Feb 11

The RAND Corporation has published a book called “A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates.”  Here’s a brief description:  “Not long after research began at RAND in 1946, the need arose for ‘random numbers’ that could be used to solve problems of various kinds of experimental probability procedures.  These applications, called Monte Carlo methods, required a large supply of random digits and normal deviates of high quality, and the tables presented here were produced to meet those requirements.  Still the largest published source of random digits and normal deviates, the work is routinely used by statisticians, physicists, polltakers, market analysts, lottery administrators, and quality control engineers.”

If the mere existence of such a book isn’t funny enough, check out the user reviews found on Amazon.com:

4.0 out of 5 stars almost perfect, October 26, 2006  By a curious reader

Such a terrific reference work! But with so many terrific random digits, it’s a shame they didn’t sort them, to make it easier to find the one you’re looking for.

1.0 out of 5 stars Sloppy., July 27, 2005  By B. MCGROARTY

The book is a promising reference concept, but the execution is somewhat sloppy. Whatever algorithm they used was not fully tested. The bulk of each page seems random enough. However at the lower left and lower right of alternate pages, the number is found to increment directly.

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Feb 10

imageRegifting Robin is a cool mind trick that can guess any two-digit number you imagine.

Go to Regiftable.com to play the game, then come back here for an explanation on how it’s done.  Though if you are a programmer, you should be able to easily figure it out for yourself.




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