Product Placement

Jan 03, 2015

RAY: There are a lot of our little children who listen to Car Talk who are studying Algebra, so I thought I would ask them to simplify the following polynomial.

TOM: Let me just write this down. OK.

RAY: X plus A in parentheses times X minus B in parentheses times X plus C in parentheses, dot, dot, dot, times X minus Z.

Here's how it looks: (X+A)(X-B)(X+C) … (X-Z)

TOM: So you want --

RAY: I want the product of all those terms.

RAY: The last letters of the alphabet are z, y, and x in reverse order. So it would be x+y and the term before that would be x-x. And x-x is zero, rendering the whole expression...

TOM: Zero.

RAY: Zero. Who might our winner be, Tommy?

TOM: Our winner might be Rev. James D. Richardson from El Paso, Texas. Congratulations!

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