These past few days



I was with some third graders studying city wildlife Tuesday through Thursday and yesterday we all wrote poems about city wildlife. To prove to you that my improvved verse is always bad, and not just when it appears on my blog, I reproduce my contribution to the class effort here:
    Deer & Duck

    The deer jumped over my fence
    to eat the apples on my tree.
    He stood tall
    and proud,

    The duck found the pond down the street
    and stayed for weeks,
    telling jokes
    and hanging out,
    giving me hellos.

    I liked the duck and the deer.
    Too bad the cougar ate them.


Today I was with second graders. During "Sharing" (ie, Show & Tell), one boy said to the girl sharing, "Can I come over to your house and play with your toys and smell them?


What the teacher said

When I arrived this morning, the kids' regular teacher was there getting some things ready for me. She warned me of her students thusly:

"Some of these parents don't know how to say no to their kids because they have too many of them [kids]."

I don't even know where to start with that statement.


Part of today's plan was to watch The Wizard of Oz (1939) and fill out a worksheet regarding it.

Now, I hate that movie. I have for years. But today I was thoroughly entertained all the same. And the kids loved it, laughing and squealing and screaming--even through the sepia scenes. I was amazed.


Five is the third smallest prime number, after 2 and 3, and before 7. Because it can be written as 2^(2^1)+1, five is classified as a Fermat prime. 5 is the third Sophie Germain prime, the first safe prime, and the third Mersenne prime exponent. Five is the first Wilson prime and the third factorial prime, also an alternating factorial. It is an Eisenstein prime with no imaginary part and real part of the form 3n − 1. It is also the only number that is part of more than one pair of twin primes.

The number 5 is the 5th Fibonacci number, being 2 plus 3. 5 is also a Pell number and a Markov number, appearing in solutions to the Markov Diophantine equation. Whereas 5 is unique in the Fibonacci sequence, in the Perrin sequence 5 is both the fifth and sixth Perrin numbers.

Five is the second Sierpinski number of the first kind, and can be written as S2=(2^2)+1

Five is a factor of 10, so vulgar fractions with 5 in the denominator do not yield infinite decimal expansions, unlike most other primes. When written in the decimal system, all multiples of 5 will end in either 5 or 0.

Go Five!


  1. I loved this post. I'm not telling you why--I just did.

    I noticed that you don't have your Gen. Conf. post anymore. It says you lost it. Did you ever get it back? Because I have it, if you want it.

  2. .

    This happens from time to time, but it is not actually lost.

    What happens is I accidentally post twice and then delete the first one (which has already been logged in Blogger's system for purposes of searching, etc) and so if you look for it, it seems to be missing.

    Here's the most recent one, and the one before it.

    It is happens again (and what you are looking for is a svithe), you could always try here instead.

    And maybe could you tell me? Or hint? Pm me in BB, perhaps?

  3. I always did like 5 the best. Was it the Count's favorite also.
    Thanks, th
    G'pa Bob

  4. .

    I always like five too--mostly because four was my favorite number, and for a while, as a kid, my understanding of zero led to a misunderstanding of zero which led to confusing four and five.

    My personal version of OCD still treats five as four when it comes to repeating stuff.

  5. Reminded me of a fantastic quote from Bash.org (warning: edited for profanity, as most Bash.org quotes must be):

    [UKDJ|Planet] I swear
    [UKDJ|Planet] I've just heard a duck tell a joke
    [Jock] o...k
    [UKDJ|Planet] there was as group of ducks on a pond near where i live
    [UKDJ|Planet] one of the ducks was quacking away looking straight at a group of like 10 ducks
    [UKDJ|Planet] then he stopped and all the other ducks went mental
    [UKDJ|Planet] it looked just like duck stand-up comedy

  6. You write that sort of poem for children? The humanity.

    I do have a whole new respect for 5, though, as well as an irresistible urge to google "Markov number" and "Diophantine equation." (I'm supposed to be writing a paper, else it wouldn't be so irresistible; nor would I be trying to resist it.)

  7. Why I loved this post:
    1. I grew up in a place where deer and ducks were eaten by cougars on a regular basis. People ate them, as well.
    2. I taught elementary school for a short period of time. Childspeak phrases such as the one you cited were multitudinous, made me laugh, and I miss them.
    3. I identify with your response to this teacher's observation.
    4. I didn't appreciate The Wizard of Oz until I was an adult--now I love it and so do my kids. They love the books as well. And nothing makes me enjoy a favorite movie more than watching children enjoy it with me.
    5. Wow--you named everything about five that I could ever dream about (and I often dream about numbers). However, you forgot to mention the mystic qualities (perhaps on purpose?), so I will add them for you:
    -Five is the symbol of human microcosm. The number of the human being. Human forms---the pentagon when arms and legs are out stretched.
    -Five is a circular number as it produces itself in its last digit when raised to its own power.
    -The pentacle, like the circle symbolizes whole, the quincunx being the number of its center and the meeting point of heaven, earth, and the four cardinal points plus the center point.
    -Five is also representative of the Godhead - Central Creator of the four fours plus itself equalling five. Five is the marriage of the hieros gamos as combination of feminine and the masculine. Feminine being even, as 2, in frequency and masculine being odd as 3 in frequency = 5.
    -The number five symbolizes meditation; religion; versatility. It represents the five senses (taste, touch, smell, sight, hearing) everywhere except in the East. In the East there are six---the extra being Mind.
    -We find meanings to five in the five petaled flower, five pointed leaves--especially the ROSE. The Rose has much symbolism, but also the lily, vine, all of which represent the microcosm.
    -The five pointed star depicts individuality and spiritual aspiration, and education when it points upward. The five pointed star pointing downward represents witchcraft, and it is used in black magic.
    -The number five formed the first counting process from which all else came.
    -Chinese: There are five elements. Five atmospheres; conditions; planets; sacred mountains; grains, colors, tastes, poisons; powerful charms; cardinal virtues; blessings; eternal ideas; relations to human kind.
    -Christian: Five depicts human beings after the Fall in the Garden of Eden. There are five senses; five points to the cross; wounds of Christ; fishes feeding five thousand; and books of Moses.
    -Graeco-Roman: Five is the nuptial number of love and union.. It is the number of Venus. Venus years are completed in groups of five. Apollo as god of light has five qualities: omniscience, omnipresence; omnipotence, eternity, and unity.
    -Hebrew: Five represents strength and severity; radical intelligence. In kabbala five represence fear.
    -Hindu: Five is the quinary groups of the world; the five elements of the subtle and coarse states; their primary colors; of senses; five faces of Siva and the twice-five incarnations of Vishnu.
    -Islamic: There are five pillars of religion; five Devine Presences; five fundamental dogmas; five actions; and five daily times of prayer.
    -Pythagorean: Hieros, gamos, the marriage of heaven, earth. It represents Apollo as God of light and his five qualities.
    -Music: There are five lines on the staff. The V chord is essential for functional harmony. Parallel fifths, in functional harmony are forbidden...

    Well, you asked...now you know why I said I wasn't going to tell you...obviously this post made me think...sometimes I think about lots of things...for a long time...

  8. I had a pet 5 once, but it was eaten by a cougar.

  9. The music with the flying monkeys still scares me...