> Reducing proofs and theorems to their ?elementary? state was a > particular talent of Erd?s?. He once wrote a simpler proof of a > theorem in a paper he was supposed to be refereeing. Erd?s believed > that ?the Supreme Fascist? (God) kept a book of mathematical proofs > in their most perfect, simplified states, and it was the task of > mathematicians to transcribe the pages from this book. > > In some respects, zero was a rather significant number for Erd?s. > Along with his peripatetic proclivity, he never married, never had > children, never bought a home and never had a regular job or very > much money. Instead he traveled, carrying all his worldly possessions > in two suitcases, making a temporary home with collaborators. This > lifestyle took him throughout the U.S. and Europe. At last count, he > published papers with 511 people. > > Erd?s? terrible behavior as a house guest is legendary: opening a > carton of tomato juice by cutting a hole in it and not bothering to > clean up the mess; banging pots and pans at 4:30 in the morning to > wake everyone so they could continue their work.