Monday, December 31, 2012

Sunday, December 30, 2012


The least used 4 digit PIN is 8068, used 0.000744% of the time.

Here is a table of the 20 most common PINs: 

Here is a table of the 20 least common PINs:


Saturday, December 29, 2012


I was at a church rummage sale where I saw a statue of an alligator selling for $0.25. It was a nice sized statue, about 2 feet long. It also seemed new; the tag was still attached.  I bought it.

My rooommate said that I could get it as long as I put it some place she wouldn't have to see it.  As I walked with it through the crowd, a few people commented that they wondered who would buy it.

Then I looked for it on the internet.  Amazon is selling it for $477.77 plus $11.99 shipping, a total of $489.76.

To buy it on Amazon:

Friday, December 28, 2012


This is supposed to be a very good winter for viewing aurora borealis (northern lights).  The auroras go in an 11 year cycle, so the next great year should be the 2023-2024 winter.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


A few days ago (Dec 22, 2012), my blog post for 902 was "902, 903, 904 all have the same number of factors."  Today, someone posted a comment asking how many factors.

They each have 8 factors.

The factors of 902 are:  1  2  11  22  41  82  451  902

The factors of 903 are:  1  3  7  21  43  129  301  903

The factors of 904 are:  1  2  4  8  113  226  452  904

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

33 * sqrt 6 (approximately 80.8332)

I couldn't figure out whether Alex had "66" or "99" tattooed on his fingers.  After wondering for a while (he works in a store I go to a lot) I finally asked.  It turns out they are air quotes.

But I still think of them as 66 or 99.  But I couldn't figure out which number to list this under, so I went with the geometric mean.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


How much do all the gifts cost in the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas"? 

Assuming all the gifts in the song - a total of 12 partridges (1 each day), 22 turtle doves, 42 swans-a-swimming, etc, the total cost is $107,276. 

The prices seem a bit arbitrary.  A golden ring for $105?  That could cost anywhere from $50 to $10,000.  Each maid-a-milking is $7.25, the national minimum wage for an hour.  There is no transportation or shipping added in.

If you figure that they only for one partridge even though it is sung twelve times, two turtle doves, etc, then the price drops to $25, 201.

Sunday, December 23, 2012


Old Tjikko, a Norway Spruce, is the oldest known living individual tree, located in Sweden.  Its estimated age is 9,550 years.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012


40585 is equal to the sum of the factorials of its digits.  

 40585 = 4!+0!+5!+8!+5!.  

 This is the largest number with this property.  

 The only other numbers this works with are 1, 2, and 145.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


There are 12 ways of arranging 8 queens on a chessboard so that no queen can attack any other queen.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


The life expectancy of a turritopsis nutricula.

Turritopsis nutricula is a type of jellyfish, just big enough to see with your naked eye, and it’s considered by scientists to be an animal that cheated death.

Turritopsis nutricula managed to find a way to beat that. What these little folks do is they revert completely to a sexually immature, colonial stage after they reach sexual maturity. They’re even cooler than that. When they’re young they’ve got only several tentacles, but at a mature stage, they get to 80-90 of them.  They’re able to return to polyp stage due to a cell change in the external screen (Exumbrella), which allows them to bypass death. As far as scientists have been able to find out, this change renders the hydrozoa virtually immortal.
to read more about them:    Turritopsis nutricula in Wikipedia 

Monday, December 17, 2012


Vicki Soto, age 27, was killed last Friday when she hid her first grade class from the gunman at Sandy hook elementary school. 

When she heard the noise from outside her classroom, she his the students in closets and cabinets.  Then she told the gunman that the class was in the gym.

article:  vicki-soto-the-teacher-that-took-action

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Jupiter has 67 confirmed moons, the most massive of them, the four Galilean moons, were discovered in 1610 by Galileo Galilei and were the first objects found to orbit a body that was neither Earth nor the Sun.

Friday, December 14, 2012


My daughter thinks this is her 25th birthday.  But I am not old enough to have a 25 year old, so she must be wrong.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Zeus, a great dane holds the world's record as the tallest dog.  He is 44 inches high to his shoulder.  He weighs 155 pounds, and eats 15 pounds of food a week.  When he stands on his hind legs, he is 7 feet, 4 inches tall.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


For 12/12/12, I decided to give 3 facts about the number 12, one for each 12 in the date:

12 is a superfactorial number - it is      1! x 2! x 3!

