austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Serious numbers are easy to please

Numbers have been used for things for thousands of years, longer if we count stopping for lunch. But surely the greatest breakthrough was when people started to use numbers for numbers, instead of the other way around. So let's take a chance to review some interesting and quirky facts about various numbers and avoid the people who make a big fuss about the difference between numbers and numerals.

-20. This the so-called ``ambiguous point'', as for negative numbers less than this, it's clear that ``becoming bigger'' means a more negative number; while for numbers greater than this, ``becoming bigger'' might mean becoming more negative or more positive depending on just how quarrelsome the person you're trying to speak with is being.

And for the rest I do commend you to my humor blog, where besides the completion of this essay, there's some stray daily short pieces like my thoughts about Invisible Man fan art, or why it is computers get punched, or Robert Benchley's fine essay about watching baseball. And there's the last clock to get Daylight Saving Time.

Trivia: Four percent of clothes in the United States and Europe were made of cotton in 1793. A century later it was about 73 percent Source: Big Cotton: How a Humble Fiber Created Fortunes, Wrecked Civilizations, and Put America on the Map, Stephen Yafa.

Currently Reading: India: A History, John Keay.

Tags: humor
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