[WiZ] This puzzle is suitable for liberal-arts majors

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[WiZ] This puzzle is suitable for liberal-arts majors

Postby WiZ » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:46 pm

For many years, millions of people worldwide would occasionally use the number 71,077,345. In New Zealand, they now use the number 7,102 for the same purpose. Why?

If you're familiar with this phenomenon, please send me a PM. If you're a spambot, please go haywire and murder your creator. Cheers.
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Re: [WiZ] This puzzle is suitable for liberal-arts majors

Postby Doriana » Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:39 am

Are the people aware that they are using this number? (As opposed to they're using a machine/program/device/whatever that uses this number, but the people don't know it does.)
When people use it, do they write it? type it? say it?

Do people still use 71,077,345 in other countries?

Is the number used in something related to technology? transport? communication? sports? health? finance? environment? food? law?

Do children ever use this number?
Does the average person ever use this number? If not, is the group of people who use it defined by their gender? age? profession? hobby?
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Re: [WiZ] This puzzle is suitable for liberal-arts majors

Postby WiZ » Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:59 am

Are the people aware that they are using this number? yes (As opposed to they're using a machine/program/device/whatever that uses this number, but the people don't know it does.)
When people use it, do they write it? type it? this say it?

Do people still use 71,077,345 in other countries? yes

Is the number used in something related to technology? this transport? communication? sports? health? finance? this environment? food? law? no or rarely to rest

Do children ever use this number? yes!
Does the average person ever use this number? see next answer If not, is the group of people who use it defined by their gender? age? this profession? hobby?
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Re: [WiZ] This puzzle is suitable for liberal-arts majors

Postby Doriana » Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:26 am

I'm pretty sure I know the answer now, but I can't send you a PM because "We are sorry, but you are not authorised to use this feature. You may have just registered here and may need to participate more to be able to use this feature." (???)
Sending you a possible $poyler via e-mail.

Edit: Wait, this is only half of the truth. I know what the numbers are used for, but not why they use a different one in NZ. Sending you an e-mail nevertheless, and you can decide whether it's ok for me to partially $poyl.
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Re: [WiZ] This puzzle is suitable for liberal-arts majors

Postby WiZ » Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:36 am

Go ahead; I think your questioning revealed enough information that most people would jump to that conclusion anyway.
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Re: [WiZ] This puzzle is suitable for liberal-arts majors

Postby Doriana » Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:46 am

WiZ wrote:Go ahead; I think your questioning revealed enough information that most people would jump to that conclusion anyway.
Thanks for talking down my amazing lateral thinking skills! ;)

So, the numbers are used for calculator spelling, and 71,077,345 spells SHELLOIL.
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Re: [WiZ] This puzzle is suitable for liberal-arts majors

Postby old_wombat » Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:33 am

Actually, New Zealanders would use 71077145 . Well that's we we tease them that they would use.
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Re: [WiZ] This puzzle is suitable for liberal-arts majors

Postby JenBurdoo » Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:26 pm

I remember that from a Martin Gardner puzzle book. "x number of Israelis and Arabs fought over a x-large patch of ground - multiply the numbers and flip over to see who won."

So New Zealanders call Shell "ZOIL" for some reason? Or there is another relevant oil company?
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Re: [WiZ] This puzzle is suitable for liberal-arts majors

Postby WiZ » Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:08 pm

Old Wombat:

Actually, New Zealanders would use 71077145 . Well that's we we tease them that they would use. I think rather too many people in positions of power are merely 577145 for 71077345. 57714571077345, if you will (most basic calculators won't).

Jenburdoo:

I remember that from a Martin Gardner puzzle book. "x number of Israelis and Arabs fought over a x-large patch of ground - multiply the numbers and flip over to see who won." I find Mr. Gardner (or 'Nitram Rendrag' as he sometimes refers to himself) an inspirational figure. Still puzzling and blogging at 94. Indefatigable.

So New Zealanders call Shell "ZOIL" for some reason? yes Or there is another relevant oil company? no


Code: Select all
   /:/\ \  \     /:/\:\  \     /:/\:\  \       \:\  \    /:/  /    /:/\:\  \     /:/\:\  \ 
  _\:\~\ \  \   /::\~\:\  \   /:/  \:\  \      /::\__\  /:/  /    /::\~\:\  \   /::\~\:\  \
 /\ \:\ \ \__\ /:/\:\ \:\__\ /:/__/ \:\__\  __/:/\/__/ /:/__/    /:/\:\ \:\__\ /:/\:\ \:\__\
 \:\ \:\ \/__/ \/__\:\/:/  / \:\  \ /:/  / /\/:/  /    \:\  \    \:\~\:\ \/__/ \/_|::\/:/  /
  \:\ \:\__\        \::/  /   \:\  /:/  /  \::/__/      \:\  \    \:\ \:\__\      |:|::/  /
   \:\/:/  /         \/__/     \:\/:/  /    \:\__\       \:\  \    \:\ \/__/      |:|\/__/ 
    \::/  /                     \::/  /      \/__/        \:\__\    \:\__\        |:|  |   
     \/__/                       \/__/                     \/__/     \/__/         \|__|   


The numbers refer to the classroom trick of typing '71077345' into a calculator to spell 'Shell Oil'. The New Zealand branch of Shell has recently rebranded to 'Z'; typing '7102' would spell 'Z Oil'.
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Re: [WiZ] This puzzle is suitable for liberal-arts majors

Postby biograd » Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:29 am

Probably soon nobody will be using calculators with the 7-segment LCDs that make this work. They will all be using iPads or similar, where upside-down numbers will just look like upside-down numbers.
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Re: [WiZ] This puzzle is suitable for liberal-arts majors

Postby Balin » Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:59 am

Graphing calculators don't work either; they have enough pixels to make the numbers look more number-y.
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