A mathematician, a physicist and an engineer were asked to answer the following question. A group of boys are lined up on one wall of a dance hall, and an equal number of girls are lined up on the opposite wall. Both groups are then instructed to advance toward each other by one quarter the distance separating them, every ten seconds (i.e., if they are distance d apart at time 0, they are d/2 at t=10, d/4 at t=20, d/8 at t=30, and so on.) When do they meet at the center of the dance hall? The mathematician said they would never actually meet because the series is infinite. The physicist said they would meet when time equals infinity. The engineer said that within one minute they would be close enough for all practical purposes.
Favourite blogs for A Liability
July 30, 2007
July 24, 2007
Everyone on the Tube is reading it. I mean everyone! What’s the big deal? It’s only a book isn’t it?
July 15, 2007
Well officially it was George’s birthday barbeque, but since it’s the closest I’m ever going to get now to a school reunion, I may as well call it that.
So it seems everyone is now working in various places along the M4 corridor, and almost everyone has ended up working in IT related jobs. Furthermore, everyone is looking to get themselves on the property ladder. In a way, I’m no different.
The highlight of the evening… well there wasn’t one as such, as everyone seems to have matured to the extent that alcohol-induced antics are becoming a thing of the past. But nevertheless it’s always good to cross paths again with those with whom we spent our childhood. Hopefully I can be less of a stranger to them from now on.
July 05, 2007
Any rational person in my situation would be asleep.
July 03, 2007
Really. No British interest after the second day. No competition in the men’s tournament because the identity of the winner was known 51 weeks ago. No play for three quarters of each day because it’s always raining. No five set matches finishing 19-17 in the fifth with both competitors drenched in sweat. No real upsets of the recognised pecking order. No timeless classic appearing in the tournament for the twentieth time.
Honestly, if I weren’t so sports-orientated, it would be easy to overlook the fact that it was happening this year at all.
July 02, 2007
It wasn’t my fault. Yes, I was caught holding the instrument and yes, i was at the scene of the misdemeanor when it was spotted. But that doesn’t mean it was me who was responsible. I was innocently doing my business in the wrong place at the wrong time. I hope you realise this. I hope that when the dust settles you recognise that you’ve got the wrong man here. I’ll take it on the chin and know better next time. But the real culprit is still laughing his head off somewhere.
June 28, 2007
This time last year, it was blazing hot. Temperatures continuously in the high twenties for three whole weeks. Shorts, vests, and sandals all round. Sleeping out in the garden all day because it was warm enough to do so. Waking up every morning to the sun’s rays on your bed.
Why are there floods everywhere now and why am I shivering on my way in to work in the mornings?
June 24, 2007
My little sister turns 20 years of age today.
My God that makes me feel old. Worryingly old.
June 20, 2007
Pain. Every movement feels like climbing a mountain. Each breath just can’t quite be long enough. The limbs are numb. Even when still, there’s pressure on the body. The brain is confused. The future is known, but it can’t be imagined. The present is far too much a weight to bear.
Strength. There is a sense of total awareness, universal focus. Not an ounce of doubt. Not a stone too heavy, nor a reach too far. The power comes without effort. This present is insufficient. Hunger is abound. Thirst is unquenchable. No resistance is felt. Oppression is silenced.
June 13, 2007
A biologist, a statistician, and a mathematician are sitting outside a cafe on a sunny morning, enjoying a cappucino, and geneally watching the world go by. Across the road from them is a large building in clear view. A man and a woman walk along the pavement, and enter the building through an open door. A short while later, a man, a woman, and a child emerge from the building. The three coffee-goers look at each other in bewilderment.
“It is simple”, says the bioligist, “I can explain what we have just seen. The man and the woman have obviously reproduced whilst in the building”.
“No”, says the statistician, “what we have seen is just an example of observational error – on average there were two-and-a-half people both entering and leaving the building”.
“Nonsense”, says the mathematician. “The situation as it stands does not require explanation for it is very simple. The bottom line is that if one more person goes inside, then the building wil be empty”.
June 11, 2007
Just like that. Disappeared. No advance warning, no signs, and no aftermath.
And it took me three hours to work out why.
June 10, 2007
...is a legend. Finally there is something to cheer about in the world of motor sport for the first time since the days of Damon Hill.
