When I was in 7th grade, I got a calculator watch. The combination of a calculator watch and not such an active social life, together with my constant need to gadget (is that a verb?) led me into the interesting world of fractions. I would take the number 1, divide it by some other number, and find out what repeats. Some of these are easy, like 1/3 = .3333~. I also found that 1/7 = .142857~.
All of this is because 1 = .999~ (It really does. Trust Cecil.) So as long as a number consisting of 9's can be divided by some other number, it will eventually repeat. This page explains the idea pretty well.
Looking at numbers this way shows a real beauty that is found in the simplicity of the world. All this from a Casio.
My affection for composite numbers (the opposite of prime numbers) showed up later in life as well. When the Israeli phone company introduced two new features  one that calls back the number that last called you, the other that continues calling a busy number  I had trouble remembering which was which. The first was *42, the second *41, but I kept mixing them up. But then I remembered that *41 is known here as nudnik  and what's more annoying than a prime number? 41 can't be divided by anything! (I'm sure Hitchhiker fans could make a 42 association, but this was easier for me.) Might sound silly, but I haven't forgotten it since...
Monday, May 23, 2005
In my prime
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