BARS::I-95 North in Bangor, Maine

These road signs are on northbound I-95 in Bangor, Maine.

The road signs say...

   +--------------+ +-----------------------+
   |    North     | |             Exit 182B |
   | I-95   ME-15 | | To US-2   ME-100 West |
   |    Orono     | |       Hermon          |
   |   Houlton    | |      1/4 mile         |
   +--------------+ +-----------------------+
   +-----------------------------+
   |                   Exit 182A |
   |        South                |
   | I-395  ME-15 to US-1A  ME-9 |
   |        Bangor - Brewer      |
   +-----------------------------+
   the numbers are:  95  15  182  2  100  1/4  182  395  15  1  9

   the math is: 
      sqrt(9) * 
      sqrt(15 + 15 + (2 + 1) / sqrt(1/4)) - 
      sqrt((182 + 182) - (395 - 95)) = 
      sqrt(100)

   observe...
      sqrt(9) = 3

      (2 + 1) = 3
      sqrt(1/4) = 1/2 
      3 / 1/2 = 3 * 2 = 6
      15 + 15 + 6 = 36
      sqrt(36) = 6

      182 + 182 = 364
      395 - 95 = 300
      364 - 300 = 64
      sqrt(64) = 8
      3 * 6 - 8 = 18 - 8 = 10

      sqrt(100) = 10

   [solve for 'n'] 
      sqrt(9) * n - sqrt((182 + 182) - (395 - 95)) = sqrt(100)

      solution:  n = sqrt(15 + 15 + (2 + 1) / sqrt(1/4)) 

RoadHacker took a picture of these road signs because he saw two numbers that were duplicated. 182 and 15 both occur twice; therefore, the math could be trivialized as follows.

   (182 - 182) = (15 - 15) * (whatever)
   i.e. 0 = 0 * (whatever)

   What's whatever?  The remaining numbers can be used in any
   arithmetic expression with the exception of an expression 
   that results in a divide-by-zero.

   example: 0 = 0 * (sum the remaining numbers)
            0 = 0 * (95 + 2 + 100 + 1/4 + 395 + 1  + 9)
            0 = 0 * (               n                 )

   error:  0 = 0 * (95 + 100 + 1/4 + 395) / (sqrt(9) - 2 - 1)
           0 = 0 * (          n         ) / (   3    - 2 - 1)
           0 = 0 * n / 0
           0 = 0 / 0
           divide-by-zero is an error

Creator: Gerald Thurman [gthurman@gmail.com]
Created: 12 August 2007

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.