By the Numbers

I almost titled this one “8y 7h3 Numb3r5”, but then I remem­bered how much I hate 1337speak.

So. I went for a bike ride tonight, a nice lit­tle jaunt that took me in a big cir­cle (well, a square) (well, a poly­gon of some kind) from my place down to 34th street, then south and east to the mall, then north to Park Ave, west down to 22nd, and then a straight shot north back to my house.

Some Num­bers
Num­ber of min­utes I was on my bike: 30.
Active heart rate at the end of my ride: 108bpm.
Num­ber of small white dogs that I almost ran over: one.*
Num­ber of big white vans that almost ran me over: one.**
Num­ber of cars with loud “muf­flers” that spat par­tial­ly-unburned gaso­line into the air at $1.039/litre***: two.
Amount of phys­i­cal work that I did: a big fat zero.****


* He was curi­ous, and his own­er had his leash payed out a lit­tle too far, and she (his own­er) did­n’t see me com­ing. I man­aged to slide under some wil­low branch­es, off the trail, so as not to crush the poor wee beastie.
** It was in the for­mer Wal-Mart park­ing lot. I imag­ine traf­fic’s a lit­tle light there these days. I had right-of-way, and he was coast­ing through a stop sign. I don’t know if he did­n’t see me, or if he did see me but is in pos­ses­sion of a brain with pow­er enough to run a chip­munk or some­thing, but the end result is, I braked, he braked (even­tu­al­ly), and I con­tin­ued, unscathed but with pound­ing heart.
*** That’s a bit over four bucks a gal­lon, for all y’all Amer­i­cans out there.
**** By def­i­n­i­tion, in physics, W=mad (work = mass × accel­er­a­tion × dis­place­ment), and is a vec­tor. So, since I start out and end up at the same place, the d term is 0, and so the whole equa­tion sorts out to noth­ing. (So, if I’d set up house­keep­ing, say, down at the mall, my phys­i­cal work would have been some non-zero val­ue. But then I’d have had to write out all kinds of change-of-address cards, and explain things to my wife, who is fine with my geek­ery in a the­o­ret­i­cal kind of way, but prob­a­bly not quite so under­stand­ing as to move just to set­tle a point. So… zero work done tonight.)

Mind you, I was born in Win­nipeg, and that’s two hun­dred kilo­me­ters away. a = v/t = d/t2, and d is 200,000 meters, and… oh crap, t=~1,000,000,000s, square that, and divide by it… The work done in get­ting from there to here, over the course of my life, is, shall we say, negligible.

Oh well.

And yes. I know I’m a geek. Oh yes, how I know it.

3 thoughts on “By the Numbers

  1. Do you read any Cory Doc­torow? 0wnz0red, in his short sto­ry col­lec­tion, is one long leet joke. (But did­n’t Stephen­son start things, at least in the SF world, with the Da5id char­ac­ter in Snowcrash?)

    Dumb in-jokes are not fun­ny. Even clever in-jokes — ya got­ta think twice, because for every­one who laughs, three or four will be scratch­ing their heads or get­ting pissed off.

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