Thursday 6 March 2008

Cyclical numbers and other odd thoughts, thunk when on the toilet

The really only quiet place in our house is to be found, to be blunt, while sat upon the throne. The strains of the latest growl and grind from Slipknot are a muted rumble. The vagaries of paint color charts and carpet swatches have been left with the better half in the sitting room. Revising the minutes of the latest Operations planning meeting are a forgotten irritation. One's mind can mull over the really important things in life.

It was during one of these contemplative sittings I remembered a fact I got from my father on evening in the gathering dusk of a Sea Trout fishing expedition. The number 142857 is a cyclical number. One of those odd facts that should have a really impressive names like the Bose-Finklestien-O'Malley number, but hasn't well not unless you tell me otherwise. It is cyclical because if you multiple it by any number from 2-6 (and 1 of course) you get the same numbers
in a different order.

142857 * 2 = 285714
142857 * 3 = 428571
142857 * 4 = 571428
142857 * 5 = 714285
142857 * 6 = 857142

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm why isn't that useful?

That and a jiffy is actually a measurement of time ('cept is means different things to different folks) in the same way nothing exists smaller than a Planck length, nothing exists between the Jiffy 'ticks'. The smallest possible 'piece' of reality obtainable. So when someone says they will be "done in a jiffy" they can't actually do it.. cos nothing happens in a jiffy tick.... which since nothing ever happens in Lisnagunogue perhaps in needs to be renamed to be a Lisnagunogue?

....and if there is say a 20 year gap between generations... in the last 1000 years there have been approx 50 generations the number of people required for you to have been concieved is the good old 2,4,8,16,32,64,128... so 50 generations there were 2^50 =1,125,899,906,842,624 people that had to "make a baby" in that 50th generation or 562,949,953,421,312 nights of passion in that 20 years for that generation... which is around 77,116,431,975 .. errr.. productive sessions per day for that 50th generation. 77 BILLION per DAY.

Now i am told that making love burns around 100 calories for each partner (more if you have to get into and out of the wet suit) so that is approximately 112,589,990,684,262,400 calories
1 calorie = 4.184 joules which means 471,076,521,022,953,881.6 joules which is 471 Petajoules of bump and grind just in that 20 year period of the 50th generation.
Kinda puts your existence in perspective don't it?

Time for bed.

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