>Numb3rs, Math, Code-breaking and Noveling


“We all use math every day; to predict weather, to tell time, to handle money. Math is more than formulas or equations; it’s logic, it’s rationality, it’s using your mind to solve the biggest mysteries we know.” –intro to the television show, Numb3rs
Last night, the kid tells me she wants to work for the FBI when she grows up. I think that’s cool. I told her a great way to find herself a spot in a highly competitive group like the FBI was to specialize in something–like math. (I told her that because she’s already good at it–also because I believe it.) Women who have an aptitude for mathematics could be code-breakers, scientists…all kinds of cool jobs. The FBI needs all kinds of people–not just ones with guns, right?
Then I told her what I know about code-breaking starting with communicating via Morse Code (which I learned in Girl Scouts) through the U.S. military sending Navajo messages during WWII because only 40 people in the world knew the language making it the perfect “secret code”. Recently on The History Channel’s America The Story of Us, there was a segment about spies during the revolutionary war sending messages using laundry hanging on a line–still think that’s really cool.
Then I fell asleep on the sofa–nobody woke me up and told me to go to bed. I woke up at 4 this morning with a crick in my neck, the television still on.
Guess what was on television? Numb3rs.
Now, I begin to see some kind of pattern in all this, so I do a little Googling. I learn some cool stuff: (1) the show’s been on 5 years–man, I’m behind the times), (2) there’s a mathematician whose done a blog about it all this time (http://nuweb2.neu.edu/math/cp/blog/?month=10&year=2009) and (3) at 4 a.m. it’s very hard to concentrate without coffee. (which wasn’t much of a revelation, but I note it here anyway. It’s very hard to think at 4 a.m.)
And I decide that all this is a pattern…and it means something. I’ve decided it means I need to write a story about all this–somehow. (Oh, and for those of you who don’t know me that well, you would find after about ten minutes of talking to me that everything sooner or later means I need to write a story about ____ (fill in the blank). And I get to thinking how annoying it would be to people if they realized how often I’m thinking while they are talking, “This could make a great novel.” 🙂
So, I’m off to come up with a story idea with this in mind…


1 Comment

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One response to “>Numb3rs, Math, Code-breaking and Noveling

  1. >I love Numb3rs. I'm sort of sad that I'm pretty sure it's not coming back next season, but there are 5 awesome seasons of shows to watch!

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