Monday, 17 October 2011

Post #100: Really, Honestly, I Did the Maths

"And so we reach a milestone: this is the one-hundredth post on Thus Spake the Mighty Wha-keem. That is, with this post I have written one-hundred posts since I started posting back in May of 2009, and I am obviously still at it."

If I had written those two lines today, all would have been well. Unfortunately they were written at the end of March this year in the erroneous faux "Post #100: Or, When Is a Q a 9?"; the content of which I am still rather pleased with, despite its flawed basic numerical premise. While I did not notice the error until May, when I dutifully reported it in my summary of my second year as a blogger, I will say in my defence that I had already managed to, quite unintentionally, and most certainly ironically, include the line "I am neither turning into a mathematician nor a numerologist," in the post itself. Obviously, I knew what I was talking about.

Nevertheless, here we are. Again. For the first time.

It would seem appropriate to talk about numerical things yet again, but racking my brain seems to yield no fruitful results. Titles fly past my mind's eye: Gabriel García Márquez' One Hundred Years of Solitude, which I am sad to say I have yet to read (although, am simultaneously happy that I have yet to read; go figure!); Brian Azzarello's 100 Bullets, a Vertigo series I have not read either (although I am thinking of picking up now as the whole series is starting to be collected in nice hardcover editions); Numb3rs, a TV series of which I have seen and enjoyed at least the first two seasons (although not to the degree that I really feel I want to write about it at any greater length here). So... what then?

Well, while I have not yet had a chance to read it, I did recently pick up a book that not only seems very interesting, but also fits the criteria to be mentioned here: Alex Bellos' Alex's Adventures in Numberland. This is a book about mathematics, (at the very least seemingly) written to gain the discipline more fans; or perhaps it is more of a love letter for us non-mathematicians to better understand the beauty of numbers. I guess I will know for sure when I get the time to read the book.

And while we are at it... I would also like to recommend a very good film that also seems appropriate (and which I incidentally have not seen in a day and an age myself): Darren Aronofsky's early and weird b&w gem Pi. This film is all about mathematics and numerology, and the greater mysteries of the universe hidden in the endless string of post-decimal-point numbers in the mathematical constant that the Greek letter π (i.e. pi) symbolises. Well worth watching, albeit certainly not for everyone's pallet.

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