## 1017: "Backwards in Time"

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

glasnt wrote:And so the freelanced creation of this application begins.

Also, having the listing as 0%=now, 100%=Big Bang gives for a more explosive finish. You're starting a download now, and you're timing it comparative to all time, therefore you can't also finish now, you're finishing in the past.

It's just one thing that's letting you be more like David Tennant, don't overthink it.

Yeah, it's all that wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff.

San Fran Sam

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

February 27, 1984 Reagan crushes Mondale, Macintosh introduced, I'm born
So everyone make sure to spam Randal with "Happy Birthdays" in 12 days.

I also enjoy that "Breakfast" was a significant event.
Pfhorrest wrote:As someone who is not easily offended, I don't really mind anything in this conversation.
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:It was the Renaissance. Everyone was Italian.
Fire Brns

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Fire Brns wrote:
February 27, 1984 Reagan crushes Mondale, Macintosh introduced, I'm born
So everyone make sure to spam Randal with "Happy Birthdays" in 12 days.

I also enjoy that "Breakfast" was a significant event.

oh dear god, I just realized that I'm older than Randall. (sigh)

girllookatthatbody

(because someone was going to if I didn't)
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eran_rathan

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Looking at the spreadsheet, particularly the section between 60 and 70 percent, made me think of "We Didn't Start The Fire" for some reason.

Maybe tomorrow, when I've got some time to spend on the train, I'll come up with a formula that maps each event in that song to the percentage of the song that's been completed when it's mentioned. That would be a mashup of this comic and and 688, "Self-Description."

Why yes, I am a major nerd, why do you ask?
Wybaar

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

And there was I thinking an excercise bike was a suitably constructive way of dealing with long downloads. It might just possibly work as a technique for preventing premature ejaculation though. And hopefully the big bang timing is right.
mixh

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

my biggest question is why is his date for the dinosaur extinction off by three million years

as well as "first stars ignite" at the same approximate time as the universe beginning? The oldest observed star is about 13.2 billion years old. A difference of 560 million years.
SHISHKABOB

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

glasnt wrote:And so the freelanced creation of this application begins.

Also, having the listing as 0%=now, 100%=Big Bang gives for a more explosive finish. You're starting a download now, and you're timing it comparative to all time, therefore you can't also finish now, you're finishing in the past.

It's just one thing that's letting you be more like David Tennant, don't overthink it.

I hate to quibble, but when you are running backwards, the Big Bang is not an explosive finish--it's more of a big "swoosh" into a pinhead. . . .
"The position was well put indeed in a famous speech by Jzbl to the graduates of the Central Saturnian University, when he said that it was a source of great pride to him that although hardly anybody knew anything any longer, everybody now knew how to find out everything."

bmonk

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

I'm pretty sure his inverse formula is wrong. Shouldn't it be T minus e cubed? There's a double-subtraction in the original T= formula.
lordlicorice

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

SHISHKABOB wrote:my biggest question is why is his date for the dinosaur extinction off by three million years

as well as "first stars ignite" at the same approximate time as the universe beginning? The oldest observed star is about 13.2 billion years old. A difference of 560 million years.

Dinosaurs usually according to basic school curiculums died between 65 and 75 million years ago so for most it would be a minimum of 10 off. And if you look at 22% the Iphone wasn't released on the same day as the massacre. Therefore he is rounding to the nearest percent.
Pfhorrest wrote:As someone who is not easily offended, I don't really mind anything in this conversation.
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:It was the Renaissance. Everyone was Italian.
Fire Brns

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Anyone else find themselves starting to hum Billy Joel while reading the events in the spreadsheet?

Edit: Oops, didn't notice Wybaar's post, sorry.
Last edited by Istaro on Thu Feb 16, 2012 4:14 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Istaro

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

I want to make this as a browser plug in, so when I download things time flies by. I spent way too much time thinking about how it'd have to work to be perfect. For one thing, you'd need an incredibly huge database of events so you're very unlikely to see the same thing more than once or twice a month. Also, I think the formula should be randomly twerked (very minorly) each download so, for instance, 55.4% finished isn't the same date every download. This will help avoid seeing the same events often.

astrosteve

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

The biggest issue I have is that for most downloads the dates would pass too quickly to read the facts.

