Got it? Professor Ed Berger knows what you picked.

Edward B. Burger, a math professor at Williams College, said the undeniable attraction of three could be proved with a simple experiment. “Pick anyone at all — ask them to pick a number from one to four, and they’ll pick three,” Professor Burger said. “I think probably what Bloomberg did was someone showed him four numbers and he picked three.”

Professor Burger, who also teaches a course in comedy writing, also noted the “rule of three” in structuring jokes: two instances of something similar to set up a pattern, followed by a subversive surprise (“For God, for country and for Yale,” for instance).

Of course, there was a time when that was not a joke.

My home is among young men — young men who dream dreams and see visions; young men who will carry my banner out into the world and make the world better because they have lived with me in my valley amid the hills.

Among my sons who have left me, some have caught the poet’s fire, and their words have touched men’s hearts and have bought cheer to a weary world.

And some, in answer to the call of country, have gone out to battle for the common rights of men against the enemy. Some of them will not return to me, for they have given all they had, and now they rest at the foot of a simple cross or lie deep below the waves. But even as they passed, the music of the chimes was in their ears and before their eyes were visions of the quiet walks beneath the elms

Whether apart in solitude or pressing along the crowded highways, all these who have breathed my spirit and touched my hand have played their parts for the better, for


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