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Meta-primes (Wayne Wonchoba)
(original, smirk, math)

The following is an example of what pepsi and beef jerkies can do to someone's
brain at 3 am :-) :

{ed This piece is not for everybody, but I give favour to original pieces,
so here it is.}

                      A public service announcement

TIRED of celebrating your anniversary or birthday on the SAME DAY, YEAR 
    after YEAR?
SICK of all those unwanted relatives coming over to abuse your hospitalities 
     on such exploitable holidays as Thanksgiving, and the 4th of July?
CONFUSED as to how to solve these problems?

Then DO what SANE PEOPLE are doing ALL OVER the country!  Celebrate
PRIME-NUMBERED anniversaries!!
HOW does it work?  Simple.  Instead of celebrating anniversaries every
year, celebrate ONLY prime-numbered anniversaries (2nd, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 
11th, etc).  This new and exciting Prime-Celebration Paradigm (or PCP
for short) is sweeping the country.  

WHY do this?  Easy.  As any socially competant person is aware, anniversary
celebration soon becomes tiresome after the first few years.  Fortunately,
the primes occur fairly often during the first 10 years, commonly referred
to as the "gosh-wow" years, when the concept of celebrating anniversaries
is still a new and wonderful idea.  But when anniversaries become as tiresome
as the event they are commemorating, the beauty of the PCP technique
becomes apparent -- although there is no known closed-form formula for 
computing the nth prime, examination of prime tables reveals that after 
20 years or so, there are only 2-3 primes per decade!  The prime number
theorem also guarentees that the more days pass, the fewer primes occur.

The PCP technique has an interesting history.  After its invention, 
sophisticated PCP followers cleverly extended the basic PCP technique to 
solve the same-day holiday dilemma.  Initially,  they began celebrating 
their events every prime-number of days since it occured, instead of 
every prime-number of years since its occurrence.  Critics were quick to 
pounce on this early version of Augmented PCP (APCP)  by claiming it 
reintroduced the same problem original PCP was designed to solve (namely, 
the constant celebration of anniversaries after the "gosh-wow" period).  
Indeed, they argued, if we celebrated events using the APCP technique, 
we might expect to celebrate events atleast 50 times per calendar 
year after the "gosh-wow" years.

It did not take long for the APCP followers to develop the basic
PCP technique which is presently practiced throughout the country.
To combat the frequent-holiday problem of APCP, followers began
celebrating events not after every prime-numbered days, but after
every prime-number of prime-numbered days.  This Meta APCP (MAPCP, or
"mapcap") calls for celebrations after every  

      3,  5,  11,  17,  31, ...

days.  Of course, celebrations are still quite frequent, but this idea
can be simply extended to MetaMeta APCP (MMAPCP, pronounced "Muh-mapcap") 
and MetaMetaMeta (M^3APCP, usually not pronounced), etc., thereby solving
the frequent-celebration problem.  For example here is a table of
the first few meta-prime varieties: 

   primes   meta-primes    meta-meta-primes ...  meta-meta-meta-meta-primes
   (APCP)     (MAPCP)         (MMAPCP)                 (M^4APCP)

    2           3               5                        31
    3           5               11                       127 
    5           11              31                       709 
    7           17              59                       1787 
    11          31              127                      5381 
    13          41              179                      8527 
    17          59              277                      15299
    19          67              331                      19577

Of course, many factions of PCP now exist -- some follow all M^n factions 
for n > 2, for example.  As a result, various "nicknames" have been 
given to these various groups.  Early groups were as follows:

         1)   the "mapcaps", who follow only the original Meta Augmented
              prime-celebration paradigm (MAPCP).  They are a dying, but 
              well-respected, breed.

