EDitorial ± 21-Jan-2004

Ascending Numerical Order

Think I'm right in saying that the two schoolies spend a certain amount of time every day concentrating on two-thirds of the three Rs, reading and reckoning, at their walking-distance places of learning. These periods are known as literacy hour and numeracy hour. It's rumoured that there are after-school clubs dealing with such disparate subjects as self-esteem, fine foods and alien encounters, known as adequacy, delicacy and conspiracy hours.

Hear about the US comedy film soon to hit these shores about two dopey anaesthetists? It's called, wait for it, Numb And Number!

Living by numbers
Adding to history
And living by numbers
I guess was always meant to be
— New Musik, Living By Numbers (1980)

Choose a different combination each time. Choose Lucky Dip. Choose a new newsagent. Choose primes.

Hugely significant arithmetical quantities this week:

  • 2 – wheels became none en route to work last Thursday when I failed to spot a patch of ice and ripped open the left knee of my nearly new Gap trousers
  • 6 – goals scored by ITFC on Saturday compared to Crewe's four; many thanks to Bill for his stamina-sapping texting every time a goal was scored
  • 8 – points scored by BT Defiants ping-pong team on Monday night down at Trimley: two each to Alec and me, and three, count 'em, to Andy
  • 10 – episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm taped back-to-back from BBC4 recently
  • 20 – percentage of my dentist's patients who decline a pain-numbing injection; I am 1-in-5
  • x – age of She Who Must Be Obeyed this coming Sunday
  • 60 – months elapsed between losing filling and having it filled yesterday
  • 70 – issues to collect in latest part-work to hit the shelves, Locomotives Of The World
  • 128 – minimum RAM required to run Mac OS X 10.3, aka Panther, on my old iMac; what a shame I've just got 96 and that it took me two hours to find out
  • 512 – maximum speed in K of my whizzy new broadbean connection

If You Take Away With You Nothing Else

Three, two, one:

  • zero tolerance: 'scuse me, I think you dropped this wrapper
  • zero, the book: Charles Seife or Robert Kaplan?
  • less than zero: Mr Downey Jr and Mr Spader, together

Be seeing you!