Wednesday, December 30, 2015


As we begin a new year on Friday I've been thinking about numbers.

We once had a dog that could count to five but anything more than that was just a lot. Probably since dogs have four feet and a tail the number, five, made sense to her.

I wonder when people first invented numbers. That must have been very early in our existence.

Since we have ten fingers it makes sense to have our mathematics based on the number, ten.

Long ago a mathematician named Edward Kasner coined the word, googol, to mean the number one followed by 100 zeros. In my youth I heard that term used to represent one number less than infinity, but that wasn't an accurate use of the term.

Then the internet company changed the spelling of that word to become Google. Of course you know what that is.

I googled Google and found 11,240,000,000 hits. That's a lot, but not nearly a googol.

People tend to be a bit superstitious about numbers. Thirteen is supposed to represent bad luck. I've heard that was because there were thirteen people, Jesus and his twelve disciples, at the Last Supper, or that there were thirteen people in a witch's coven. I doubt that either of those theories has been proven.

And lots of people thought the world would end in the year, 2000.  Obviously they were wrong.

Anyway, I hope the year 2016 is a good one for everyone.

No comments: