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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Fourth Powers


- I hear you have extraordinary powers!

- Not true! What I said to the press was that I have fourth powers at home.

- What do you mean?

- 1, 16, 81, .... That kind of stuff.

- But these are square numbers!?

- Yes, but they are more than that. They are square numbers squared.

- I see. And you have these at home?

- Some of them. Not all of them.

- And what do you do with them?

- Play with them, of course, what else?

- What kind of games?

- This morning I added them.

- That must have been great fun!

- That's what I said to the press, but they didn't believe me.

- How did the game go?

- Not very well. I tried to pick less than nineteen of them, one several times if
neccessary, to get any number in the universe.

- How did you get 20?

- 20 was easy. 1 + 1 + 1 + 16 = 20. I only had to use five of them.

- Which number gave you problems?

- I found a number less than 500 that required nineteen fourth powers.

- So you lost the game?

- Yes, and I can't even remember which number it was.

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