Ben Langhinrichs

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October, 2005
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Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.


Wed 12 Oct 2005, 05:38 PM
In our family, I do the cooking, and since I do the cooking, I do the grocery shopping.  (This is my wife's logic, and it doesn't quite make sense to me, but she's the smart one in the family, so I'll trust her)  

Anyway, our grocery store has the very civilized system of hanging a number on your cart, giving you the matching number, then loading your groceries for you when you drive up to the door.  It makes me happy, but it leaves my mind restless, so I developed a game for myself years ago.  When I get a number, I try to make it into a prime number, a square, a cube and sometimes even a power of four, using any base I like for each one, all before I get out to the car.  Usually, I take whatever number the person gives me, but if nobody is close by, you can pick out your own number (trust me, kids love this), so I get a chance to "game the system", as it were.

Today was one of those days, and I'm ashamed to admit, I picked sixteen.  I had 4 squared (Base 10), 2 to the 4th (Base 10) and a prime (Base 7) before I left the door.  By the time I stepped off the sidewalk, I had 3 cubed (Base 21).   But hey, it's been a long week.  I deserve a break, right?

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