Eshru

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

astrosteve wrote:I want to make this as a browser plug in, so when I download things time flies by. I spent way too much time thinking about how it'd have to work to be perfect. For one thing, you'd need an incredibly huge database of events so you're very unlikely to see the same thing more than once or twice a month. Also, I think the formula should be randomly twerked (very minorly) each download so, for instance, 55.4% finished isn't the same date every download. This will help avoid seeing the same events often.

I came to this thread hoping to find someone planning on doing this.
resuni

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

eran_rathan wrote:
Fire Brns wrote:
February 27, 1984 Reagan crushes Mondale, Macintosh introduced, I'm born
So everyone make sure to spam Randal with "Happy Birthdays" in 12 days.
oh dear god, I just realized that I'm older than Randall. (sigh)
+1
Van wrote:Fireballs don't lie.

VectorZero

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Location: Darwin

### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Hello,

the comic inspired me to write a little WinApi. Since I can't post links to executables or anything (which is probably a good thing) I just paste you the sourcecode. It is written in Delphi with Lazarus. I find the whole C++ WinApi Creation a little to complicated, so you'd have to create your own Window with all buttons and labels in Delphi. You find a list of their names in the source.

So far, the program can only show you your current progress through your predefined waitingtime. It also shows you, of course, how far back in time you went. It can also pause (yeah, I hope it blows your mind).

The code is far away from perfect. I just threw it together as things were coming to my mind. No planning at all . There are probably a lot of unnecessary conversion errors as well. I tried documenting it a bit.

- some better and more fancy graphics
- an updating list of historic events, as you pass backwards through time

Maybe you can think of something else, or make your own program.

