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Giuseppe Bilotta
"I'm never quite so stupid as when I'm being smart" — Linus van Pelt (Peanuts)
"I'm never quite so stupid as when I'm being smart" — Linus van Pelt (Peanuts)

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Voight-Kampff empathy test

A tempo perso (l'ultimo pensiero ‘serio’ sulla questione l'ho avuto quasi due anni fa) avevo cominciato a lavorare al problema della rappresentazione minima di numeri razionali tramite espressioni mononumeriche. La cosa è soprattutto un gioco, ma può essere formulata in termini di probemi di teoria dei grafi che potrebbero essere di maggiore interesse. Per stuzzicare la vostra curiosità, ecco intanto l'introduzione degli appunti che ho cominciato a prendere sulla questione:

A classic lateral thinking problem asks how to obtain the value 100 using only four 9s. The solution[1] plays on the possibility to use the 9 as a digit rather than as a number, which is instead the implicit assumption done by many of those facing the problem. However, if we keep “thinking inside the box”, we can turn the question to a different one, asking for example: what is the mininum number of times in which the number 9 must appear in an expression (that does not involve any other number) to obtain 100? Since we can write 100 = 102 = (9 + 9/9)(9+9)/9, we know that the answer to the question is not more than 6. But can we do it with even less 9s?
More in general, is it possible to determine the minimum number of times in which a given number b (alone) can appear in an expression to obtain a given value a?

[1]: 100 = 99 + 9/9

(e ci piacerebbe che G+ supportasse almeno Markdown)

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Ok, I hate myself for doing this, but me and my wife already have some 25+ of their T-shirts and we're loving them (and we tell each other «ok, we're seriously overdoing this» every time a new design we like comes up), so I say to myself: why the heck not?

They're worth it.
How would you like to do no laundry for a month? We're having our biggest ever FREE TEE giveaway here at The Grand Prize is a MONTH OF FREE TEES (that's 30 tees of your choice) we're also giving away loads of other prizes also. All you have to do to enter is (1) Follow us on Google+ (2) +1/Share this post (3) Go to the link below and ENTER NOW! Thanks Guys:)

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