While watching the video for the new Cr-48; “How to remain calm despite what’s about to happen to your Chrome notebook,” Zimmer says he noticed a long mathematical equation on a chalkboard at the 2:23 mark in the video.
To many people, this probably didn’t jump out much more than the backgrounds of Dexter’s Lab cartoons. But Zimmer decided to give it a shot.
I’m a writer because I can’t do math. There’s no way I can describe the level of thinking that went into this better than this excerpt from Zimmer’s own account of the process:
All we got was X = 90091/191605050401140404051920181525 ~= 4.7*10^-27 and we were not even sure of this one number because of barely readable numbers in the original video…
The first path we explored was in Physics, 1.66*10^-27 being the atomic mass constant u. Having X=2.83u didn’t make much sense: too far from 2.0x or 3.0x where the closest element I knew are. Then my friend Joachim Rambeau tipped me off with an idea on “Chrome UX” being the name of the team that released the video. There was an X in there! With the equation X=(U/Chrome), U being the mass of uranium (~238u depending on isotopes) and “Chrome” the mass of Cr-48 or related isotopes, we found ourselves very close to the 4.7 ballpark…
…we realized “900.91″ did actually reference the goo.gl url shortener. The division obviously meant a slash in an URL, and then we had to make sense of the 191605050401140404051920181525 to find an URL.
I tried to convert the 30 numbers into 4 characters, like all goo.gl URLs. Didn’t have much luck, I was trying to prepend “00″ at the beginning to have 32 characters, but couldn’t make sense of the resulting sequence “00191605 05040114 04040519 20181525″.
That was when I noticed there were far too many zeroes in that sequence, even without the ones I added. So I tried different splits, and ended up with “19 16 05 05 04 01 14 04 04 05 19 20 18 15 25.″
I translated it to letters and got “s p e e d a n d d e s t r o y”. Obviously, at this point my fingers were very shaky, but I managed to type goo.gl/speedanddestroy in my browser and got to a form telling me that I was the “first to figure out our MENSA-certified puzzle” and would receive a Cr-48. WIN ! ;-)
I don’t know about you, but I’m going out to buy some books on physics before Google releases another ad.