Written by Simon Cockle
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Topics: Mathematics

Thursday, 10 January 2008

image for Mystery of how many bluebeans make five finally solved

Mathematicians at Harvard University have announced that one of the most perplexing numerical problems ever posed has finally been solved. The conundrum that has appeared in academic literature since the 14th century was finally cracked by a team of five scientists, and a supercomputer named Mitty, after the completion of a research project that was set up in 1972.

Professor Crainy Fristermeyer, head of the Faculty of Mathematics, explained that the problem involved solving a number of binary quadratic equations, each one of which was interlinked with the behaviour of prime numbers when fractal geometry was applied. "We really pushed the envelope with integers and fuzzy sequences," said the professor. "When we ran the numbers through Mitty and filtered them through Shor's Algorithm, the answer just appeared and we all just stopped and said nothing for about an hour."

The answer, which surprised many, is as follows: "Two beans, a bean-and-a-half, half a bean and a bean."

"Now we have cracked this, we intend to set Mitty more inscrutable mathematical puzzles," commented Professor Fristmeyer, "such as Bush's election victory in 2000 and why each episode of '24' is one hour but lasts 45 minutes."

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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