Tuesday, 11 November 2008


We haven't had any maths for a while, so I thought it was time. Don't worry, this one's simple and involves money, something which I'm sure is dear to all our hearts.

Supposing you had some coins. Whilst you were thinking what to spend them on you might amuse yourself by arranging them into a geometrical shape. Such as the kind of triangular arrangement that you see on a pool or snooker table:

If the coins can be arranged like this, then we say that it is a triangle number. For example, 10 coins could be arranged in a triangle because 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 is 10. But 8, 9 or 11 coins couldn't be.

Having still not decided what to buy, you could arrange them into a square:

9 coins could be arranged in a 3 x 3 square, but if you tried with 10 coins, it wouldn't work.

Now supposing that you had one coin for every year you'd been alive, and that you were able to arrange them like I did into both a triangle and a square. Then you'd be exactly the same age as Bee, since only one number is both a triangle and a square. I'm sure Bee is neither.

Happy Birthday


Kat said...

Happy Birthday Bee.

Which reminds me of a question I had. When in England someone told me that on the back of the new pence there's a piece of the royal coat of arms that if all new pence coins put together like a big puzzle makes a huge coin with the emblem. Is that true?

for a different kind of girl said...

Happy Birthday, BEE!!

Now, my birthday is Saturday. I don't think you have enough coins! :)

But back to Bee - Happy birthday, again!

Tracy said...

While that was a lot of "smart talking" it was also very sweet Brian Dear.

But I've got to warn you, someone must have slipped you smoe funny money cause those don't look like any coins I've ever seen! :)

Bee said...


Thanks Brian! :o)

I have to tell you something Andy said to me once I told him you used Linux.
"Wow! Dude must be smart!" I didn't know why he'd say that but now I understand.

Thanks Kat and FADKOG!

Brian o vretanos said...


My daughter was telling me this as well, and I started to collect them when I noticed them, but didn't get more than one of any denomination so gave up. They seem to be like that on brand new 1p and 5p coins - I'm not sure about others.


They're electronic coins, so you can have as many as you need ;-)


At least they weren't poisoned chocolate ones... Actually, it's a Greek Drachma of some denomination (no longer in circulation), and I found a picture of it on the web and copied it multiple times.



Anndi said...

Happy birthday Bee! Aren't you clever! and sweet...

Jean Knee said...

do your talents know no bounds Brian?

Happy Birthday Bee

Jean Knee said...

that sounded snarky but wasn't, it's the southern thing

Chris Wood said...

Happy Birthday Bee!!

Brian o vretanos said...



Jean Knee:

I think that triangle would have been much less lopsided if you'd done it.

Tracys Ramblings said...


Tracys Ramblings said...

Brian Dear,
I have no clue what the last part of the comment back to me means. You have to speak "American" when you're talking to me, so in other words, dumb it way down!

And yes, I'm glad they weren't chinese poisoned coins! I would have worried about you all day!
You didn't eat any of them anyways right? Just to be safe.

Dan said...

I'll break it down for you

"At least they weren't poisoned chocolate ones"

He's telling you that at least the coins aren't poisoned chocolate ones, you know like the ones from your post.

"Actually, it's a Greek Drachma of some denomination (no longer in circulation"

Here, Brian is telling you that the coins are from Greece and that they are no longer in circulation, kind of like all the old 20 dllr bills that didn't have all the new colores.

"and I found a picture of it on the web and copied it multiple times"

Here he is saying that he found pictures on the web (internet) and that he copied it multiple ( many )

Hope this helps.

Bee said...

OMG! Dan that was hilarious! Tracy, don't get mad at Dan because you have to admit that was funny. :o)

Sully Sullivan said...

Man this was a very inventive way of saying happy birthday. Nice math moves my friend. I already wished Bee a hapy bday and probably grossed her out a little too.