Friday, January 21, 2011

Enough with the "Last 2 digits of your birth year + current age = 111 for everybody! OMG!" giddiness

The first time I came across this tidbit a few weeks ago, it was amusing. And with a little inquiry, it turned out to be nothing unusual about it.

So if you are born in 1995 (you have to be that young!), you will be 16 years old in 2011; adding 1995 to 16 gives 2011, and adding 95 to 16 gives 111. If you want to go gaga over it, you might as well start with 1+1 adding up to 2!

And it is wrong! For kids born after 2000, it adds up to 11. For people born before 1900, it adds up to 211!

You want a real mathematical tidbit of 2011 to go gaga over, here is one:
2011 is itself a prime number, and is a sum of 11 consecutive primes!
2011 = 157 + 163 + 167 + 173 + 179 + 181 + 191 + 193 + 197 + 199 + 211

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Millennium Trilogy : Captivating read

I read the three books of Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy over the last month. All three books are well written, were un-put-down-able, and had me captivated for hours.

Finished the first book - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - in little over a day of continuous reading. The third book - The Girl who kicked the Hornet's nest - was finished in three straight late night readings. Only the second book - The Girl who played with fire - took over a week to finish as I had to focus on other things.

Steig Larsson is a terrific story-teller. Just reading the three books will have anyone be impressed by his writing skills. To know more about his life - that he died after delivering the manuscripts of these three books, and that he had planned to write 10 books in total - makes it totally surreal.

Among the three, the third one is arguably the best, in my opinion. The author sets out the various players and components of a quasi-governmental conspiracy against one person - Lisbeth Salander, the main character in all three books, and slowly builds up the story with different players contributing to it from their perspective, to a thrilling conclusion when the conspiracy is blown to pieces, and the main character emerges victorious & unscathed.

I am glad I got to read this awesome collection of books; it rekindled the magic of fiction books that had been lost for a while. (The only other fiction book that I seem to have read in the last year is another terrific book : Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner.)