Have you ever wondered if that hypnotic bouncing and color-changing DVD logo has ever hit a corner? The answer is yes, it has, but the answer is complicated. The Lost Math Lessons blog did the math and explained how the logo seems to ricochet off the edge of the screen. To figure out when the logo hits the corner, they devised a mathematical equation.
“Sure enough, we observe that the logo hits the top and bottom walls at every multiple of 8 (d = 8, 16, and 24) and the left and right walls at every multiple of 12 (d = 12 and 24), and the logo hits its first corner at d = 24,” they wrote. “This means that the time it takes for a bouncing logo to cycle through one corner to the next can be calculated with five variables: The time it takes for it to move across one width of the screen, the screen height, the screen width, the logo height, and the logo width.”
For the experiment, they used the cold open from The Office’s 2007’s episode “Launch Party,” in which the Dunder Mifflin gang watches the DVD logo bounce around a TV screen instead of listening to Michael Scott’s speech.
“We can calculate that it takes six seconds for the bouncing DVD logo to go one width of the screen, and if the TV screen is 800 x 600 pixels, the logo is about 140 x 140 pixels … In other words, the DVD logo will hit a corner of the television screen every 2 minutes and 18 seconds.” But according to their chart, if the logo size is 141 x 141, the cycle takes 45 minutes and 54 seconds, and if the logo size is 144 x 144, it takes 5 minutes and 42 seconds.
However, in 2008 a group of guys had a couple of beers and watched the logo bounce around the screen long enough to conclude that the logo hits the corner every three and a half minutes. (It does depend on the width and height of your screen.)
The bouncing logo has become somewhat of an obsession with people. On YouTube, FlareTV began live streaming a bouncing DVD logo in January 2019, and continued broadcasting it for the entire year, allowing viewers to witness thousands of corner hits. (They describe a corner hit as “when the logo hits the corner perfectly, touching two walls at the same time.”) The users estimate a corner hit happens every 500 to 600 wall hits, or approximately 550 bounces.
Just as fanatical is BouncingDVDLogo.com—an entire website dedicated to the now-iconic graphic, which is somewhat soothing to watch. Do some people have too much time on their hands? Probably. But based on the millions of views these videos have received, it’s clear that plenty of people have been serious about finding out the answer.
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