May 01, 2004

Meme time

Via Michele Catalano, and through her, Tim Blair

Via half the Internet, itís the latest crazy random words game:
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.

There's actually only one sentance on the page. In snazzy calligraphy:

"Moses enumerated the sons of Levi as he had been commanded by GOD."

This was from Don Knuth's "3:16 Bible Texts Illuminated". Knuth is computer scientist, best known for authoring "The Art of Computer Programming". When he started this task, he decided that there wasn't any typesetting program available that was good enough, so he put the project on hold and spent a few years writing TeX, his other famous creation.

In 3:16 he takes a unique approach to Bible study, picking out verse 3:16 from each book. The rest of you stat buffs will recognize this as "stratified sampling". Each verse is illustrated by a famous calligrapher, and Knuth spends three pages on an exegesis of the verse and book.

The verse quoted comes from Numbers, which I must confess is with Deuteronomy the book at which I'm weakest. Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Corinthians I can read over and over, but Numbers and Deutoronomy are both great teachers of perseverance.

Posted by jeffreyb at May 1, 2004 02:01 AM
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