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"It was most likely an epileptic seizure." That is what the Wyoming State Medical Board is saying of Beaver High School student *names protected* medical episode that occurred yesterday in front of his awestruck algebra 3 class.

****** and the rest of the class were given free time to complete their current assignment at the end of class. That is when ******, a normally quiet student, fell from his chair and began shaking violently on the floor of the classroom. In addition to the uncontrollable shaking he blurted out several obscenities that were apparently out of his control. A student seated close to ****** fainted from fear after ****** shouted cuss words at him and repeatedly shouted, "somebody set up us the bomb!"

The suspected cause of ******'s seizure was an unassuming TI-86 calculator that had been "overclocked" by his friends unbeknownst to him. "Overclocking" is the process of running processors - normally those found in computers, higher than their factory rated clock speed. According to ******'s friends they liked the idea and challenge of trying to do the same with something more difficult like a graphing calculator. Successful in their endeavor, his friends returned the calculator to ****** without informing him of the changes made to the device.

The overclocking of the TI-86 graphing calculator rendered its LCD screen unstable causing flicker and intermittent flashing which then sparked the seizure in ****** doctors believe.

The students responsible for the incident have apologized to ****** and his family and no charges have been filed at this time. ****** had no previous history of epilepsy or any other seizure disorder before this event.

Texas Instruments had no comment on the matter as of press time.

On any TI-83+ based caculator create a new program:

PrgmPUNKED
:ClrHome
:Lbl 1
:Input "", Str1
:Str1->Y1
:Disp Y1*.9
:Goto 1

This program, when run, will present the hapless user with a prompt identical to the home screen. However, all input is instead passed (in a roundabout sort of way) to the Y1 variable, where it is evaluated and stored. You can then do what you like with it. In the above example, the user receives the correct answer multipled by .9, this being set in line 5. Two plus two will be thus be evaluated as 3.6. Naturally, line 5 could be changed to do all manner of things (random numbers, pi every time, etc.)

If you are feeling in an exceptionally cruel mood, merely set PrgmPUNKED to run on startup (using the TI Startup app), sit back, and quietly honk in amusement as the victim's calculator gives them very slightly wrong answers. I once performed this very atrocity on my innocent unsuspecting calculus teacher, on an overhead projected TI-84+SE no less. She figured it out with admirable rapidity (after all, she does teach calculus), but for roughly five minutes of class time I had to fight to keep a straight face as her calculations failed to match the answer key. She was a good sport, thankfully.


note: while not technically hurtful in a physical sense, some very real academic damage could be done to someone if one were so heartless as to do this just before a major test or exam. I deny all responsibility for any pain and suffering inflicted with this method.

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