Code: Select all
unit Unit1; {$mode objfpc}{$H+}interfaceuses  Classes, SysUtils, FileUtil, Forms, Controls, Graphics, Dialogs, StdCtrls,  Spin, Math, Windows, ComCtrls, ExtCtrls, Buttons;type  { TForm1 }  TForm1 = class(TForm)    Bevel1: TBevel;    Bevel2: TBevel;    Bevel3: TBevel;    Button1: TButton;     {Run}    Button2: TButton;     {Pause}    Button3: TButton;     {Reset}    Button4: TButton;     {Quit}    Button5: TButton;     {About}    Image1: TImage;    Label1: TLabel;    Label10: TLabel;    Label2: TLabel;    Label3: TLabel;    Label4: TLabel;    Label5: TLabel;    Label6: TLabel;    Label7: TLabel;    Label8: TLabel;    Label9: TLabel;    ProgressBar1: TProgressBar;    SpinEdit2: TSpinEdit;    SpinEdit3: TSpinEdit;    SpinEdit1: TSpinEdit;    Timer1: TTimer;    procedure Button1Click(Sender: TObject);    procedure Button2Click(Sender: TObject);    procedure Button3Click(Sender: TObject);    procedure Button4Click(Sender: TObject);    procedure Button5Click(Sender: TObject);    procedure FormCreate(Sender: TObject);    procedure Timer1Timer(Sender: TObject);  private    { private declarations }  public    time, timetowait, current_year: integer;    hours_passed, minutes_passed, seconds_passed: integer;    TickCount1, TickCount2: integer;    progress: real;    pause: boolean;  end; var  Form1: TForm1; implementation{\$R *.lfm}{ TForm1 }{Initiliazing of Variables and some Labels}procedure TForm1.FormCreate(Sender: TObject);begin pause := false; progress := 0; Label6.Caption := floattostr(progress) + '%'; time := 0; hours_passed := 0; minutes_passed := 0; seconds_passed := 0; Label8.Caption := inttostr(hours_passed) + 'h ' + inttostr(minutes_passed) + 'm '+ inttostr(seconds_passed) + 's'; seconds_passed := 1; current_year := strtoint(FormatDateTime('yyyy', Now)); Label9.Caption := FormatDateTime('dd.mm.yyyy', Now) + ' A.C.';end;{Run}procedure TForm1.Button1Click(Sender: TObject);begin  if pause = true then begin       Timer1.Enabled := True;       pause := false;       Button2.Enabled := True;       {button dis- and enabling was preventing                                      some buffer overflows from happening}  end  else begin       SpinEdit1.ReadOnly := true;    {no changing of values, after start}       SpinEdit2.ReadOnly := true;       SpinEdit3.ReadOnly := true;       Timer1.Enabled := True;        {timer1 runs every 100ms}       {calculates the waiting time in seconds}       timetowait := (3600*SpinEdit1.Value + 60*SpinEdit2.Value + SpinEdit3.Value);  end;  TickCount1 := GetTickCount;         {used for accurate time measurement}  Button1.Enabled := False;  Button2.Enabled := True;end;{Pause}procedure TForm1.Button2Click(Sender: TObject);begin  Timer1.Enabled := False;  pause := true;  Button1.Enabled := True;  Button2.Enabled := False;end;{Reset}procedure TForm1.Button3Click(Sender: TObject);begin  Timer1.Enabled := False;  pause := false;  SpinEdit1.ReadOnly := false;  SpinEdit2.ReadOnly := false;  SpinEdit3.ReadOnly := false;  SpinEdit1.Value := 0;  SpinEdit2.Value := 0;  SpinEdit3.Value := 0;  time := 0;  progress := 0;  ProgressBar1.Position := round(progress);  Label6.Caption := floattostr(progress) + '%';  hours_passed := 0;  minutes_passed := 0;  seconds_passed := 0;  Label8.Caption := inttostr(hours_passed) + 'h ' + inttostr(minutes_passed) + 'm '+ inttostr(seconds_passed) + 's';  Label9.Caption := FormatDateTime('dd.mm.yyyy', Now) + ' A.C.';  Image1.Visible := False;  Button1.Enabled := True;end;{Quit}procedure TForm1.Button4Click(Sender: TObject);begin  Application.Terminate;end;{About}procedure TForm1.Button5Click(Sender: TObject);begin  MessageDlg('Backward in Time is inspired by the Comic "Backward in Time" by Randall Munroe. You can view it at http://www.http://xkcd.com/1017 . The Program is written in Delphi. Febr. 2012, Robert Kulpe',mtInformation,[],0);end;procedure TForm1.Timer1Timer(Sender: TObject);var past, exact_progress, exponent: double;const euler = 2.718281828459045235;begin  Label8.Caption := inttostr(hours_passed) + 'h ' + inttostr(minutes_passed) + 'm ' + inttostr(seconds_passed) + 's';  TickCount2 := GetTickCount;  time := time + (TickCount2 - TickCount1);   {calculates how many ms have passed since last timerrun}  TickCount1 := TickCount2;  if ((time/1000) > timetowait) then begin    {this prevents the variable time from running too far and messing up calculations}       time := 1000 * timetowait;  end;  if not (timetowait = 0) then begin          {prevents div by zero}     exact_progress := ((time/1000)/(timetowait));    {used for Randalls formula}     progress := ((time/1000)/(timetowait))*100;      {used for progressbar and time passed and such}     ProgressBar1.Position := round(progress);     Label6.Caption := FloatToStrF(progress,ffFixed,10,2) + '%';     {rounds to 2 decimal places: xx.yz}  end;  if ((time/1000) = timetowait) Or (timetowait = 0) then begin       {Waiting time over, or input was zero}     Timer1.Enabled := False;     Image1.Visible := True;     Button1.Enabled := False;     Button2.Enabled := False;  end;  seconds_passed := trunc((time/1000)) Mod 60;      {trunc makes it an integer}  minutes_passed := trunc((time/1000)/60);  hours_passed := trunc((time/1000)/3600);  {Here is where THE formula is calculated}  exponent := 20.3444* Power(exact_progress, 3) + 3;   {First the exponent}  past := Power(euler, exponent) - Power(euler, 3);    {past is a value in years, example: past=0.5 is half a year, so 0,5 * 365 days}  if past < (current_year) then begin                  {as long as we are After Christ we can use FormatDateTime}     Label9.Caption := FormatDateTime('dd.mm.yyyy', Now-past*365) + ' A.C.';  end  else begin   {if past ist more than 2012 years just show the number of years and add B.C.}     Label9.Caption := floattostr(round(past - current_year)) + ' years' + ' B.C.';  end;end;end.
Slagsgarden

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

arthurd006_5 wrote:Mostly in reply to the alt text:

"The days are long, but the years are short."
Gretchen Rubin.

"There is never enough time to do all the nothing you have planed."
Calvin and Hobbs

Life is too short when done Right.
Life is too long when done Wrong.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Whenever I open the spreadsheet using Excel 2007 the formulas do not come up. I just get Err:508 in the How Far Back and What's Happening cells and Err:512 in the How Long Ago column. None of the formulas show up. Help!
markymags

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

I can understand Randall coming up with this "idea" just to build a comic on it (I said I can understand it, not enjoy it), but... does he really think that could work in real life? I couldn't think of a sillier way to spend one's time, even if I tried hard to.

