Tom Sloan Cartoon: Numbers Don’t Lie

Written by Tom Sloan

Numbers don’t lie, people do. See how eight 8’s can add up to 1,000, and check out more number games from cartoonist Tom Sloan. — People always say “numbers don’t lie.” Maybe numbers don’t, but people sure do. It’s easy to manipulate numbers to work out the way you want. Almost everything you buy is priced something like $2.99. Not $3.00. Only one cent less but in your mind it looks like a dollar less.

Here’s a good one: How do you add eight 8’s together to add up to exactly 1,000? Answer after the fold. And see the comic below — I’m hungry and can eat about as much as my mind will allow.

Cartoon by Tom Sloan

Cartoon by Tom Sloan

 Number Games

In 1954, Darrell Huff wrote a book entitled “How to Lie with Statistics.” He had the right idea.

Take a half. Is a glass half empty or half full? Same number different ways — 50 percent, half, .5, 1/2 — but two different meanings.

A candy bar label will lead you to believe it has only 90 calories. Great, except when you read the label closely, that candy bar is actually two servings. Naturally you eat the whole thing, consuming 180 calories.

The weatherman on TV says there is a 50 percent chance of rain. Does that mean the entire viewing area has an equal chance of having rain or not having rain? Or does it mean half the area will get rain for sure and the other half won’t at all? Both scenarios are 50/50.

Oh, to satisfy that burning desire about the eight 8’s: 888+88+8+8+8=1,000.

So, in conclusion, remember the second greatest math formula of all time: 2X = 2 x X.

For, I’m Tom Sloan.

Tom Sloan has drawn cartoons and illustrations for numerous publications — including the original BYTE magazine. Not limited to print, Tom’s cartoons and collages are displayed in museums and galleries throughout the United States. He’s also an accomplished animator. He’s created animations for such as clients Sesame Street, HBO, Nickelodeon, Captain Kangaroo, Romper Room, Burger King and McDonalds.