Words on Numbers

This may be my last entry…

As you may have seen, yesterday’s entry was 60 words long. It may seem like a bit of a weird figure – why not 50 like all the other folks? Well, every entry I write has, by design, contains at least 11 words without anything else happening:

“This may be my last entry…
Thanks for reading, now <extra word>”

Technically this means I get a maximum of 49 words to do 50 word posts – at first glance, 61 seems an ugly number and my sign off usually takes more than one word to finish. So:

  1. Why not use 61 – It’s just as arbitrary as 50?
  2. Why even bother with 50 word posts anyway?

Yeah, why not use 61? I think I prefer it! Actually, I hereby commit myself to that number. It’s a great number – it’s a prime number and is the sum of two square numbers (5 and 6) and most importantly it’s a Keith number! For those of you that don’t know what one of those is, there’s a complex formula to describe them but essentially: Take a number (e.g. our friend 61) and add the component digits together:

6+1=7

Now drop the first number and add the second number and the answer you just got together:

1+7=8

Repeat the process and eventually you find that the numbers add together to give you your original number:

7+8=15
8+15=23
15+23=38
23+38=61 – magic eh?

There aren’t many of these suckers. In fact, there are only 84 of them with less than 26 digits which is far fewer than prime numbers!

That all makes me immensely happy.

Why bother with ’50’ word posts? It’s a way to control my rambling and expand on my ‘no news’ posts. From this point on I promise to write no less than 50 words excluding my sign-on and sign-off. This will allow me to have a bit of a life away from the keyboard without the need to step away from writing. It’s important. I suppose it will also give me a chance to experiment in short-form writing with a (hopefully) decent pay off.

Look at that, I haven’t even left the starting blocks yet and already I am writing about writing. Speaking of which…

Another of my hopes is that I can find the time and discipline to do a few more long-form entries. I suppose I should have an upper word-count limit – 661 perhaps? That seems to have a ring to it, let’s do the maths:

6+6+1=13
6+1+13=20
1+13+20=34
13+20+34=67
20+34+67=121
34+67+121=222
67+121+222=410
121+222+410=864

Dammit! Well, at least it’s a prime.

Thanks for reading, now hand me that calculator, I’ve got some Keith spotting to do.

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