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The Happening (2008)
M. Night Shyamalan (writer and director)

Contributed by Vijay Fafat

John Leguizamo's character is a math professor who keeps using uplifting percentage statistics to cheer up. At one point, he asks a panick-stricken woman the question, "if I give you a penny the first day, 2 pennnies the day after, 4 pennnies after that and keep doubling for a month, how much money will I have paid you?". The woman guesses 2-3 times ranging from a dollar to 30 dollars before the professor gives her the answer of "more than 10 million dollars", a figure easily verifiable (Since the answer X = 2^30-1 or abut 2^30 pennies, if you approximate log(10) = 0.3, you get log(X) about 30*0.3 = 9, giving X = a billion pennies, equalling 10 million dollars)

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Works Similar to The Happening
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. You Don't Scare Me by John Farris
  2. Threshold by Bragi F. Schut / Brannon Braga / David S. Goyer / Dan O'Shannon
  3. Nightscape: The Dreams of Devils by David W. Edwards
  4. Excision by Richard Bates Jr (Director and Screenwriter)
  5. The Integral: A Horror Story by Colin Adams
  6. The Object by Alex Kasman
  7. The Book of Irrational Numbers by Michael Marshall Smith
  8. The Perfect Spiral by Jason Hornsby
  9. Immortal Bird by H. Russell Wakefield
  10. The Judge's House by Bram Stoker
Ratings for The Happening:
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Mathematical Content:
1/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
2/5 (1 votes)


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