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# Calculator Words

In my day, middle school math class was pretty boring, and led to some remarkable goofing off. (I’m sure math class isn’t like that today; surely no modern kid would waste time in school.) For me, math class was an opportunity to explore new worlds with my calculator — but not new mathematical worlds. The main challenge I took on was finding new words I could spell on my calculator. And this was before we had calculators with alphanumeric keyboards.

For the uninitiated, the way this works is you punch numbers into the calculator, then show it to your friends, chortling all the while. The classic Calculator Words in my class were the admittedly juvenile 80085 (“BOOBS,” pictured above), 710.77345 (“ShELL.OIL”), and the arguably incorrect 32008 (“BOOZE”) — the last one requires you to assume that the number 2 is “Z,” which is sort of a stretch. Note that the latter two words require turning the calculator upside-down, and having the “calculator font” (also known as the “digital alarm clock font”) helps.

So, thinking back on this, I thought I’d call upon fellow _flossers to create a complete list of all the Calculator Words we could think of. Unfortunately, the internet beat me to it. The best resource I could find was Langmaker’s Oðblgshezi: Calculator Words. They describe it like so:

Oðblgshezi (pronounced /oth-blg-SHEH-zee/, with a syllabic /L/) is the name of a “language” consisting of English written with the digits of a calculator. You type in a number and then turn the calculator upside down to see the word. In order to make use of all ten digits, I persuaded the Anglo-Saxon letter eth (ð) to return from retirement to stand in for ‘TH’. For instance:

SHIBBOLETH (SHIBBOLEð) 937088145

Major nerd bonus points for using “shibboleth” as a linguistic sample term.

The site goes on to explain that this “language” contains only 10 letters: I, Z, E, H (h), S, G, L, B, TH (ð), and O. Despite these limitations, they’ve documented 362 words (including my favorites above). Check out the list for an awesomely nerdy cataloging of a language you never knew had a name.

#### Got a Favorite Calculator Word?

Share it in the comments! Also, check out this cross-stich featuring 80085 and this Brain Game featuring some of Sandy’s Calculator Words.

(Photo courtesy of Flickr user ZardozSpeaks, used via Creative Commons license.)

Scott Jarvie
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Design
Optical Illusion Rug Creates a Bottomless Void in Your Floor
Scott Jarvie

Artist Scott Jarvie doesn’t believe home goods need to be warm and inviting to earn a spot in the house. That’s certainly the case with his mind-bending void rug: When viewed from a certain perspective, the interior design piece inspires feelings of dread rather than comfort.

According to designboom, Jarvie achieved the rug’s bottomless black hole illusion using clever, two-dimensional design elements. To people standing directly over it, the item resembles a shaded crescent moon cupping a flat black circle. But adjust your position, and the simple rug morphs into a stomach-turning void in the middle of your living room floor.

If the circular rug isn’t trippy enough, Jarvie also made a rectangular runner that can turn an entire hallway into an empty pit. Neither rug is something you’d want to forget you own on a midnight trip to the bathroom.

Jarvie’s art isn’t limited to floor rugs that trick the eye. The Scotland-based artist’s creative furniture and home decor includes laundry balls, a cling wrap dispenser, and a chair made from 10,000 plastic drinking straws.

[h/t designboom]

All images courtesy of Scott Jarvie.

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