#1




Verizon check
Comment: There was no text with this forwarded picture of a check payable to Verizon using a mathematical equation for the amount. Any idea if it is real or the story behind it?

#2




How come the black handwriting is so much clearer than the red and black type?
Any math whizzes among the snopesters? ETA: posters on other websites calculate the result as 0.02 of a cent (or $0.0002, I guess), and therefore worth nothing. There doesn't seem to be anything to back up its veracity, though. Last edited by lynnejanet; 25 February 2007 at 02:09 AM. 
#3




I am SO fowarding this to the only math whiz I know. He's a college math professor so this should be easy but I will endure the lengthy & tiring explanation for you all. I'll take a hit for the team!

#4




The cheque was made by Randall Munroe, who does the very funny (and geeky) webcomic xkcd, in response to this conflict with Verizon.
Geekiness to the rescue! 
#5




This image usually goes with the story (and recording) about the engineer who could not get across to the Verizon employees that $.002 is not the same as $.02
http://youtube.com/watch?v=Gp0HyxQv97Q (I think that's the right link.) There was a thread about this last month. Toad"Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right"Magnet ETA: Gah! Spanked whilst looking for the link! 
#6




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#7




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#8




Wow. I'm listening to it now there is no way I would have as much patience as he did. Wow. It reminds me of recent conversations with my loan company, and I could not have kept my cool for as long as he did, and with so many different people, repeating the same thing.

#9




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#10




Which link is it? I don't see it.

#11




Sorry. It's http://youtube.com/watch?v=61J85cHww...elated&search=
I apologize  I still haven't figured out links and embedded quotes.:o 
#12




Quote:

#13




This seems like as good a time as any good time to link to the Randall Munroe's opinion of youtube commenters. Evidence seems to bear him out.

#14




I had this forwarded to me recently as "Never piss off an engineer." Given the use of Euler's Formula and a geometric series, I'd say it was most likely cooked up by an electrical engineer. A mathematician could probably come up with some harder formulas.

#15




Indeed, I would have worked a trig function in there somewhere.
Jay "We're number tan π/4" Temple 
#16




Quote:
I could probably come up with some harder formulas just from one specific field (antennas), never mind some of the other stuff that I work with more regularly. I also wonder why you chose to disparage only *electrical* engineers? By the way, the infinite sum is indeed a geometric series of the form E a* r^k, with a=1, r= 1/2, and with k starting at 1 and not 0. Since 1/(2^0) = 1/1, we can just do the sum via the formula and subtract one. To wit : (k=0 to inf) E a*r^k = a / (1r) For a=1, r=1/2, the sum is 2. So, (k=1 to inf) E 1/(2^k) = 1, as explained above. Euler's identity is e^(i*pi) + 1 =0, so e^(i*pi) = 1. So the check is for $0.002. Next time solve the problem, and don't insult people. 
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#18




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If an electrical engineer wanted to *crudely* express the value of "1", he would say j^2, because any good electrical engineer doesn't use "i" for the square root of 1. "i", of course, is reserved as an abbreviation for current, in both upper and lower case. Euler's identity is not for the faint of heart. Amateurs should not be playing with imaginary numbers. 
#19




Very amusing. I was also amused by the comments posted to youtube. Just... wow.

#20




Even if other snopesters think he won't be winning any prizes for his choice of equation (not something I'm qualified to comment on), but he DOES deserve a prize for patience on the strength of that linked phone call.

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