November 11th, 2005

Sydney Harbour, constructed - short hair

Another Reason to love the Internet (& blog comment threads ... or BBSs)

Scott H ::: November 10, 2005, 06:15 PM:
My favorite prime number is 4.

Now, I'm sure there are some of you out there who are on the verge of pointing out that 4 isn't prime, but I must respectfully submit that you're full of crap.


1. Consider my dog Mooky Scoots. Dogs, as we all know, have two legs in the back and forelegs in the front. 2+4 = 6.
2. Six is an even number in that it is divisible by two with no remainder. However, I think we're all in agreement that 6 is also a very odd number of legs for a dog.
3. The only number that is both even and odd is infinity. Therefore, by 1 & 2, Mooky has an infinite number of legs.
4. By definition, a prime number is one that is divisible only by one and itself. Because infinity is both even and odd, it can necessarily only be divided by one and itself. It is therefore prime.
5. However, it's easy to show that my dog has only four legs. Q.E.D. here. (Mook is middle right).
6. Therefore, 4==infinity. Because infinity is prime, four is also prime.

Xopher (Christopher Hatton) :::: November 10, 2005, 06:46 PM:
A cute puppy, but I dispute that this photograph by itself proves that your dog has only four legs. For one thing, and not to accuse you of anything, additional legs could have been PhotoShopped out.

But even assuming that it's an unaltered photograph (and we're way into woo-woo land by assuming that) additional legs could be tucked behind the body of the (admittedly adorable) pooch, or even (if small enough) hidden in Mookyums' (sorry, having a Cute attack) fur.

Not to get too metaphysical, but since you attest at (3) that Mooky has an infinite number of legs, it is easy to demonstrate that that many legs could not possibly be simultaneously visible in a photograph; either they would be too small to see (infinitely small, in fact) or the photograph would have to be infinitely large (in fact at least infinity * (minimum visible size of a leg) large) to show them all.

Therefore, QED, some of Mooky's legs are not visible in that finite-sized photograph. But four legs are clearly visible, which in fact proves that Mooky's number of legs is not 4!
flora epacris

Armistice Day


I found him in the guard-room at the Base.
From the blind darkness I had heard his crying
And blundered in. With puzzled, patient face
A sergeant watched him; it was no good trying
To stop it; for he howled and beat his chest.
And, all because his brother had gone west,
Raved at the bleeding war; his rampant grief
Moaned, shouted, sobbed, and choked, while he was kneeling
Half-naked on the floor. In my belief
Such men have lost all patriotic feeling.

- Siegfried Sassoon

From First World War Poetry Site

Sassoon's Declaration against the War

"I am making this statement as an act of wilful defiance of military authority, because I believe that the War is being deliberately prolonged by those who have the power to end it. I am a soldier, convinced that I am acting on behalf of soldiers. I believe that this War, on which I entered as a war of defence and liberation, has now become a war of aggression and conquest. I believe that the purpose for which I and my fellow soldiers entered upon this war should have been so clearly stated as to have made it impossible to change them, and that, had this been done, the objects which actuated us would now be attainable by negotiation. I have seen and endured the sufferings of the troops, and I can no longer be a party to prolong these sufferings for ends which I believe to be evil and unjust. I am not protesting against the conduct of the war, but against the political errors and insincerities for which the fighting men are being sacrificed. On behalf of those who are suffering now I make this protest against the deception which is being practised on them; also I believe that I may help to destroy the callous complacency with which the majority of those at home regard the contrivance of agonies which they do not, and which they have not sufficient imagination to realize".

    The War Poets, Robert Giddings (Bloomsbury, 1990), p.111

There are poets even now, today speaking about war and the individual cost of war. I invite you to take a look at