Button, Coulthard, Irvine, Davidson – eat your heart out!
June 03, 2007
Wasn’t doing anything yesterday afternoon so headed down to chill on the South Bank for a bit since the weather was good. Full of tourists as ever. Lots of street performers. I stopped over to watch a couple of shows. Typically, they all mention money before they start their act. Typically, everyone laughs. Typically, they re-iterate that they are really serious, this is their full-time job and so they expect the public to pay. Typically, everyone laughs again. And then when the act is over, everyone leaves. Mostly without paying.
I’m not gonna have a rant at the public – after all I didn’t pay either, but this is not an uncommon occurrence on the streets of London. Which must say something about the level of demand or street performers. Which begs me to question, what keeps them in business? Surely over an extended time period, there would be little incentive for them to retun and perform their acts again, as the public is repeatedly unwilling to pay for it. So what funds them?
Of course, they are all passionate artists and enjoy doing what they do, so there is more to it from their perspective than putting bread on the table. They like to entertain. But in that case why kid the public. If they are not truly desperate for tourist donations to make their living, why try and scrounge a few scraps of change off an unsuspecting victim, when in the grand scale of things what little they do rake in actually makes a very small difference.
June 02, 2007
I have lost my glasses. For the second time in my life. This is at best slightly irritating, but more realistically a total hindrance to everything I want to do since I can’t see jack shit without them.
The first time I lost my glasses was two and a half years ago, almost to the day. I believe that I left them in a hostel in which I was staying abroad, but when I rang the hostel to check afterwards they could find them nowhere. Cost around £60 to get a new pair, not much by today’s standards but probably more now.
Could be a blessing in disguise, since my eyesight has deteriorated recently and I needed new specs anyway, although I’ve been ever-postponing the requisite visit to the opticians. So in the meantime I’m walking around like an (almost) blind man.
May 27, 2007
Or dance music in general for that matter? Or just the entire “clubbing scene” if you want to call it that. It seems that every time I indulge in some, it seems like more and more of a “student scene”; a flashback of the life I used to live before I got a job. And I am incrementally becoming more and more detached from that scene, as though I know deep down that my genuine place now lives elsewhere.
Hmm, I wonder.
May 15, 2007
Sometimes in life, we have to take a step back from our actions and question the morality of what we are doing.
More often than not though, we then just continue doing it anyway.
May 14, 2007
Managed to comfortably and effortlessly stick six portions of fruit and vegetables down my digestive system during the course of the day; one in excess of the recommended daily intake as prescribed by those who know. Can’t say its happened previously for a good while at least. Will be interesting to see how long this continues if at all.
May 09, 2007
In most pub quizzes, the pub owner or event organiser will arrange a prize for the winning team. After all, there has to be some incentive for taking part. This prize can take many forms, but it is not unusual for it to be a crate of beer. Not sure of the exact reasoning behind this, but it’s something you tend to see a lot of. “24-crate of Carling for the winners”, for example.
Surely however, it makes more sense for the beer to be given to the quiz losers than the quiz winners. For whoever is given the beer will naturally drink it all at the earliest opportunity. I.e. now. This will intoxicate them, and in the event of a 24 pack being shared amongst a small team, this means they will forget everything and next day will have no recollection of the evening whatsoever.
At present, the winners get the beer. This means the winners forget that they have won, whilst the sober losers still remember that they lost. Would the world not be a happier place, if the winners were to remember that they had won, whilst the losers were to forget that they had lost?
May 05, 2007
Another Saturday wasted in its entirety due to being hungover. Another day’s tasks postponed in the short term due to tiredness, headache, and lack of mental clarity. Why is it that this never happened to me at university, when weekends were much the same as any other day, yet happens to me consistently now that my weekends are so much more valuable to me?
May 02, 2007
If my memory serves me correctly, there’s a strange sense of irony about this year’s Champions League final. I believe AC Milan were actually expelled from the competition before it even started, as punishment for their part in the Italian match-fixing scandal. Yet they appealed against this ruling, got it overturned, and here they are in the final. Sure, they were docked 15 points in the domestic league instead, but that’s a sacrifice anyone would consider worth making, and at the end of the day (season) it’s all turned out rather nicely for them.
I bet their lawyer gets paid well.
A rather disgruntled Manchester United fan