Every so often, you get a brow-raising mathematical or numerical occurrence – as we recently did at 11 minutes past 11 on the morning of 11/11/11. Or when someone flips heads a dozen times in a row. Meaningless, but fun.

Well, what happened in NH turns out to have been just such a thing. Each of the top four vote getters got fewer votes than the next two finishers combined.

If you are not vibrating with excitement at that news, then, like me, you were not a math major. So let me explain.

It’s no big deal when the TOP vote getter gets fewer votes than his two closest rivals combined. Happens all the time. (I win with 38% of the votes, say, and my next two closest competitors, at 30% each get 60%. So what? Who cares? Hurray for me.) And it’s apparently no big deal, albeit a good bit less likely, for this to apply, as well, to the SECOND highest vote getter, who ALSO gets fewer votes than HER (or in the case of the NH primary, HIS) two closest rivals combined. But for it to hold true for number three – and for number four?!?! There are (apparently) not enough expletives in the world to delete in expressing the —-ing incredibleness of this having occurred.

Yet, in fact, #1 Romney DID get fewer votes than #2 Paul and #3 Huntsman combined; #2 Paul DID get fewer votes than #3 Huntsman and #4 Gingrich combined; #3 Huntsman DID get fewer votes than #4 Gingrich and #5 Santorum combined; #4 Gingrich DID get fewer votes than #5 Santorum and #6 Perry combined.

(And Santorum? Well, if only Herman Cain had stayed in the race.)

As the estimable Peter Kaczowka explained all this to me – all of this comes from him, unless I got part of it wrong – ‘You really should post this in your column. The math geeks will go nuts over it. It’s suitable for a PhD dissertation: given ‘N,’ the vote percent of the winner, what is the maximum n-tuple, and what is its order? [Already I’m lost. Who’s N – Nixon?] My brother already pointed it out. It’s related to the triangle theorem. I’m telling you, this is math geek gold. Like most set theory, it probably has non-obvious practical applications – may be the foundation of electoral science! LOL.’


Well, there’s one thing we don’t have to worry about for a while. According to this, the heat-trapping gasses we’ve been spewing into the atmosphere – even if we stopped abruptly – will take so long to be reabsorbed that the next Ice Age – which might normally have begun within the next 1,500 years – has been postponed.

But as relieved as I know you will be to learn this – because fear of glaciation has been nagging at you, in that dull recess of the primal brain where you also worry, on some level, about the approaching undetected comet, killer bees, and that exam you’re suddenly subjected to in a course you forgot you were taking (see: set theory, above) – it turns out it’s not such good news after all.

The article concludes:

“It’s an interesting philosophical discussion – ‘would we better off in a warm [interglacial-type] world rather than a glaciation?’ and probably we would,” [Cambridge Professor Luke Skinner] said.

“But it’s missing the point, because where we’re going is not maintaining our currently warm climate but heating it much further, and adding CO2 to a warm climate is very different from adding it to a cold climate.

“The rate of change with CO2 is basically unprecedented, and there are huge consequences if we can’t cope with that.”


Romney Vows to Undo Everything Obama Has Done:
‘I Will Make Bin Laden Alive Again’
Calls Slain al-Qaeda Leader a Job Creator

MANCHESTER, NH – Jan 11 (The Borowitz Report) – In a rousing victory speech in New Hampshire last night, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney vowed to undo everything Barack Obama has done as President, promising his supporters, ‘I will make Osama bin Laden alive again.’

Mr. Romney called the assassination of bin Laden ‘just one of the many mistakes this President has made,’ adding, ‘Say what you will about Osama bin Laden, the man was a job creator.’

The presumptive GOP nominee said that on his first day in office, ‘I will get a hold of the DNA of Osama bin Laden and breathe the life-force of capitalism back into it.’

The reanimation of the slain al-Qaeda leader is just the first of many steps Mr. Romney plans to take in his effort to get the USA ‘back to exactly how it was’ before Mr. Obama took office.

‘As President, I will immediately close down GM and Chrysler and put thousands of Americans out on the street,’ he said. ‘And then I will try to get a hold of the DNA of Qaddafi.’

At another point in his victory speech, Mr. Romney complained that his controversial remark about ‘liking to fire people’ had been taken out of context: ‘The full quote was, ‘I like to fire people – and then laugh at them.”

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Tomorrow: The Last Word On Diet Peach Citrus Fresca (I Promise)


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