12 is the smallest abundant number.  (An abundant number is a number whose proper factors add up to more than the number itself.  The proper factors of 12 are 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 which add up to 16.

12 is the largest number with just one syllable.

Some ancient societies used a base 12 number system.

(OK, that is four facts.  But I couldn't decide which to leave out.)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


A HISTORY OF ZERO - by Justin Grimm (one of Amy's algebra students)

Where did the number zero begin? Is it even a number? Does it have a value as all other numbers? How was math before the number zero? This report will be a brief summary on the origin of the number zero, why it was needed, who and how it eventually came into world wide use.

Originally The Sumerians were the first to develop a counting system to keep an account of their stocks of goods and cattle. Around 2500 BC The Sumerian system was handed down to the Akkadians and then to the Babylonians in 2000 BC. Although the number zero was still not conceived, it was the Babylonians who originally saw the need for a marking to be a place holder which is the same concept used as zero today.

Although one may think that the Greek mathematicians as intellectual as they were founded the number zero, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that the Greeks even had any form of marking for a place holder in there system of mathematics. It may come as a surprise however that It was the Indians who began to understand zero both as a symbol and as an idea.

Around 650 AD an Indian man by the name of Brahmagupta was the first to formalize arithmetic operations using zero. He used a method by marking dots underneath numbers to indicate a zero. These dots were referred to as 'sunya', which means empty, or 'kha', which means place. Brahmagupta wrote standard rules for reaching zero through addition and subtraction as well as the results of operations with zero. However there was an error in these rules by division.

Of course once Brahmagupta founded zero it did not travel very quickly. Albeit they just conceived zero, however the Internet was a long ways off from being up and running. By 773 AD Brahmagupta's text reached Baghdad. In the ninth century a man named Mohammed ibn-Musa al-Khowarizmi developed zero and was the first to work on equations equaling zero, as well as developing what are known today as algorithms. Zero finally took its recent form as we know it today in 879. Although it would be used as a slightly smaller marking and more oval it would mark the first time 0 was written in mathematics.

Traveling further finally reaching Europe in the mid twelfth century due to the invasion of Spain at the hands of the Moors, translations of Al-Khowarizmi's work had weaved their way to England.
In Italy a mathematician, Fibonacci published his book "Abacus Book" in 1202. This has significance with the merchants and German bankers who found it much easier and more successful to keep account of their books using this new system. Although outlawed by governments due to lack of trust using this system drives by Arabic numerals, the merchants and bankers continued to use this system by utilizing encryption techniques. Thus the word cipher was born. 

The next great mathematician to use zero was Rene Descartes, the founder of the Cartesian coordinate system. 

Going back to Brahmagupta's standard law for the use of zero Adding, subtracting, and multiplying by zero are relatively simple operations. However division by zero has confused even great minds. It was not until the 1600's when Newton and Leibniz were able to crack this issue. They were able to solve this problem of zero and calculus was born. Not only do we have these men to thank for solving the zero issue, calculus bore birth to physics, engineering, and many aspects of economics.

In conclusion the number zero has had a long history of boggling minds from its inception until even this day. To some the number is still inconceivable, to others it may not be considered a true number because it has no value. Although it may have no numbered value it's value is evident in our lives today. This world may be split because of a language barrier, however mathematics and especially the number zero is a globally understood language that has no human barrier. Throughout the history of math one thing holds true and strong. Our need for zero will not be a diminishing one.

Monday, December 10, 2012


17 is an unlucky number in Italy, probably because in Roman digits 17 is written XVII, that could be rearranged to "VIXI", which in Latin means "I have lived" but can be a euphemism for "I am dead."

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Puntilla station, near Skwentna, which is 70 air miles from Anchorage has 70 inches of snow on the ground. That's where all of ours went. We need it, or we're going to start seeing broken pipes as it gets colder.  (by Don Naff)

comment by Amy - Don gave this to me a few days ago.  We did have some snow yesterday.  But realize that this is 70 inches of snow by December 3, while the snow season has barely started.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


December 8th was my Grandma Freda's birthday.  It was the day after mine.  Whenever a relative would call to wish me a happy birthday, I would instinctively say "Thanks.  Same to you." which would seem weird because it wasn't their birthday.  (I still do that sometimes without thinking.  When the person checking me in for an airline flight says "Have a nice flight, I often say "Thanks.  Same to you.")  But when I said it to Grandma Freda, it made sense.