         2)   the "hard cores", who only follow MMAPCP, MMMAPCP, etc., 
              varieties of MAPCP.  Hard-cores are usually considered
              stubborn and anal retentive.
         3)   the "catholics" who follow all M^nAPCP varieties for all
              n.  Catholics are considered pompous boobs as they do not 
              realize that they are identical to mapcaps.
         4)   "choozy whoozies"  are essentially a subset of the catholics,
              as they celebrate only a (perhaps infinite) subset of
              M^nAPCP varieties.  Because they are an offshoot of the
              catholics, they are particularly ridiculed.  Because they
              don't realize they are essentially equivalent to a hard
              core faction, they are frequently offered as examples of
              "those mapcap idiots".  Rest assured that choozy whoozies
              are not offically accepted in the mapcap community.

         5)   the "hyper metas", who follow only an M^nAPCP, where n itself 
              is prime.  They are much better respected than the hard cores
              (of which they are subsets), since becoming a hyper meta 
              requires a fair amount of ingenuity and cleverness.  In 
              fact, many hard cores who just happened to follow a hyper-meta 
              variety have tried to pass themselves off as true hyper metas.  
              There are  "catholic hyper-metas"  and "choozy-whoozy 
              hyper-metas" as well, although their numbers are extremely few 
              since choozy whoozies and catholics lack both ingenuity and
The newest category which has been added to the PCP arsenal is the
technique of "importance shading" for various M^nAPCP holidays for 
different values of n.  Invented by catholics and choozy-whoozies who
disliked being labelled as "idiots", the importance shading (IS) technique
has found wide acceptance in the PCP community.  As a simple example,
consider an IS mapcap.  Although all meta-prime days of an event are 
celebrated, those days that are also meta-meta or meta-meta-meta primes 
might be particularly celebrated (for example, on a meta-meta holiday an 
IS mapcap might be prompted to take a day off work, while on a meta-meta-
meta holiday, he or she might wish to take a long weekend and actually
invite guests over.)  By incorprorating IS techniques, the catholics and
choozy whoozies have managed to save some face.  An IS catholic, for example,
can distinguish himself from a mapcap or even an IS mapcap simply by 
attaching different importances to various M^nAPCP holidays.  Moreover, many 
choozy-whoozies are simply thrilled by the IS concept, but few have been able
to implement it properly.  As a result of its widespread appeal and 
capability to support originality, over 90% of all PCP followers consider 
themselves affiliated with an IS variety.  The other 10% stick with the 
early groups mentioned above.

Having understood PCP and its subtle intricacies, we may now give several
examples of its use in combatting the problems mentioned at the beginning of 
this public service announcement.  We shall give somewhat arbitrary 
examples to show how arbitrary factions might deal with some problems.  We
hope that these examples will demonstrate the flexibility of the PCP

Problem 1 -- annual holiday celebration.  What a pedestrian way to celebrate
   an important event in one's life.   How would an IS mapcap solve the 
   problem?   He or she might choose to ignore meta-primes beginning with
   an odd digit, for example.   Thus, event celebration might occur after
   41, 67, 83, 211, 241, ...  days.  Note the convenient absence of 3xx 
   (particularly any meta-prime near 365) in this brilliant scheme, thereby
   insuring that celebrations will never occur anywhere near 1-year apart.
Problem 2 -- abusive, unwanted relatives.  The solution to this agonizing
   problem can be attacked along the lines of problem 1 above.   For
   variety's sake assume we are dealing with a hardcore M^4APCP couple, who
   have deftly decided to apply this scheme to their wedding anniversary.
   Neither can stand Aunt Elda and Uncle Bob, so instead of humiliating
   them by not inviting them to their anniversary (after all, Elda and Bob
   mean well, it's just that they are extremely annoying), they invite them
   to their 

            10th meta-meta-meta-meta anniversary,

   and furthermore tell Elda and Bob that they are the ONLY ONES invited
   to this glorious occasion.  Of course, this is somewhere between
   their 115th and 120th year of marriage.  Such techniques can be
   applied more frivolously, for example, by inviting complete strangers to

            golden meta-meta-meta-meta anniversary,

   or applied simply to confuse, as when one sends an invitation to a

            5th hyper-silver-meta-hyper-meta-golden birthday party,

   (whenever that may be).

It is hoped the above examples serve to demonstrate the flexible nature
of PCP paradigms, and motivite the reader into adopting a PCP variety.


                    End of Public Service Announcement 

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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