Blonde moment

And the silver spoon.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Thoughts on numbers…

I like thinking about numbers. If I have trouble sleeping at night, I start listing off prime numbers, or performing prime factorizations on numbers or some such mental activity. Once upon a time when I was taking Economics Senior Seminar, I sat in a room with 9 men in their early 20’s and King Banaian . King was leading a discussion on how to break through a forecasting slump. He offered that he played some solitaire on his computer. The others shared their computer game of choice in turn. And, I was then asked, “So, Liz, what computer game do you play when you are stuck?” I didn’t play computer games at the time, having spent the ages of 8 to 21 without a computer in my house, and never having owned a Nintendo or the like. I thought this would be enough of an explanation, but I was to share how I broke through my slumps. There are certain things one does not fess up to in front of adults… coloring… and I was not only going to have to explain that I colored, but that I colored squares in graph paper (and still do on occasion).

Since my coloring habit was not interesting enough for further elaboration, I did not have to explain what it is I color… I color patterns around function lines. I am particularly fascinated by sine functions and cubic functions, but I find most patterns comforting and mind clearing. (By the way, the position my wedding band is welded to my engagement ring has the stones in what is pretty darned close to the function f(x) = x^(1/-3) where my center piece stone is the origin. This was not intentional on the part of the jeweler, rather a fascinating little discovery I made about two months after the wedding.)

My dad, sister, and I were talking about number theory on the drive down to Thanksgiving dinner. I am certainly not advanced enough in math to fully appreciate the beauty of integers, but I like really neat patterns and I know enough to ask questions that will clarify things enough for me.

Anyway, why am I typing about numbers today? Well, I’m waiting to see if Josh will show up on-line, and I’ve been having trouble breathing the last couple of days, so I’m trying to calm that down before I start my chores. But it’s that time of year when I put on Handel’s “Messiah,” and listen through it. Handel gets me thinking about other Baroque pieces. My sister, Becky, has no idea why it is I like Baroque music so much. Her saying is, “If it’s Baroque, don’t play it.” I can listen to any Baroque piece for hours on end and never hear the same thing twice. Numbers are beautiful.


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