Friday, June 27, 2008

Number series

Mathematicians (obviously) love playing with numbers. One of the games they come up with are series, where a particular sequence of numbers makes an interesting pattern (interesting if you're a mathematician*, any way).

An example of a series is the Fibonacci numbers. Each number in the sequence is the sum of the last two numbers. For example, in the following sequence ...
1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 ...
... 2 is the sum of 1 and 1, 3 is the sum of 2 and 1, 5 is the sum of 3 and 2, etc. This is known as the Fibonacci series, after the Fibonacci brothers (famous Mathematicians, if you have an open-minded definition of the word "famous").

Here's another series that we've just had confirmed yesterday:
1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
These are the Amendments in the Bill of Rights, as proposed by the ACLU (a civil liberties group, if you have an open-minded definition of the term "civil liberty"):

Heller: a bit of a constitutional straightjacket for our elected leaders:

"he [sic] Court was careful to note that the right to bear arms is not absolute and can be subject to reasonable regulation. Yet, by concluding that D.C.'s gun control law was unreasonable and thus invalid, the Court placed a constitutional limit on gun control legislation that had not existed prior to its decision in Heller. It is too early to know how much of a constitutional straitjacket the new rule will create."

Sheesh. Since when has the ACLU worried about "constitutional straightjackets" constraining the government? Oh, wait ...

*Want to know if you could be a mathematician? Want to impress your friends? Attract girls (OK, maybe not that, unless they're mathematicians, too)? Try the Number Series Contest!

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