“Mathematicians at the University of California, Los Angeles have discovered a 13 million-digit prime number, a long-sought milestone that makes them eligible for a $US100,000 prize.
The group found the 46th known Mersenne prime last month on a network of 75 computers running Windows XP. The number was verified by a different computer system running a different algorithm.”
This number would be a 13mb .txt file on your computer.
From the ABC:
“Most people in Queensland don’t know what a prime number is”
…after SEVEN straight callers failed to answer the question in the afternoon quiz.
For those of you who forget:
“Primes are numbers like three, seven and 11 that are divisible by only two whole positive numbers: themselves and one.”
Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman/Urban are about to bow out of Bowen. They’ve been there filming Baz Luhrmann’s “Australia.” Bowen shares an interesting relationship with Townsville. They decided to throw their lot in with the Mackay area rather than the Townsville area and they’re a rival city competing for the Chalco refinery. I don’t like Bowen. Their Mayor Mean Mike is a walking quote machine that the media loves. The truth is – Bowen was a natural selection for the filming of this period drama – it was the only town in Australia that had to be modernised to take part in filming. The locals are all really excited that they now have somewhere to tie their horses when they go to the pub. They’ve begged the film crew not to take down the set when they leave because they’re scared when they go electricity and running water will leave with them. Really this post was a three joke affair – I liked the title, and I’ve been wanting to write something like this as a letter to the editor in the Townsville Bulletin. I’m pretty sure my blog led to a local journo being tipped off on the “new logo” compass thing that I posted a while back (I took it down so as not to incriminate myself further). That was an interesting situation and one where I’ve had to rethink what I post here.
I haven’t responded to any African scam emails for a while – but this one was too good to resist:
From Miss carol miller.
Abidjan. Cote D’Ivoire
I am the only Daughter of my late parents Mr.and Mrs.michael D, miller. My father was a highly reputable busnness magnet who operated in the capital of
Ivory coast during his days.
It is sad to say that he passed away mysteriously in France during one of his business trips abroad on the 12th September 2003. Though his sudden death was linked or rather suspected to have been masterminded by an uncle of his who travelled with him at that time. But God knows the truth! My mother died when I was just 6yrs old, and since then my father took me so special.
Before his death on September 2003, he called me and informed me that he has the sum of Five Million, Seven Hundred thousand United State Dollars.(USD$5,700,000.00)left in fixed deposit account in one of the leading banks in Africa. He further told me that he deposited the money in my name, and also gave me all the necessary but legal documents to this fund with the bank.
I am just 21 years old and a university undergraduate and really don’t know what to do. Now I want an account overseas where I can transfer this funds and after the transaction I will come and reside permanently in your country till such a time that it will be convenient for me to return back home if I so desire. This is because I have suffered a lot of set backs as a result of incessant political crisis here in Ivory coast. The death of my father actually brought sorrow to my life. I also want to invest the fund under your care because I am ignorant of business world.
I am in a sincere desire of your humble assistance in this regards. Your suggestions and ideas will be highly regarded. Now permit me to ask these few questions:
1. Can you honestly help me from your heart?
2. Can I completely trust you?
3. What percentage of the total amount in question will be good for you after the money is in your account?
Please, consider this and get back to me as soon as possible. Immediately I confirm your willingness, I will send to you my Picture and also inform you more details involved in this matter.
Miss carol miller.
Here’s my response from a purpose built gmail account…
Dear Miss Miller,
I am interested in this opportunity and forwarded it to my personal account to continue correspondence. I am about to change careers and do not want my current employer to know. I will be starting my own business as a venture capitalist and investment consultant. I will be looking closely at Ivory Coast as a proposed investment destination so your offer is intriguing.
I am deeply sorry to hear that your parents are late – luckily punctuality is hereditary and I trust you will always endeavour to be timely in your responses throughout the course of this deal.
My father was also a magnet – sadly he met his demise when unable to avoid flying metallic objects.
1. Can you honestly help me from your heart?
Yes I will do all within my capabilities to assist you. My heart is yours – well not literally because were I to give it to you there would be nothing to pump the blood through my veins.
2. Can I completely trust you?
Of course, I am a very trustworthy businessman and am looking to form a longstanding relationship with you after this business is completed. With your Ivory Coast contacts and my business acumen we will be a force to reckon with.
