November 15, 2016

My family lost a chicken on Monday.

My mother after many years of intending to bought some five chicks and a small coop. At first we had four hens and a rooster kept in a makes shift incubator. One of the hens had a visible limp brought on by a badly damaged ankle. Not sure how that happened. I called her Limpy. It was descriptive. We put them outside and something dragged Limpy away on their first night outside. We moved the coop to level ground and surrounded it with cinder blocks so that anything wanting to get in would have to burrow under them. The remaining three hens and the rooster grew up. I personally named the rooster Maurice and the hens became Pokey , Biggie the fat one, and Henrietta the last one. They all grew to maturity and we got a lot of eggs. Times were good and for about a year the only incident occurred when a hawk caught Biggie and some how managed to trap itself and her between the pipes coming out our central heat and air unit and the concrete slab that it sat on. Fun fact, hawks will not let go of prey even when hopelessly trapped and being assaulted by several angry primates. Biggie escaped though not without getting a scar under one eye that gave her this perpetual squint that earned her the new name Sqiunty. The hawk also escaped despite my attempt on it's life.

Then Squinty was taken by the neighbor's dogs, Pokey was taken by something in the woods surrounding my house, and Henrietta was taken by a hawk. In the course of about five months Maurice was alone. I can tell you chickens are social creatures, more so than humans. If Maurice was a surly and ill tempered cur before (and he was) then isolation made him worse. Coops are expensive and chicks are cheap so we tried again with six more hens. I thought that was over kill but they were sold by the half dozen. Then we had some bad weather, high winds, sheets of rain, thunder and lightening. We prepped the coop and by throwing a tarp over the front. The hens were being kept apart from Maurice in a part of the enclosure with chicken wire rather than wood for two walls. It was the quintessential dark and stormy night. The next day we found the coop had been over turned and all but one chick was missing. We searched in vain for the remaining five. The lone survivor was christened Hoppy because she liked hop on to peoples' shoulders and ride around. She was also extremely vocal peeping and chirping constantly even when she was on someone shoulder which is a bit like having someone talking loudly right next to your ear. I can't help but think that she was trying to tell us “All of my friends are gone. I am is so cold and lonely at night. Please, for the love of God, help me,” or something to that effect, though at the time it also seemed like a funny quirk. Neurotic behavior is hard to diagnose in other species. We decided to get her some friends to help with her whatever and purchased a pair of rode island reds. The reds were about ready to join her when we discovered that raccoons can pull stones at least as heavy as themselves out of the way in order to dig under the coop wall. Goodbye Hoppy. You will be missed most of all.

The coop now has chicken wire on the bottom so nothing can get in unless it can open the doors or get through the walls. The reds moved out of the incubator and into the coop. We got some more chicks, two barred rock and two black star. One of the reds disappeared and the remaining one, Ginger, became extremely nervous. We introduced the new chicks to poor ginger with the hope that she would calm down. She hates them and pecks at them every time they come near. They give her space but seem pretty indifferent.

I think it was noonish and we were receiving deliveries of clay earth in an attempt to forestall our house falling into the nearby creek. Dump trucks are very loud and it must scared the chicks into a part of the wood that's below a steep slope. The significance of this being that there is no clear line of site between our backyard and it. This means that not only can we not see it but nothing down there can see us. I heard Maurice go off (sound like this) and headed down to see what was up. Maurice has gone off for no reason in the past so I was still hopeful. Oh, poor fool me. One of black stars had some how ended up on the other side of the creek. She came back on her own and I managed to herd them back up the hill except for one of the barred rock. Chickens typically make more noise when separated from their flock and I wasn't hearing anything so I didn't spend that much time looking. She never materialized. Goodbye unnamed chicken.


Well I'm going to share with you my very huge milestone I did today in the counting world I'm a part of on Reddit. I've touched on this mysterious world in a few of my recent WUs, and plan to write a very detailed explanation at a later date.

But for now, though you may not know what it means, I'd like to share my milestone anyhow. I managed to reach 100,000 counts in a collaborative count on Reddit, the first person to have done so on Reddit. :)

That is a binary count. Started with 1, then 2 and so on. :)

I'd love to share with any math fantics here one of the most interesting counts and some samples of the counts they've done in it.

The count is called Counting with 12054

The rules are as follows:

Use the digits 1, 2, 0, 5 and 4 once each in that order. These are the only constant values you can use.

Here are some of the more fascinating counts these counters have come up with:

⌈1.20! + ⌊√arcsin(⌈.5⌉)⌋ × 4⌉ = 851

1 × arccsc(2) + 0 × 5 + σ(sf(4)) = 849

(.1 x (arcsin(2 - 0!))) x (arcsin(S(5)) + 4) = 846

−σ(σ(σ(σ(1 + 2 + 0 × 5)))) + σ(sf(4)) = 804

(1 + 2) × |{±0!}|F(σ(5)) + F(Γ(4)) = 776

−|{±1}| + σ(σ(σ(σ(σ(2))))) − |{±0!}| + σ(54) = 792

arcsin(1) ÷ (σ(2)! × σ(|{±0!}|)) + σ(54) = 786

(1 + 2) × |{±0!}|F(σ(5)) + F(Γ(4)) = 776

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