Sunday, December 21, 2014


These are pictures of the world's largest Chanukiyah (32 feet, at 5th avenue and 59 st) and the world's smallest (0.05 mm, about the size of a speck of dust, made in a lab at Hebrew U.). The largest is about 200,000 ties as large as the smallest.  The largest one is next to the NYC buildings, the smallest one is next to a piece of human hair.   (These pictures are not in proportion to each other.)

Monday, December 1, 2014

6,086,555,670,238,378,989,670,371,734,243,169,622,657,830,773,351,885,970,528,324,860,512,791,691,276 (12 + 6,086,555,670,238,378,989,670,371,734,243,169,622,657,830,773,351,885,970,528,324,860,512,791,691,264)

In number theory, a sublime number is a positive integer which has a perfect number of positive divisors (including itself), and whose positive divisors add up to another perfect number.

The number 12, for example, is a sublime number. It has a perfect number of positive divisors (6): 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 12, and the sum of these is again a perfect number: 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 6 + 12 = 28.

There are only two known sublime numbers, 12 and
(2126)(261 − 1)(231 − 1)(219 − 1)(27 − 1)(25 − 1)(23 − 1)
 The second of these has 76 decimal digits:

So today's number is the sum of these two numbers.

Monday, November 24, 2014

147,000 (mph)

Fun Fact for the day: The fastest man made object ever created (and possibly the one which has traveled the farthest) is...a manhole cover.
In 1957, an underground nuclear weapons test was conducted near Los Alamos. The manhole cover just happened to be covering an air shaft right above the site. When the nuke was detonated, the entire structure became a 12-megaton potato cannon, blasting the manhole cover into the air. 

A high-speed camera trained on the lid caught only one frame of it moving upward before it vanished—which means it was moving at a minimum of 66 km/s. That's about 147,000 miles per hour! Six times faster than would be needed to escape Earth's orbit.

The manhole cover was never found, it probably burned up in the atmosphere, but I like to think it's out there somewhere.

Too many factors working against it (like the fact that a manhole cover wasn't designed for space travel) but if it kept going and didn't burn up, at that speed, it would have passed the orbit of Neptune in 1962, entered interstellar space in 1972, and would now be well on its way to Alpha Centauri.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Mile marker 420 on I-70 in Colorado kept getting stolen (because that number is associated with marijuana use), and so the Colorado state government replaced it with a sign for Mile Marker 419.99.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


The very first TV commercial was for Bulova watches in 1941, and it aired in the middle of a pro baseball game between the Dodgers and Phillies. The spot cost nine dollars.

Monday, September 29, 2014


The magnitude of the earthquake we had a couple of days ago.

Friday, September 19, 2014


This ZIP code covers posh Beverly Hills, Calif., and was the title of a popular teen TV drama in the 1990s.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Roselle, a guide dog, saved her blind owner after leading him down 78 storys of the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

Sunday, September 7, 2014


The 3-year-old Great Dane was miserable and retching when its owners rushed him to a northwest Portland emergency animal hospital.

It was something he ate!

X-rays showed a stomach full of "a large quantity of foreign material." Nearly two hours of surgery later, Dr. Ashley Magee had the answer -- the dog had consumed 43 1/2 socks.

The Great Dane was discharged home a day after surgery. The owners aren't available for comment but she confirms the dog is alive. No word on what he's eaten lately.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

3 (1+2)

1 and 2 are the only numbers where they are the values of the numbers of factors they have.

Friday, September 5, 2014


If you take any prime number, any at all, and square it and then subtract 1, the result will ALWAYS divide into or be divisible by 24

Saturday, August 30, 2014


 A 33-year-old slice of cake from Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding has been sold for £828 ($1,375).

The cake, which was still in its original box, was sold online by an American auction house.

The box contains a card from the 1981 wedding, which reads: "With best wishes from Their Royal Highnesses, the Prince & Princess of Wales."

A spokesman from Nate D Sanders Auctions in Los Angeles said the buyer was a private collector.

Sam Heller said there was a dedicated group of royal cake collectors.

