“So, Dad — what’s your favorite equation?”
Wow! Has ever a father received a more inviting or wonderfulicious question during dinner on a Friday night!?! 🙂
Seriously, I cannot explain how excited I was to hear that question. My kids and I have talked about that subject before, and I have discussed it here on this blog, as well (right here and here). For those who did not read that post a couple of years ago, my favorite equation is…
[As I added last time, in the event that your browser cannot display the equation above, it should say e ^ (i π) + 1 = 0, where “π” is pi and “^” indicates “raised to the power of”.]
I know it is not very original for a mathematician to claim that particular equation as his favorite, but it is and I have to be honest (there is a commandment about that, you know). Besides, it’s hard to beat Euler’s little gem. (Again, you can read my previous ranting and raving here and here).
Anyway, this led to all sorts of great follow up questions and discussions, including walking around on the floor discussing what it could mean to take “i steps”. (The kids and I have discussed this before, but it has been a while.) What a great Sabbath start, at least according to our tastes. 🙂 Discussing the creation is always a pleasant and appropriate Sabbath activity, and I do think mathematics is a beautiful part of that creation — one of my favorite parts, in fact.
All of this leads me to my question for you… A common question to ask for Tabletopics at Spokesman Club meetings is, “What do you do in your family to make the Sabbath special?” I must frankly admit that my family currently has no special routine or frequent Sabbath activity, and tonight’s mathematical adventure was a wonderfully pleasant but entirely random occurrence.
But what about you? If you have a family — especially if you have children, but also if you do not — do you have any special Friday night or Sabbath morning tradition? If you’re single, feel free to jump in, as well.
Not looking for anyone to seize an opportunity to “out-righteous” everyone else (“Why, I recite the Psalms from memory to orphaned children while cuddling the foster kittens I am voluntarily rearing to serve as comfort for lonely seniors…”) — just curious to know what folks out there are doing! Feel free and comment below.
Regardless of your answer, have a wonderful Sabbath!