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June 18, 2005

Volume 2, Issue 18

Just for today, pretend you are a mathematician.

What are the recurring numbers in your life?

How do they cypher?

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Michele: Digitopolis

Sleep holds the answers to the problems I work on during the day. It’s just a matter of catching them.

In my dreams, the numbers have legs and arms; they tease and run. They have names, like Goldbach, Riemann and Poincaré and they carry all the answers with them. I follow them into mazes of pipes and ducts, but my legs always stop working just as they are in reach, and I go deaf just as they laughingly shout their solutions.

One night they will let me hear. And I will be the next math hero.

I need more sleep.

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Tanya: Coincidence

She called them twenty-threes. The way you read something new, and then five people mention it in the next two days. The way you think of someone, and suddenly see their name everywhere you look.

She called them that because she used to see the number 23 everywhere. She'd hear it in TV shows and movies all the time, and it was always 23 minutes past when she checked the clock. Then I started seeing it too.

Anyway, I don't remember how it originally came up, but I've always remembered, because it was my 23rd birthday when she told me.

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Ted: The Route

I get up at six to make my twenty-six mile commute on I-4 in just under 60 minutes. (96)

Then I work on job number 9803 for three hours, then reset job 7796 for five. I take one hour for a lunch that costs 7 dollars.

I return home on the same route only stopping for groceries. (129)

I pull up in the driveway to greet my two kids, three cats, wife, and dog. (7)

Every morning I do the math, and every evening I come to the same conclusion.

17840 < 7

Yup, seven is a magic number.

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From the Comments: Shawn

Each calculation was one more piece to the puzzle, one more number in the combination sequence.

I studied with the best for years, honing my math skills. I took on the most difficult theorems. Every stroke of the chalk on slate was like an instrument in the orchestra and every formula was a symphony with me as the conductor.

Now, after all this time, after years of moving forward and stepping back, I was so close to the answer. One last calculation and...eureka!

So that's how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll pop.

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Stacy: Rocket Man


Nine years of training, I finally get to go up.


Not my favorite crew ever. Hope I can stand them without wanting to jump out the airlock.


Really hate that physicist from Italy. Arrogant prick.


The pilot's cute, it'll be nice to have a woman around this trip.


Four hundred-something experiments in three months. Christ, they think I'm a machine?


I wish my flight suit wasn’t bunched up like that.


No hold this time, we’re going up!


God, I’m going to miss the kids.


Did I leave the iron on?


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