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Posted By Peter Bentley
I received a long letter (on paper) from a reader in USA today. I looked him up online; an 80 year old who has served in the Air Force all over the world and now tutors in a university in Washington. Here is some of what he wrote (personal details and name removed). I wrote back thanking him for his nice words.

Dear Dr Bentley:

Your book The Book of Numbers (c) 2008 is one of the most fascinating books I have read recently,

Ever since my troubles with arithmetic throughout grade school I have been intrigued by numbers and how to use them... Continued work in college studies over many years led to becoming a tutor for those who were having trouble in mathematics from second grade through college algebra. presently I tutor Math (and other subject) to challenged students... and recognized by several teachers as "one of the best math tutors"; an acclamation I am quite proud of.

There have been many number "tricks" I have discovered to overcome a lack of memory for memorizing times tables and other rote memory requirements placed on students in the early days without calculators. these come quite in handy when tutoring students with math challenges today.

It was because of these early school challenges with arithmetic that helped turn me on to the need to investigate alternative methods of working with numbers. And taught me how mysterious and beautiful they are.

Your book has been quite intruiging. I am now looking forward to learning even more about numbers beyond ordinary arithmetic, algebra and geometry. Ev3en though one may not be able to comprehend numbers like Phi, Chi, Pi, i, e or c, there is still a possibility of learning how to use them.

Like Aristotle, who seems to have disbelieved the possibility of infinity, I am inclined to do the same yet I must recognize that somehow it, along with imaginary numbers do exist and can be used in equations in a finite world.

Thank you for your book. It is thoroughly enjoyed and I will have to peruse it often. It is my belief that someday some new "Einstein" will arise and complete (?) the work Einstein did. I believe the Unified Theory is still in the process of being proved.

A THOUGHT: What would happen if someone came up with a workable formula (even if not as simple as E=mc2) that may include most if not all of those special numbers such as Phi, Chi, Pi, i, e and c? Might it solve the enigma of the universe? Or, possibly if someone could create a Klein Bottle as we can a Mobius Circle would we be able to see a replica of space we could understand?

Sincerely [name removed] An inquisitive soul.

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