## The why behind ‘1+1=2

Written by Khalil A. Cassimally

What does 1+1 equal to? Too easy of a question, you might think. Well yes answer is 2. There were not any traps whatsoever. But why is it that 1+1 equals to 2? What’s logic behind? This is an amazingly complex question actually.

At first I was asking this question to literally everybody I met, just for fun. But then I realised that why behind 1+1=2 may not be that simple; it was in other words of no joking matter.

People always say truth comes from a child. That was my chance to consequently test this saying. I asked my kid brother aged 6 why he thought 1+1 gave 2. Here is his answer: “If you take a sweet from market and put it with one sweet in your pocket, with how many sweets will you end up? TWO!”

Well he is half correct. He preferred to do an analogy with sweets instead of dealing with figures. In this particular case, it may have been a better idea. However there was something missing in this answer. I came to find out that it would be missing in my answer as well.

To get a really clear and concise answer however, I decided to email some persons who work with mathematics everyday. I mean astronomers. Although I only received one reply – which came from Dr. Brad Carter of University of Southern Queensland, thanks to thee – I knew that answer that I was provided with matched (and even overlapped – see below) my original idea upon this complex question of why 1 and 1 makes 2.

My original thoughts were roughly as stated below: “Somebody wanted to give number ‘1’ name ‘one.’ He also wanted to give number ‘2’ name ’two’. So two ‘1’s, which is equivalent to 1+1, will gives two.”

As my brother, I’m only half correct and we both made same mistake. We had not mention that two is defined as two ones. If we had done so, we would have consequently come to answer of why 1+1 equals to 2! Confused? Well Dr. Carter’s answer might be of some help. This exactly what he said: “The answer is simple: it is simply a matter of definition. ‘2’ is name we give to result of process ‘1+1’”

## Cellphones are the devil’s work

Written by Khalil A. Cassimally

Well, if I called wrong number, why did you answer phone? – Cartoon caption by James Thurber.

But I say, “I will not pick up my cellphone even if you called right number. Message/Text me.”

Let’s put this straight: cellphones are a threat to both your privacy and your grey matter – in literal way.

You go to a party and find a really beautiful girl. You know that you have to talk to her. And that’s exactly what you do. You grab two glasses of champagne and head towards her. “Euhem,” you manage to utter. She turns to look at you. She smiles and you hand her champagne. Then out of nowhere, your cellphone vibrates in your pocket. “Oh shit!” you say. She glares at you and asks, “sorry?”

Damn cellphone. What’s more, it was only mum calling to check whether you are all right.

Anywhere you go somebody can call you. Little by little, you’ve become an answering machine. And you don’t even have a moment for yourself because cellphone always rings/vibrates when you least need it to. Because cellphones actually do obey Murphy’s Law!

But then you might say that you don’t even have a private life anymore, so why bother. Well you have to know that cellphones may damage people in other ways.

Only a small amount of energy is emitted by a cellphone. However even this amount will cause stress responses in your cells and affect your reflexes.

Cellphone radiation can even cause molecular changes in your cells. An experiment was performed by a Finish team to prove this. 4500 genes in human cells, cultured in laboratory, were exposed to cellphone radiation for only 48 hours. More than 20 genes were found to have had their activity rate interrupted. Now in your brain alone are billions of genes. Even if a small group of cells will be perturbed, group isn’t really small at all. It still contains several millions of genes. Are you prepared to lose these genes and consequently cells then?

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