Friday, December 7, 2012


Today is my 49th birthday.  So here is some 49 trivia:

49 is the first square, other than 1, whose digits are squares.

49 is the smallest number with the property that it, the number below it, and the number above it, all have a square of a prime as a factor.

49 is the smallest number with exactly eight representations as a sum of three distinct primes: 49 = 3 + 5 + 41 = 3 + 17 + 29 = 5 + 7 + 37 = 5 + 13 + 31 = 7 + 11 + 31 = 7 + 13 + 29 = 7 + 19 + 23 = 13 + 17 + 19.

49 is the smallest composite number that is not divisible by any Fibonacci number greater than 1.

49 is the largest prime square which is greater than the product of all lesser primes.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Because morse code was time consuming and often expensive, users in the olden days came up with a lot of abbreviations.  They came up with a list of 2 digit numbers and what they stood for.  The meanings would have nothing to do with the numbers.  Most are not used today.

A few that are still used:

  • 73 means "Best wishes" often used as a sign-off.
  • 88 means "Hugs and kisses", also used as a sign-off, mostly to a HAM of the opposite gender.
  • 161 (since it is 73+88) is used to say both, either to someone you really like, or to a couple where one of them is the opposite gender from you.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Every November comes with a writing challenge.  November is "National Novel Writing Month", known as NaNoWriMo, challenging all of us to write a novel in one month.  I keep getting it mixed up with the name for Nanaimo bars, which are quite delicious, by the way.

So how many words did my friends and I write?  I asked them.

  • Mike says he writes 900 words a week.  So I estimate that in a 30 day month, he writes 3857.14 ( 900/7 * 30).
  • Crystal wrote "over 60k".  So I'll put here down for 60,001, the lowest number I can be sure of.
  • Shevi wrote 50,921.
  • I wrote 3422 words, but at least I feel like my story now has some meat to it.
  Total from the four of us:    118,201.14 words.

information on NaNoWriMo:

Shevi's books on Amazon:  keywords=shevi+arnold

information on Nanaimo bars: wiki/Nanaimo_bars

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


5.8 earthquake a few miles outside of Anchorage last night.  As far as I know, no one was hurt.

Monday, December 3, 2012


from Alaska Weather Service, Nov 29:

The first 50 below of the season was reported this morning in Chicken, Alaska. Persistent high pressure over mainland Alaska is keeping conditions clear and calm throughout the Interior, allowing for cold air aloft to settle in the valleys. Cold temperatures are expected to persist through the weekend, and may even become colder early next week if the clouds stay away.

The coldest temperature ever recorded in the state of Alaska in November was -61F in Fort Yukon on November 24th, 1935. Do you think we will beat it?

To see your latest forecast in the Interior, visit us at

Sunday, December 2, 2012


The number you have dialed is imaginary. Please rotate your phone 90 degrees and try again.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


No one was killed in New York City last Monday, according to the New York City Police Department.

The sad thing is, this is unusual enough to make the news.

For more information:  no-one-murdered-new-york-city-monday

Friday, November 30, 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012


The Electronic Frontier Foundation is offering a prize of $250,000 to whoever is the first to find a prime number that is at least one billion digits long.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


The largest known prime number, 2^43112609-1 is 12,978,189 digits.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


In the New York City subway system, there are many stations that share the same name.  The most common station name is 23 rd street.  The north-south trains all stop at 23rd street (except some express trains that skip it), but they all run along different avenues.

There are several stations called 23rd street:
  • 23rd St at 8th Ave where the A, C, and E trains stop.
  • 23rd St at 7th Ave where the 1 train stops at all times and the 3 train stops when it is late.
  • 23rd St at 6th Ave where the F train stops at all times and the M train on weekdays.
  • 23rd St and Broadway, where the N train stops at all times and the R train stops all times except late nights.
  • 23rd St. and 3rd Ave, was a stop of the elevated line.  It was closed in 1955, and the tracks have been torn down.  The 8 train stopped there.
  • 23rd St and 2nd Ave will be a station on the new 2nd Ave line, assuming it is ever completed.  The plan is for the T strain to stop there.
  • 23rd St and Ely Ave in Queens is a different 23rd street than the others.  The E train stops there.