SirMustapha

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

SirMustapha wrote:I can understand Randall coming up with this "idea" just to build a comic on it (I said I can understand it, not enjoy it), but... does he really think that could work in real life? I couldn't think of a sillier way to spend one's time, even if I tried hard to.

you're welcome.
Greyarcher:Trying to build a proper foundation for knowledge is blippery.
JimsMaher:Squirrels are crazy enough to be test pilots.
HES: Google tells me you are not unique. You are, however, wrong.

eran_rathan

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Location: in ur forum, killing ur threads :(

### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

thejudgeofall wrote:
scikidus wrote:I'm pretty sure that the inversed p formula isn't quite right. Shouldn't it be:
\sqrt[3]{\frac{\ln{(T-\text{(current date)}+e^3)}-3}{20.3444}}?

I think the artist is definitely wrong. But I made it:
\sqrt[3]{\frac{\ln{(\text{(current date)}+e^3-T)}-3}{20.3444}}?

http://alpha.wolfram.com/ and I agree with the artist. The inverse box simply finds the amount to subtract and a 3rd root seems pretty clear.

http://wolframalpha.com/input/?i=solve+T%3De%5E%2820.3444p%5E3%2B3%29-e%5E3+for+p

and a log plot of the function:

http://wolframalpha.com/input/?i=log+plot+x%3De%5E%2820.3444y%5E3%2B3%29-e%5E3+from+0.01+to+1.00
Last edited by MarkW on Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:10 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
MarkW

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

SirMustapha wrote:I can understand Randall coming up with this "idea" just to build a comic on it (I said I can understand it, not enjoy it), but... does he really think that could work in real life? I couldn't think of a sillier way to spend one's time, even if I tried hard to.

"I can understand Randall coming up with this "idea" just to build a comic (Isaid I can understand, not enjoy), but does he honestly think that it could work in reality? I couldn't think of a sillier way to spend one's time even if I applied great effort."

There. Now THAT'S what I call a silly use of my time. But I think the Twilight concept still wins.

EpicanicusStrikes
Random Boners = True Attraction

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

eran_rathan wrote:
SirMustapha wrote:I can understand Randall coming up with this "idea" just to build a comic on it (I said I can understand it, not enjoy it), but... does he really think that could work in real life? I couldn't think of a sillier way to spend one's time, even if I tried hard to.

you're welcome.

But Twilight is great snark material. It's still a better way to spend time.

SirMustapha

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

markymags

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

SirMustapha wrote:I can understand Randall coming up with this "idea" just to build a comic on it (I said I can understand it, not enjoy it), but... does he really think that could work in real life? I couldn't think of a sillier way to spend one's time, even if I tried hard to.

Running around with your underpants on your head gargling jelly would be a sillier way to spend your time, and that required no effort of thought.

Either you're singularly unimaginative or your definition of silly is way off the mark.

The Moomin

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

The Moomin wrote:
SirMustapha wrote:I can understand Randall coming up with this "idea" just to build a comic on it (I said I can understand it, not enjoy it), but... does he really think that could work in real life? I couldn't think of a sillier way to spend one's time, even if I tried hard to.

Running around with your underpants on your head gargling jelly would be a sillier way to spend your time, and that required no effort of thought.

Either you're singularly unimaginative or your definition of silly is way off the mark.

I stand by what I said. Running, in itself, is necessarily less silly than sitting still reading "backwards Wikipedia".

SirMustapha

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

SirMustapha wrote:
The Moomin wrote:
SirMustapha wrote:I can understand Randall coming up with this "idea" just to build a comic on it (I said I can understand it, not enjoy it), but... does he really think that could work in real life? I couldn't think of a sillier way to spend one's time, even if I tried hard to.

Running around with your underpants on your head gargling jelly would be a sillier way to spend your time, and that required no effort of thought.

Either you're singularly unimaginative or your definition of silly is way off the mark.

I stand by what I said. Running, in itself, is necessarily less silly than sitting still reading "backwards Wikipedia".

However, running around with your underpants on your head gargling jelly, which is what I wrote, is a sillier way of spending your time than sitting still reading "backwards Wikipedia".

