Thursday, January 21, 2010

Failing Math

I’ve always liked working with numbers. There’s something comforting about their consistency. Working with formulas, statistics, logarithms and elaborately developed function tables – it just doesn’t get much better than that for a good time.

Some numbers are more fun than others. Take the number 60 for example. I remember driving 60 mph the first time – no problem. Even my 60th birthday came and went without fear. 60 is a passing grade – I needed that a few times. 60% cacao is the beginning of good chocolate. Don’t forget 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour and 60 Democrats in the Senate – very reliable and comforting.

On the other hand, numbers like 59 or 41 can be scary. They’re both odd, they don’t have common digits or divisors and they don’t do anything – name one thing that goes with either 59 or 41. Did you ever see a 41 mph speed limit or 59 to a package of anything?

Perhaps I’m being too hard on 59 and 41 – they must have some purpose. Maybe the next few months will change my mind but for now I’m pretty skeptical that 59 and 41 will do anything good for us.

A. Reader


Virgil Hervey said...

It's funny how the Republicans are now saying that the people of Massachusetts have spoken for all of the country. Can you remember a time when they ever said that before? Didn't they used to say exactly the opposite?

Les Groby said...

The Coast Guard patrol boats on the Great Lakes are called 41s because they are 41 feet long. It is terrifying to be approached by these things while kayaking. They have no idea how to safely approach. They'll come roaring up right at you at high speed, then cut their thrust at the last second to avoid running you over.

Kay Reimers said...

Republicans are indeed saying the people of Massachusetts speak for the entire country. In response I have two words, Mike Dukakis.