Sunday, October 14, 2012

!00th post1 sort of

This is supposed to be this blog's one hundredth post.  However, after deleting all the unpublished drafts, it turns out that this is only the 95th post.  But such a mistake plays nicely into:

Even Numbers

Why are even numbers so attractive and desirable?  In this context, I don't mean even as in "divisible by two," but any number that is "nice."  for instance 100 is a nice, even number.  But in the context of weeks, 7 might be considered an even number.  Hmm... maybe using even to describe 7 will be confusing.  I need a different name: maybe roundish?  K, let me start over:

Roundish Numbers

Why are roundish numbers so attractive and desirable?  When we're doing push-ups, why is the goal 25 or 50 or 100 (or 10 if you're as strong as me)?  Why don't we set out to do 38 or 99 or 57?  If you told someone you did 99 push-ups, they'd ask why you stopped.  Or that girl who set out to make 1000 paper cranes -- why 1000?  Why do I celebrate my 100th blog post as remarkable and not the 95th?  Why was breaking the 4 minute mile more remembered than the 3 minute 54 second mile?  And while we're on the subject, why is running a mile more notable than running 1.1 miles or 0.9?

Is there something intrinsic in push-ups that demands we do multiples of 5?  Is there a physical limit built in to the body that prevents it from running a mile in 240 seconds?

I've come up with several reasons why I think we like roundish numbers:

1. It looks nice (seeing the odometer roll over to 1,000,000 just looks fun)
2. Roundish numbers tend to have shorter names: one hundred, ten, one thousand, quarter century.
3. Math is a little easier on some roundish numbers.

The year is ending soon (we're in the 10th month), which means it will be time for people to start talking about resolutions.  I challenge you to make non-roundish resolutions.  Resolve to lose 3.4 lbs (or gain 7.6).  Resolve to run 0.4 miles every day.  Actually, instead of resolving to run 0.4 miles every day, pick a landmark and resolve to run to it and back -- don't bring the measurement into the resolution.  Celebrate someone being born on a day other than their birthday.  They're just as alive today as they will be then (although birthdays are actually tied to something real -- the position of the earth relative to the sun).

I don't think roundish numbers are bad (Remember, I celebrated my 10,000th day of mortal life.), I just think we shouldn't limit ourselves to them.

Printing from the bathroom

Right now, our printer is in the bathroom:


Earlier, Christy was blending tomato soup out in the garage.  The reason for both out-of-placements is simple: we're crazy.

And the blender and the printer are loud.  And Madeleine was sleeping last time we used both.

But mostly we're just a little insane.

2 comments:

More Bacon said...

I'm so ruled by roundish numbers. I want my nephews to be born on "nice" dates (one was born May 19 and I just hate that date! But I love the kid...).

I'll work on it.

And for what it's worth, I may be ruled by roundish numbers, but you are ruled by your baby.

Unknown said...

Roundish numbers are easier to remember. -- maybe that's just the result of reasons 1 & 2.