3. What percentage of the total amount in question will be good for you after the money is in your account?
I would think perhaps 15% would be appropriate.
If you would like to proceed with this transaction please forward me your photo with today’s date so I know that you are who you claim to be. I am careful when conducting transactions over the internet.
As a lifelong fan of the “choose your own adventure” genre – I offer you, the humble reader, the chance to influence my relationship with Miss Miller – should I follow up this email with a marriage proposal, should I raise the aforementioned, preagreed percentage for my services? What other mischief is possible? That is entirely up to you.
STA travel has jumped on the climate change bandwagon with the sale of carbon neutralised round the world travel packages. For just $260 you can travel the world guilt free with the knowledge that you’re doing your bit for the environment by cancelling out your portion of carbon emissions from the trip.
Carbon neutralisation is all the rage, my high school science education taught me that photosynthesis is the process by which trees turn carbon dioxide into oxygen. Planting trees strikes me as an environmentally and scientifically sound method of making activities carbon neutral. I can’t help but think that this is all a bit of a rort designed to prey on the environmentally gullible. I will not be carbon neutralising my flights any time soon, I may invest in a pot plant or two to do my bit for the environment. Carbon trading is an interesting economic concept – and the idea that heavy industry will be able to buy other business’s carbon points to cover their excess emitions strikes me as more than a little odd, why not try to cut down emissions? Anyway, as I’ve indicated, I’m no scientist, nor am I an economist, I am however a PR machine and an ideas man… and so I give you the latest of my get rich quick schemes which is almost guaranteed to succeed while preying on the gullible…
The only thing I can think of that’s as popular currently as carbon trading schemes is internet dating. A number of my colleagues are registered with various internet dating sites including RSVP.com.au and similar online hook-up joints. It strikes me that this is a further opportunity for de-carbonisation – another would be removing the carbon from carbonated soft drinks… I give you Carbon Dating – in fact, I gave it to RSVP.com.au via their “Suggestions and Feedback” form with the following email, I will let you know if I get a response:
Hello friends at RSVP,
I’m not currently looking for a date, nor have I used internet dating services in the past. I know people who have and congratulate you on providing such an essential service.
In this age of environmental responsibility and carbon trading I would like to make a suggestion which may allow you to tap into a new niche market of clients – Carbon Dating. I would suggest that you offer in your membership packages, the chance for new and existing members to carbon neutralise their dates – maybe suggest tree planting or light bulb installing as great first date options… the possibilities are endless. Not only would this be a terrific PR activity (I believe it would be a world first), but it would also be a chance to demonstrate your commitment to tackling climate change.
I have several ideas for how this could be implemented further and would be more than happy to come on board as a consultant. I will be keeping records of this correspondence to demonstrate intellectual property ownership and look forward to discussing this with you in the future. I believe this could be the greatest single step towards responsible dating since the introduction of contraception.
I can be contacted initially by email at the above address and look forward to your return correspondence.
Thank you for your time.
Summer, Autumn and Winter say hi. Spring is going through a rough stage of cantankerous adolescence and refuses to contribute to this letter. That joke was bad enough to stay in.
The Christmas letter is traditionally a soul destroying exercise. Be it an update on the illnesses of a particularly insufferable suffering hypochondriac relative. Or the celebratory tones of conceited parents pompously proclaiming their darling scion’s achievements while adopting a sufficiently Australian air of “self deprecation” with regards to their own personal achievements for the purposes of humour – or to somehow make their ravings more palatable to the average apathetic reader… I have no such qualms. I’m good – and you all know it. So here’s a graphic retelling of my year to date – referring where possible to events not recorded in the archives of this blog.
With a degree of symmetry and some synergy – my year ended where it began – in Townsville. Well, technically I wasn’t in Townsville until the 20th of January when I made the trek North in pursuit of work experience. Those who know the back story realise I had other motives when making the trip north. The less said about that chapter of this year the better – but this story like all classic Disney tales has a happy ending. Spending three weeks in the newsrooms of Townsville’s finest broadcast media outlets (WIN and 4TO take a bow) was enough to give me a taste for life in the tropics (the employment opportunities in Brisbane for underperforming journalism graduates also had me searching for jobs in a more regional millieu – I like the word millieu and will therefore use it…).