Monday, November 26, 2012


The longest word to appear in an English language dictionary is


which is a lung disease caused by the inhalation of very fine silica dust, causing inflammation in the lungs.  It has 45 letters.


Sunday, November 25, 2012


The priciest zip code in the US is 07626 in Alpine, NJ.  Median house price is 7.6 million dollars.

It’s not surprising that a town with so many celebrities, including Stevie Wonder, Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock, enjoys a very low crime rate. It’s easy to understand the appeal of Alpine, which is located just 15 miles from Midtown Manhattan. Median household income in the area’s Tenafly Borough School District, was more than $125,000 in 2010, more than double the U.S. average.

If you would  like to live here, here is a house at 5 Buckingham Drive for $14,750,000. 

Here is the real estate listing:  5-buckingham-dr

Saturday, November 24, 2012


In an age where few marriages endure the testof time, a centurion Indian couple have lived in wedded bliss for 87 years, thus becoming the world's longest married couple.  The 107 years old Karam
and his wife Katari Chand, 100, who have eight children and twenty eight grandchildren together, say that the key to success is looking after each other in every way possible.  From romantic meals to
sharing jokes, the couple, who hail from Punjab, India and now live in Bradford ensure that they do little things for each other to keep the romance alive.

Friday, November 23, 2012


Research scientests found 2368 species of bacteria in the bellybuttons of 391 volunteers.  1458 of these may have been previously unknown.

If a person has an "innie" belly button, this moist, warm space can be home to well over 100 different organisms.   Bacteria, fungi and yeasts are among the different types of belly button organisms. Microbial mixes differ between individuals, but benefit all of us by helping to fight off pathogens.

Some belly buttons harbored as few as 29 species and some as many as 107, although most had around 67. Ninety-two percent of the bacteria types showed up on fewer than 10 percent of subjects—in fact, most of the time, they appeared in only a single subject.  Even though not a single strain showed up in each subject, eight species were present on more than 70 percent of the subjects. And whenever these species appeared, they did so in huge numbers.

They included strange species, such as one found in the researcher's navel that appears to prefer to break down pesticides.  Another participant harbored a species of bacteria previously found only in Japan -- a place neither he or his family had ever visited.  And one subject, who admittedly hadn’t washed for years, hosted two species of bacteria that typically thrive in ice caps and thermal vents.

They include a bacillus that produces antibiotic compounds that can kill other bacteria as well as foot fungi, and a type of clostridial bacterium. The latter’s diverse family includes botulism and gangrene bacteria, along with many harmless bugs.

Preliminary results indicate that the number of organisms per person highly varies, with each individual carrying his or her own unique mix.  "So far, we don't see clear explanations for why people differ so much in terms of their bacterial communities from person to person," Dunn said. "The differences we see don't match up easily with gender, ethnicity, age or even washing frequency. Something else is going on."  The researchers have, however, concluded that a group of relatively few bacterial species are shared among most of us, with hundreds of other rare species occurring here and there.

This picture shows some:  Micrococcus, Clostridiales, Staphylococcus, Bacillus

study website:

article about the bacteria found:

about the study:

about the study:

about the study: 

Thursday, November 22, 2012


As of the 2010 census, there were 1,628 Jews living the Jewish Autonomous Region (Birobidzhan) in Russia.  This is about 1% of the population.

Their webpage (the English one)  JAR

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


These stamps were jointly issued by Israel and Nepal.   They celebrate the highest point on earth - Mt. Everest, 8848 meters  (29029 feet) above sea level - and the lowest point - the Dead Sea, 422 meters (1385 feet) below sea level.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Extra charge for the chicken to be "real" (whatever they mean by that) = $3.05

Monday, November 19, 2012


My friend Leigh is hoarding 144 Twinkies.  She is planning a party in January.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


In Thailand, 555 is used like we use LOL.  The pronunciation of five five five in Thai sounds like a person laughing.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


The life expectancy for a girl born in Monaco in 2012 is 93.77 years.

Friday, November 16, 2012


My roommates and I got a new dog, which brings us back up to 5.  (All rescues)

Preston - schnauzer
Trouble - schnauzer

Lady - schnoodle

Buddy - puggle

Socrates - TIL (terrier of indeterminate lineage)

Because I miss them, I am posting pictures of the dogs we've had that passed away.