by Robert Waltz
Not for the faint of art.
A complex number is expressed in the standard form a + bi, where a and b are real numbers and i is defined by i^2 = -1 (that is, i is the square root of -1). For example, 3 + 2i is a complex number.
The bi term is often referred to as an imaginary number (though this may be misleading, as it is no more "imaginary" than the symbolic abstractions we know as the "real" numbers). Thus, every complex number has a real part, a, and an imaginary part, bi.
Complex numbers are often represented on a graph known as the "complex plane," where the horizontal axis represents the infinity of real numbers, and the vertical axis represents the infinity of imaginary numbers. Thus, each complex number has a unique representation on the complex plane: some closer to real; others, more imaginary. If a = b, the number is equal parts real and imaginary.
Very simple transformations applied to numbers in the complex plane can lead to fractal structures of enormous intricacy and astonishing beauty.
PROMPT January 10th
If you could have free, unlimited service for 5 years from an extremely good cook, chauffeur, housekeeper, masseuse, or personal secretary, which would you choose, and why?
Or I could get married again and have all of the above!
Oh, wait, you said "free."
Seriously, though, chauffeur. The reason is simple: I still want to visit every brewery in the US. Or at least whichever ones are left when the virus dust settles. Doing so requires driving. Driving is not something I want to do after visiting a brewery. Hence the need for a driver.
Honestly, it wouldn't have to be free, though. I'd pay someone to do that. But free would be nice.
I realize this is probably an unattainable goal. Not only are there thousands of craft breweries, but in the Before Time, every week or so on average, one would disappear and three more would pop up to take its place. With a net gain of ~600 breweries a year, and starting with about 8000 or so of them, that's a lot of ground to cover. Honestly, it's probably less than that at this point; a lot of them will not have been able to make it through the closings and restrictions on group gatherings. Still, it's a lot.
But hey, what's life without goals, right? If I ever did manage to finish, I'd be like Alexander the Great: looking around going, "Okay, now what?"
Well, there's always Canada. And England, and Belgium, and Germany...
So by my math, to cover them all in five years, I'd have to visit six breweries a day on average. Definitely not something I can do on my own. And no, I'm not saying I have to try all of their wares, just a small sampling of their various products, but still, driving during such an adventure is contraindicated by both law and common sense.
And here in reality, I don't want to be away from home for more than a month or so at a stretch. Cats, you know. So I don't know if I'll ever achieve the goal.
But I can dream.