Upon my return to Brisbane I bid a fond farewell to my abode in Lorimer Terrace – the Lorimer House of Fun dissolved (some would say that the fun truly left when the original fellow occupants entered wedlock, parental domiciles and fled the country due to “visa” complications only to return at a later date and resume occupancy – but what would those naysayers know). I returned to my parent’s place of residence in ensuing weeks as I secured employment in the North and said my fond farewells to life in the state’s capital.
This brings us to March and my relocation to Townsville had immediate ramifications for the city with the significant change in air pressure caused by my arrival resulting in the onslaught wraught by Tropical Cyclone Larry. Sometime this year I realised the professional value of a good anecdote – and my “baptism by cyclone” – where I was truly “thrown in the deep end” and kept my “head above water” became a favourite tale at networking functions.
In June I adopted a small stingray named Max who had an inherrent distrust of khaki – he was released when he failed to come to terms with my love for footlong chicken fillet subs (on parmesan oregano with thousand island dressing, barbeque sauce and a smattering of sweet chilli – add salad “to taste” for the perfect Subway experience).
In July I was subpoened to appear at the trial of Saddam Hussein – my evidence was eventually striken/struck/smote from the records as my complete ignorance of the Iraqi judicial process was revealed. Some suggested this occured when I tried to offer Saddam’s body guard wheat for weapons – an action completely against national protocol. The subtle change in nuance was lost on me.
August saw a lengthy debate on the correct spelling of the word ‘ey’ when used as punctuation – and the different inflections/variations required when using ey in a variety of sentences. A valuable learning experience for all those relocating to regional Queensland. And in real life my stunning record of 22.75 years of being romantically unattached (at least mutually) came to an end.
In September I virtually climbed Mount Everest – In summ(it)ing up… I stopped to rescue several others who were struggling with backpacks loaded with spam and other novelty kitchen equipment provided on loan by an Australian snowboarding champion.
October and November were notable only for the discovery of the “cat poo coffee” and my attempt to radioactively assassinate several ex-employees of the Kremlin. I’ve always stood by my belief that sushi is bad for your health.
In December I conducted extensive experiments into the effects of Christmas chocolate, steak and alcohol on the waistline/weightline. I hypothesised that there would only be a moderate effect and was wrong to the tune of about 5000 grams. Which leads me to my decision to take up a gym membership today. On the first business day of the new year. Just in time for the “new year’s resolution specials.”
For a more serious summary of my year continue reading the following paragraphs…
The Townsville adventure continues with my enjoyment and satisfaction with the decision to move north still trending upward on the great graph of life. Work is challenging, satisfying (at least for the stomach), and gives me free reign to play with words and write puns. Basically it’s my ideal job. The home front is also enjoyable – the change/holiday dichotomy/equilibrium/paradox holds true. Having fled the chaos of a house full of 5 (including me) argumentative males (including me) I find much relief in my new domestically blissful house of just 3 (including me) not so argumentative males. Church is also good – moving from a large, established church with working programs and teaching in place across age groups to a growing church in a state of constant flux due to the incredible population turnover that seems to be heading in the right strategic direction with a strong focus on bible teaching has been a mixed blessing. I’m enjoying the highs and lows that come from being part of the early stages of something dynamic while sharing the frustrations of having sporadic attendance dependent on uni timetables and the population change associated with hosting Australia’s largest military barracks. On the personal front, Robyn has been a joy to me – and I take back any criticism I ever levelled at mushy headed boyfriends in my past. I do miss my family, friends and life in Brisbane (particularly the soccer team – my regular weekly indoor fix is a poor substitute for the joy of romping around the grassy fields of Brisbane’s Baptist League) – but have enjoyed meeting a host of new people in Townsville (and reaquainting myself with the particularly outstandingly robust Mr Canavan who always feels like partying).
Finally. The opportunity I’ve been waiting for. I can finally play God. I have a terrible illness. An illness that leads me to believe that I’m half man, half shark – now, thanks to the wonders of therapeutic cloning, I’ll be able to grow the shark fin I’ve always imagined gracing my back. Surely therapeutic cloning stretches to include therapy for “mental” illness – in fact the line probably extends much further – you have a bit of a cold at the moment sir, no problem, here’s a new lung – buy now and we’ll throw in an extra kidney for free. The real concern I have as a result of the passing of the bill is an economic concern. Legalised organ harvesting will kill the black market organ trade. Organ harvesting is big business in the South American slums. Those economies rely on the export dollars generated by criminals and spent in local communities – it’s the ma and pa operators who are going to cop this on the chin – but at least they’ll be able to go out and get themselves a new chin if the blow is too heavy.
