27 PM   #11138
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Those are very good guesses! But unfortunately incorrect.

Earlier than 1850.
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:29 PM   #11139
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But it has something to do with maths? 1750?

Is it permitted to find the year first and then deduce what he invented?
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:33 PM   #11140
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It is indeed to do with maths (so Stitchawl may run away at this point). And yes, go for the year first if you like.

Earlier than 1750.
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:36 PM   #11141
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1650 then?

Was it a mathematical theorem or law or a very important mathemathical term (e.g. differentiation), or was it a physical "thingie"
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:51 PM   #11142
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You're getting closer!

Not a physical thingie. Earlier than 1650.
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:19 PM   #11143
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Algebraic symbols in 1550?
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:40 PM   #11144
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Algebraic symbols in 1550?
Very good! The date is 1557, so that's certainly close enough.

I'm looking for one particular mathematical symbol. And would you like to hazard his country of birth?
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:03 AM   #11145
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It is indeed to do with maths (so Stitchawl may run away at this point). And yes, go for the year first if you like.

Earlier than 1750.

Stitchawl actually knew the answer to this one. As it didn't involve actual numbers, he was able to keep the information balanced in his brain... but he'll defer to one of the math mavens who really deserve the addition.

I have no difficulty with the 'idea' of math. I just can't handle the use of the actual numbers. They go floating around rather than staying where they are supposed to go between my brain and my hand. I see the number '3,' say the number '3,' then write something completely different. Same problem trying to punch numbers into a calculator or a telephone.


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