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Mathematics Goes to the Movies

by Burkard Polster and Marty Ross


Magic Town (1947)

He (Rip) is working on a new scheme-called it his mathematical miracle how to question 50-100 people, perhaps in one town, and find out exactly how the whole country is thinking.

RIP: I am still hunting for that short-cut. Mathematical miracle.

COMPETITOR: You and your mathematical miracles.

RIP: Grandview, you good old mathematical miracle, here we come.

RIP: Look at that fellow. I know all about him. He is married. He has 1.7 children. Out of his income he spends 11.2 % in rent, 23.5 for food, 17.2 for clothing.
IKE: Poor guy he is just a series of fractions. He should stop acting like a human being.

RIP: What a town. You know all we have to do is to put decimal points in the right place and we are done.

SLOAN: Changes. There goes your mathematical miracle.

I only hope these figures will be close to Stringer’s.
Don’t worry about that, all you have to do…
I know, I know, put the decimal points in their proper places. There I’ve done it.

One of the headlines: Mathematically perfect community.

typewriter: mathematically perfect town discovered