Friday, June 30, 2006

Life in the big city, part II

I just called 911 for the first time.

I was about to go to sleep, but somebody was shouting really loudly right outside my apartment. Normally I ignore them and they walk past, but this person wasn't going anywhere. Finally I opened the window to hear what she was saying and it turned out to be "Let me go, let me go." While I was trying to decide what to do about it, she shouted "Somebody, help," which sounded unambiguous enough for me to call for help.

Of course, she stopped shouting while I was on the phone. I couldn't really see what was going on when the police showed up, but it looked like they ID'd the woman and the man she was with and let them go on their way. They ended up walking away together. After that, the cops (five of them, at one point) stood around chatting for about 10 minutes.

I was generally impressed with how smoothly the whole thing went, even though I was calling from my cell phone. It took about 30 seconds to give the operator my address, and it took literally a minute for two cars to show up. Somewhat comforting in case I ever have a more urgent need for them.

But now I need to get to sleep.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Now you know

"From this proposition it will follow, when arithmetical notation has been defined, that 1+1=2."

In the pages leading up to it, they introduce the cardinal numbers 1, 2, and 0 (in that order) and finally they prove that "0 and 1 are the only numbers less than 2."

(I found this on Good Math, Bad Math, which is surprisingly interesting when it's not talking about category theory. But then, I'm still blaming category theory for everything that was wrong with 18.904.)