You can't argue by just ignoring the parts of my statement that make your statement sound as ridiculous as it actually is, that's just silly. . . .hang on . . .

SirMustapha wrote:I can understand Randall coming up with this idea

Oh me yarm! ME TOO!!! I'm soooo amazed we agree on this.

The Moomin

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Location: Yorkshire

### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

I don't really understand the point of this one.
Play the game of Time! castle.chirpingmustard.com Hotdog Vending Supplier But what is this?

GAZEBO OINTMENT HARPSICHORD CREDENZA BUNGALOW

Eternal Density

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

The Moomin wrote:Running around with your underpants on your head gargling jelly would be a sillier way to spend your time, and that required no effort of thought.

Either you're singularly unimaginative or your definition of silly is way off the mark.

I stand by what I said. Running, in itself, is necessarily less silly than sitting still reading "backwards Wikipedia".[/quote]

However, running around with your underpants on your head gargling jelly, which is what I wrote, is a sillier way of spending your time than sitting still reading "backwards Wikipedia".

You can't argue by just ignoring the parts of my statement that make your statement sound as ridiculous as it actually is, that's just silly[/quote]

So you didn't get it, did you?

I meant to say that running, no matter whatever absurd and nonsensical conditions and constraints you put into it, is necessarily less silly than sitting still, reading "backwards Wikipedia". Better now?

SirMustapha

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Eternal Density wrote:I don't really understand the point of this one.
Really? I think it both cool and informative at the same time. Like others I'd download an app that converted all my percentage bars to do this!
elasto

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Waiting is already is an extreme sport.

(en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fishing)
pjorg

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

elasto wrote:
Eternal Density wrote:I don't really understand the point of this one.
Really? I think it both cool and informative at the same time. Like others I'd download an app that converted all my percentage bars to do this!

I imagine it would get boring and you'd stop using it after the first time around. I would.

acablue

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Location: Florida

### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Fire Brns wrote:
February 27, 1984 Reagan crushes Mondale, Macintosh introduced, I'm born
So everyone make sure to spam Randal with "Happy Birthdays" in 12 days.

There's a difference of 3 or 4 years between adjacent lines, so I don't think that date is very precise. (Or do I mean "accurate"?)

Also, wouldn't the intro to Big Bang Theory produce the same effect, if played backward?
typo

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Location: East of the Don and west of the Rouge

### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

typo wrote:There's a difference of 3 or 4 years between adjacent lines, so I don't think that date is very precise. (Or do I mean "accurate"?)

You mean "precise".

YES, IT'S SPACEY-WACEY!

ahammel
My Little Cabbage

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

MarkW wrote:
thejudgeofall wrote:
scikidus wrote:I'm pretty sure that the inversed p formula isn't quite right. Shouldn't it be:
\sqrt[3]{\frac{\ln{(T-\text{(current date)}+e^3)}-3}{20.3444}}?

I think the artist is definitely wrong. But I made it:
\sqrt[3]{\frac{\ln{(\text{(current date)}+e^3-T)}-3}{20.3444}}?

http://alpha.wolfram.com/ and I agree with the artist. The inverse box simply finds the amount to subtract and a 3rd root seems pretty clear.

http://wolframalpha.com/input/?i=solve+T%3De%5E%2820.3444p%5E3%2B3%29-e%5E3+for+p

and a log plot of the function:

http://wolframalpha.com/input/?i=log+plot+x%3De%5E%2820.3444y%5E3%2B3%29-e%5E3+from+0.01+to+1.00

A 3rd root seems pretty clear? Wish I'd had that excuse when I was sitting exams - you could argue for full marks every time! The fact is that the equation doesn't show a 3rd root - so it's wrong. Also - finding the amount to subtract from an arbitrary variable is not the same as the inverse of a function. Inverse has a very specific meaning - in this case the inverse is the function I provided.
thejudgeofall

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

Code: Select all
import mathpercent = range(100)for i in range(100):  print(i+1, int(2012-(math.exp(20.3444*(percent[i]/100.0)**3+3)-math.exp(3))))

I wrote a little print statement in python. Didn't do anything cool with it
spilk

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### Re: 1017: "Backwards in Time"

If you're running a script on your computer to simulate the date regression in real time, I have a feeling things may go awry when you pass ~38.1638%
Pokit

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