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The Number of the Day: 7,254,904

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William S. Nye, Science Guy, holds patent number 7,254,904—it's his improved ballet shoe.


Related Quote: Bill Nye on his invention: "We did a show on bones and muscles, and I'm standing there on the sidelines at the Pacific Northwest Ballet, and these women, these young women, these girls, have bloody shoes. And I kind of get to talking to them. And I talk to the ... it's not called a coach. That guy, the dance instructor, the class leader or whatever he's called...The women were all saying, 'This happens every day. I have to throw shoes away because they're bloody.' So I just got to thinking about it and I just realized that traditional pointe shoes — first of all, they're traditional. You can't mess with the look of them. And this business of the pain being part of the rite of passage, I totally get that. But there's another aspect to it, and that is they haven't changed in years and years and years, and so couldn't we make a new shoe? They're centuries old. And so what I like to say is Bill Nye's improved ballet shoe is to the old shoe as the Nike running shoe is to the Chuck Taylor Converse All Star Basketball shoes"

[Sources: U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and The Seattle Times. See previous Numbers of the Day here.]

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This Puzzling Math Brain Teaser Has a Simple Solution
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Fans of number-based brainteasers might find themselves pleasantly stumped by the following question, posed by TED-Ed’s Alex Gendler: Which sequence of integers comes next?

1, 11, 21, 1211, 111221, ?

Mathematicians may recognize this pattern as a specific type of number sequence—called a “look-and-say sequence"—that yields a distinct pattern. As for those who aren't number enthusiasts, they should try reading the numbers they see aloud (so that 1 becomes "one one," 11 is "two ones," 21 is "one two, one one,” and so on) to figure the answer.

Still can’t crack the code? Learn the surprisingly simple secret to solving the sequence by watching the video below.

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What Number Is The Answer?
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