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April 7, 2002
105.7, 98.9, 88.7, 101.5, 103.3, 94.5, 107.5
Some people refuse to believe that an aging Kombi van is capable of driving next door, let alone a return journey of 2,000 kms.
But not only did my Kombi get me home, it also managed the return leg of the journey carrying the additional weight of 28 New Yorkers, a whole pile of books and a notebook protector. And it did so in great style: timeless, classic style. And it did so with speed: timeless, classic, barely adequate amounts of speed.
Somehow in the last ten days I seem to have purchased 46 books. By a curious mathematical coincidence, there were 36 emails were waiting for me when I got back home. 46 and 36 ... these are different numbers. I'm not much of a mathematician, but how likely is that?
Numbers have been on my mind all day, as I tried to listen to JJJ all the way to Melbourne. In Sydney Triple J is broadcast on 105.7, but on the way south its frequency keeps changing, and it becomes hard to follow. There are also gaps in the reception, owing to Australia being quite large. There are numbers available to express Australia's size, which is fortunate, but not for me. As a mathematician, I'm the kind who stands in a deserted stretch of country, pointing to the vastness. As I've often said, binomial equations and parabolic functions are all very well, but sometimes it's much, much easier to point.
Anyway, to get back to the long drive in an old car with a dodgy radio, when I couldn't find JJJ, I had to endure the horror of country radio stations.
What astounds me most about them is their advertising, which appears to have been inspired by Stone Age ideas about hitting other people in the head. Country ads tend to assume that the listener doesn't know anything about anything, and is also deaf. So there's a lot of shouting, and a huge amount of repetition. Initially I listened with great hilarity to men with loud voices yelling about such-and-such a shop in the main street of Benalla, and then I turned the radio off and devoted a moment's silence to the victims of demented, evil advertising.
One last mathematical postscript: 46 books in ten days is an average of 4.6 a day. Yep, that's going to be a tricky number to make snappy jokes about.
So what about this: add up 105.7, 98.9, 88.7, 101.5, 103.3, 94.5 and 107.5. This gives 700.1. Now for the incredible coincidence: this is also a tricky number to make snappy jokes about.Posted by Sean Hegarty at 04:26 PM in the Kombi vans category | Comments (0)
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