[time-nuts] Cautionary tale #4711

Don Latham djl at montana.com
Wed Oct 7 05:02:40 UTC 2009

Magnus!   42 is most certainly not arbitrary. It's the answer to God, the 
Universe, and Everything!
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Magnus Danielson" <magnus at rubidium.dyndns.org>
To: "Discussion of precise time and frequency measurement" 
<time-nuts at febo.com>
Sent: Tuesday, October 06, 2009 2:27 AM
Subject: Re: [time-nuts] Cautionary tale #4711

> Mike S wrote:
>> At 08:39 PM 10/5/2009, Magnus Danielson wrote...
>>> I think others can share similar experiences when they think back a 
>>> little...
>>> The tidying up in the lab seems more and more sensible.
>> I've more than once blown a $7 fuse in a Fluke multimeter by overloading 
>> the Ampere range. :-)
> As long as you did not try to measure how many ampere the outlet would let 
> you have, then I still have some hope for you. ;)
>> 4711? Isn't that an Eau de Cologne?
> Yes, and it is a prime number, so it is used as "large arbitrary number" 
> at some universities here in Sweden. An "arbitrary number" is 17. Another 
> common arbitrary number is 42. The reason the number got in swing is, 
> according to the tale as I heard it, that one lecturer was fond of that 
> Eau de Cologne and referenced it in that fashion in his lectures. The 
> number itself comes from the street address of the manufacture, again 
> according to the tale I have heard.
> Cheers,
> Magnus
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