# math

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what is the number feared by the pythagoreans

I googled "number feared by the Pythagoreans" and checked the 3rd entry. This is what I found on that web site.

Find the number feared by Pythagoreans, since it lies halfway
between the only two integers that can be both the perimeter and
the area of the same rectangle.

CORRECT ANSWER IS 17! A 4x4 rectangle has a perimeter of 16 units
and an area of 16 square units. A 3x6 rectangle has a perimeter of
18 units and an area of 18 square units. The number 17 is halfway
between 16 and 18!

It almost threw me too. I just copied and edited it from
teacherweb. c o m
One of the other sites I looked at said the numbers feared by the Pythagoreans were the irrationals. I do recall they were extremely superstitious (by our standards) and believed only rational numbers existed.
I'd seen this question posed a couple times here but needed to check the answer for myself. Now we know the dreadful 17 is the answer!

the number of sides in an argument

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