I used to have a pair of running shorts with a key pocket at the back. One morning I waved my wife off to work, took a look at the very heavy looking sky, thought 'I'll be all right for 30ish minutes' and set off for my daily four miles. Fifteen minutes in, I stopped being all right because the heavens opened and it started p***ing down. Of course I was past the point where it was shorter to carry on rather than turn back so carry on I did. After 25 minutes I reached a point where I could cut things short and go home but I thought 'I'm soaked to the skin already, I might as well do the full distance.'
Four, extremely soggy, miles later, I returned to my front door, unzipped the key pocket and put my finger straight through the neat hole that had developed in the pocket; no key. Worse, no one in the house and no phone with me. My key could be anywhere on a four mile circuit around the town. It was as likely to be one hundred yards in one direction as one mile in the other. It was still p***ing down. I decided to set off in the same direction that I had initially and hope for the best. A mile and a half later, there it was, glinting in a colossal puddle that had been a mere moist patch the first time I'd gone that way. By the time I got home for the second time I knew two things. One, I had never been so wet in my life, even my bones felt damp. Two, I truly hated running.
On two occasions I have been asked, "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" ... I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.
—Charles Babbage, Passages from the Life of a Philosopher
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