Medical tourism is the next predicted boom market – if Australia becomes a one stop shop for vital organs we’ll be right at the heart* of this emerging market. The gall** of those people who complain about this revolutionary new legislation. Their shortsightedness is astounding. We will be at the forefront with our willingness to travel into ethical grey areas. I hear Amsterdam has the drug travel market cornered – why not legalise drugs and turn Nimbin into a tourism hub. Why stop at pot – we could be top spot (I only chose those words because they’re all anagrams of the letters T, O, P, and S) for crystal methamphetamine (ice, ice baby…) , then our middle class users could kill all their organ functionality and invest their left over cash into new organs. The possibilities are endless. What a Pandora’s box our wonderful polititians have opened. Realms upon realms of possibilities (or for the paper users among us – reams upon reams – again the possibilities are almost endless – limited only by the number of pieces of paper).
* Pun intended
** and again
Well, well, well… that of course is the answer to the question “what did the oil baron say when three new oil deposits were discovered in Iraq. The US of course simply said “Fire the torpedoes”, which was pretty useless because Iraq only has a very small coastline and there are much more effective ways to blow things up in Iraq. Strapping explosives to your chest seems to be one way… that’s not really funny is it. Not at all PC.
There’s not really much interesting stuff to write about today, owing to the fact that I spent yesterday in Charters Towers. It’s a hole. Or a series of them. Mostly because it contains a lot of tunnels left over from the gold mines. It is however, one of North Queensland’s premiere tourist destinations – attracting history buffs from all over the country. So if you like history it’s worth a visit. Or if you like meat pies. I’m sure it has plenty of redeeming features.
Today I took mum, dad, and Susie along to an Indy car roadshow thing in Townsville that I had to go to for work. There was lots of burning rubber, lots of noise, lots of girls in Indy outfits, and lots of the types of guys who enjoy those sorts of things. Then I went to WOW and bought a new screen for my computer… and more importantly, the new Muse CD. I’m impressed. I was worried at first. But it’s very good. It’s nothing like any of their old stuff. But Matt Bellamy is still the coolest front man strutting his stuff on stages around the globe.
That’s about it for this episode – be sure to check out the thoroughly politically incorrect ramblings at that other blog… http://philnsmiz.blogspot.com
Apparently it happens some times. Scooter and CB both took great pleasure pointing out that aspirin does not in fact thin the blood as I may have suggested in an earlier comment. It seems that’s a simplification of the chemical process involved. Aspirin actually prevents the blood coagulating as freely or something like that – meaning rather than thinning it just stops it thickening. Have I got that right pharmacy people (Mel I guess since you’ve got that pharmacy degree you keep telling us about you might even be able to answer this question).
I would like to point out three extra things tonight – firstly, lists are cool. Secondly, free food is cool, except when it’s lukewarm, then it’s too cool. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, I’ve started a second blog.
Why does anyone need a second blog I hear you ask? Well, let me tell you.
Once upon a time I went to a big university called QUT. To cut a potentially long story short I met a guy there with a very long surname that not many people can spell. His first name is Phil. His last name is Enchelmaier. It has several vowels. More vowels than any other surname I can think of in the time it took me to type this sentence – which is to say not very long at all. Phil and I were kindred spirits (We had lots in common). A common love for ourselves. A common love for funny things. A common belief that we were capable of achieving funniness. And a common willingness to look stupid in front of large groups of people. Now that we’ve finished uni, I’m missing all the avenues through which, or by which, we used (once) to, and used (utilised) to embarrass ourselves (I think I just realised there’s a pun in the Dandy Warhols song “We used to be friends”).
But I digress, you can find samples of our work – including the scripts for the infamous OCC project. I can also promise new works of a quality rarely seen before – including a soon to be released musical collaboration created in a single day.
You can find our amazing new blog RIGHT HERE.
There’s this young boy named John who is absolutely fascinated by tractors. He sits in class at school and draws tractors while his teacher talks. He spends all his spare time playing with tractors. His tractor fetish carries through his childhood and into his adolescence.
