Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thrice Strange


So Tillerman, how was your boat? Last time we heard from you, you had a strange sinking feeling that your boat had been damaged in the storm last weekend, and you were heading down to Newport to check it out. What happened?

Thanks for asking, dude. I went down to Fort Adams, home of the 34th America's Cup, yesterday morning. As far as I could see, my Laser had not blown off its dolly and there was no damage of any kind. I walked around the boat park and checked all the other Lasers and couldn't see any that were injured. So that's good.

Then, as I was in Newport anyway, I went for my morning run at Brenton Point. I always enjoy running by the ocean. Then back to Tiverton, a bit of yard work in the afternoon, and a glass of wine on the deck with Tillerwoman as we watched a gorgeous sunset.

That's good Tillerman. I'm glad your boat is OK. But this is a bit of a boring post so far. I thought you had taken on the challenge of writing a "strange" post every day this month? This post isn't strange at all.

Yes it is, possum. Didn't you see the title? Thrice Strange. This post is strange in three ways.

Sorry Tillerman, I just don't see it.

I know you don't, mon petit chou. But I didn't say every post would actually be strange. I just said it would be on the theme of STRANGE. The mere fact that we are discussing whether this post is strange or not means that I have written a post that has a theme about strangeness. That's the first reason.

Hmmm. So you say you can write a boring post and then argue with me when I say it's not strange and that makes it strange? That's a stretch Tillerman.

Thanks honey bunny. I like to stretch. And the second reason this post is strange is analogous to the famous proof about why every number is interesting.

Whaaaaaaaaaaaat?

Surely you've heard of it boo boo. You know....
0 is the additive identity.
1 is the multiplicative identity.
2 is the only even prime.
3 is the number of spatial dimensions we live in.
4 is the smallest number of colors sufficient to color all planar maps.
5 is the number of Platonic solids.
6 is the smallest perfect number.
7 is the smallest number of sides of a regular polygon that is not constructable by straightedge and compass.

And so on.... every number has something interesting about it.

Stop! This is too much like high school math. I though this was a sailing blog.

Relax big boy. I'm just trying to make the point that every number is interesting.

That's nonsense Tillerman. Even a geek like you must realize that sooner or later you will get to a number that is dull, one you can't find anything interesting to say about at all.

Quite right freckles. But that would make it the SMALLEST DULL NUMBER!!! Isn't that interesting? So then it would be a VERY interesting number. Don't you agree?

But Tillerman, what about the the next dull number?

Well cupcake, now THAT number must be the smallest dull number. So it's interesting too. And so on.... ad infinitum. So every number is interesting.

Wait. What does this have to do with why this post is strange?

Don't you get it squire? If this is the first post this month that isn't strange, then isn't that very strange? Isn't it also strange that we are the only ones discussing this?

I'm still not convinced, Tillerman. Your first and second reasons seem to depend on this post not being strange in order to prove that it is strange.

Well, that is strange I agree, you little stud muffin. But, I think my third reason will convince you.

(Yawn.) Let's hear it then Tillerman.


I've been talking to myself for the last 644 words.

OK, I concede. You are right. You are very strange

9 comments:

BeachComber said...

Far out, Tillerman! You blow my mind...

Carol Anne said...

As I've said before, you may be the only single-handed sailor in the world who has a problem with communication between the helmsperson and the crew.

O Docker said...

I'll bet through all of those years you spent in boring math classes learning about prime numbers, perfect numbers, platonic solids, and all of those other terms that only math majors understand, you never imagined that some day you would actually be able to put that knowledge to practical use to write a blog post that only a math major could understand.

Tillerman said...

It's worse than that O Docker.

When I was a kid I used to borrow books from the library on subjects like why every number is interesting, infinite series and the four-color problem. I was fascinated by all that kind of thing... and still am. This isn't stuff I learned at school; it's stuff I read for fun 50 years ago and still remember.

And yet I am not a "math major" (translating that term to the British education system of which I am a proud product.) And by the way, I never found math classes boring; it was one of my favorite subjects.

O Docker said...

That's very impressive. By now, you must owe a fortune in fines on those library books.

Pat said...

Could another way to say it be that three is the number of dimensions of which most of us are aware?


i think we once had a cat who partook of dimensions unknown to us. Yes, Tres was a strange cat. Of course the name "Tres" perhaps only referred to the part of him that we mere humans could experience.

Capt. Puffy said...

String theory anyone? I like the idea of 10 dimensions, three seems so limiting. The idea of the fundamental strings having their own specific resonance or harmonics, together with the ideas of positive visualization and how that relates to vibrations is enough to make you go hmmm.

Tim said...

I can't believe I actually read all that.

Tillerman said...

I don't believe you, either.

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