Sun. Sep 19th, 2021

Sir Ian Napton, a maths Professor at Credulous University, believes he’s discovered a completely new number.

Sir Ian’s obsession with all things numerical, includes his personal finances. He accurately records money in, and out of his accounts. He knows where the money is spent, and exactly how much should remain. But, even though the initial amount and spending figures are correctly entered, the Xmas balance never matches the amount in his account.

“It is a puzzle, this shouldn’t happen. I meticulously record every penny I spend. The Secret Santa, drinks in the Broken Drum, my little treats, family presents, and a new pair of socks for the University Christmas Ball. Yet, somehow, I am still broke. I know Lady Napton shops at Waitrose, but there should be something left.”

Sir Ian Napton, all round clever-clogs

Sir Ian was enjoying a post-Christmas bath when his Eureka moment arrived. He began to wonder if there is a Xmas Number, a maths figure with special properties. Unlike standard numbers, 1,2,3,4 etc, it does not possess a fixed value. Its variability increases the more you use it. He proposes that the Xmas number is quantum. This is because the more you look at it, the more uncertain it becomes. The implications for computing are unknowable but if he is correct, it will make him very richer.

The defining characteristic of ‘The Napton Number’ is that its value is inversely proportional to the amount of money remaining in your account.

We can expect this discovery to open new avenues into expectation and uncertainty. It will revolutionise our understanding of government economics, polling figures, and builders’ estimates.


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By Joe The Greek

Joe The Greek is a man of many words and considerable girth. Never shy when it comes to the bar and buffet table.

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