When John is 19 his great uncle dies and John inherits the old family farm. John is excited because the farm comes with a run down tractor. John has fulfilled his dream of having a tractor of his very own. He spends a bit of time doing the tractor up, giving it a new paint job, fixing the engine, and soon it’s running as smoothly as a brand new tractor. John loves his new tractor. He drives it every day, from sun up till late into the night. Soon his farm is making lots of money. Few farms are looked after as well as John’s.
His tractor makes so much money in the first year that John is able to buy a newer, better tractor. He can’t bring himself to dispose of his old tractor so he puts it in his shed. This new tractor is faster than the first one, so his farm becomes more efficient and more profitable. John is able to upgrade his tractor again, he buys a faster, shinier tractor. This pattern continues until John has so many tractors that he has to build a new shed to fit all the tractors. He builds the shed on one of his fields. His new, V12 super tractor is so efficient that he barely notices the difference in productivity so things are going ok. But every six months a new tractor comes out and John just has to buy it. Soon he has to build a second shed to store all his tractors.
John is spending so much time maintaining his tractor collection and spending so much money on new tractors that his farm starts to go into debt. One day the debt collectors come round to John’s farm and give him some bad news. His farm is in so much debt that they need to repossess all of the tractors except the one that came with the farm. John is heartbroken. He vows never to look longingly at another tractor as long as he lives. He pulls down the tractor storage sheds and starts farming again. He manages to pay off his debts and soon his farm is making money again.
One day, a few years later John’s friend the local tractor dealer calls him up on the phone to tell him that he’s got the top secret plans for an exciting new tractor and he’ll let John see them if he comes down to the shop. John hesitates for a while but then agrees to head down to the shop to check out the plans. When he gets there, Bob, the tractor shop owner, hands him a booklet filled with sketches and information about the newest super tractor. John casually starts flipping through the pages, he quickly gets lost in the pages, minutes pass, John is engrossed. Bob starts to get a little impatient. “John,” he says ,”these plans are top secret and I can’t leave you with them, I really need a cigarette, do you mind if I smoke inside?”
John looks at him for a moment and says “Nah mate, doesn’t worry me, I’m an ex-tractor fan.”
Haha… A pun, and an Easter pun no less – what a way to start this week’s post. I just had my first Easter Long weekend away from my family (unless you count the time I went on Easter camp, which I’m not – I was within 150km and I still got eggs). I guess my hope for chocolates to be posted was unfounded – unless they’re still in the mail. What sort of parents let their children go an Easter without eggs. My parents, that’s who. The kind of parents who spend Easter on holidays on the Sunshine Coast.
My Easter long weekend was good – in a productive kind of way. I achieved something major on each day – as well as doing the church thing on Friday and Sunday. On Friday I installed a new car CD/MP3 player in my car – albeit with the help of a qualified electrical engineer – I got him to help just in case I blew up the unit which would have been a waste of money. On Saturday I went to a breakfast de-brief session for the Da Vinci Code mission team at AFES staff worker Dave Walker’s house. I spent most of the day entertaining the Walker children and putting up a post for the Walker’s new deck area. Chris, if you’re reading this – Dave says I remind him of you – or something like that. I’m worried that he thinks we have a similar sense of humour. On Sunday I confronted all my fears and led the singing in church – something I haven’t done since my voice broke (except this one time for a Qut Christians service). I’ve decided I’d rather MC, preach or do stand up comedy – anything up the front is less intimidating than songleading – I had about 20 minutes to practice 4 songs. I think the difference between singing and other stuff up the front is that you only really get one bite of the cherry. When I MC I’m happy to make mistakes and then redo them – there’s just no scope for that in the middle of a song – you can’t resing a line. So that was Sunday. Yesterday I did my laundry and played indoor soccer – one of those was a very painful process. I’m in so much pain today. I’m walking around the office like a robot. In my defence we did play two games (we lost both of them after winning 14-1 last week we’re just trying to make it hard for the competition organisers to grade us).
So there you have it – nothing exciting as promised in the title. I bought a copy of the new Augie March CD yesterday. I can highly recommend it. It’s on high rotation in my car – unfortunately this means I’m driving slow, mum says the speed I drive at is modulated by the pace of the music I’m listening to.
To all the netball commenters (or commentators) out there – go get your own blog. GOSH.