Some have bought cakes dating back to the days of Queen Victoria, who married in 1840, he said.
In April, a slice of cake from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's wedding sold at auction for £420.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


A woman started an act of kindness chain that lasted for hours at a Starbucks drive-thru in Florida.

She ordered an iced coffee at about 7 a.m. Wednesday in St. Petersburg and asked to pay for the caramel macchiato for the stranger in the car behind her. He returned the favor. The chain kept going as employees began keeping count.

The chain finally ended around 6 p.m. when customer number 379 pulled up and ordered a regular coffee. Barista Vu Nguyen leaned out the window and explained the chain that started earlier in the day, asking if she'd like to participate. She declined, saying she only wanted to pay for her coffee.

Nguyen says he doesn't believe she understood the concept of paying it forward.

Monday, August 25, 2014

1 (boat)

Mongolia had the largest navy in the world during the 13th century, but then it suddenly vanished. The Soviet Union revived the navy in the 1930s, but only by giving Mongolia one boat. Today, the Mongolian Navy consists of one tugboat that is manned by seven people — only one of them even knows how to swim!

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Anne Frank & Martin Luther King Jr. Were both born in 1929.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

2,300,000 (two million, three hundred thousand) gallons

The Boston Molasses Disaster occurred on January 15, 1919, in the North End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts in the United States. A large molasses storage tank burst, and a wave of molasses rushed through the streets at an estimated 35 mph (56 km/h), killing 21 and injuring 150. The event has entered local folklore, and for many decades residents claimed that on hot summer days, the area still smelled of molasses.

At about 12:30 in the afternoon near Keany Square, at 529 Commercial Street, a molasses tank 50 ft (15 m) tall, 90 ft (27 m) in diameter and containing as much as 2,300,000 US gal (8,700 m3) collapsed. Witnesses stated that as it collapsed, there was a loud rumbling sound, like a machine gun as the rivets shot out of the tank, and that the ground shook as if a train were passing by.

The collapse unleashed a wave of molasses 25 feet (7.6 m) high at its peak, moving at 35 miles per hour (56 km/h). The molasses wave was of sufficient force to damage the girders of the adjacent Boston Elevated Railway's Atlantic Avenue structure and tip a railroad car momentarily off the tracks. Author Stephen Puleo describes how nearby buildings were swept off their foundations and crushed. Several blocks were flooded to a depth of 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 cm).

Out of all the numbers, I am going to go with 2,300,000 the estimated number of gallons of molasses,

Friday, August 22, 2014


Sheldon Cooper feels that 73 is the best number:

"73 is the 21st prime number. Its mirror 37 is the 12th prime number and its mirror 21 is the product of multiplying (hang on to your hats) 7 and 3"
"In binary 73 is a palindrome 1001001 which backwards is 1001001 exactly the same."

OK, 73 is a palindrome in binary (1001001) and 37 isn't (100101).

but they are both palindromes in morse code:  
37 is     . . .  - -    - -  . . .      while 73 is  - - . . .    . . . - -

Thursday, August 21, 2014

43,252,003,274,489,856,000 (Forty three quintillion ...)

The Rubik's Cube is advertized as having billions of possible permutations, but that is only because it was thought that the general public would be unable to comprehend the actual number: 43,252,003,274,489,856,000. If you had a Rubik's Cube for each of its possible permutations and laid them side by side, they would stretch for 261 light years!

Sunday, August 17, 2014


An animal shelter in Texas had an "Empty the Shelter Day" yesterday.  2217 animals were adopted.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

99349 (99950-00601)

The lowest zip code is 00601 in Adjuntas, Puerto Rico.  The Highest ZIP Code number is 99950 in Ketchican, Alaska.

The difference between these is 99349, which is the zip code for Grant County, Washington.

Friday, August 1, 2014


A dozen, a gross, and a score
Plus three times the square root of four
All divided by seven
Plus three times eleven
Equals nine squared and not a bit more.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


What’s a Martian meteorite, you ask? It’s a piece of rock that was formed on the Red Planet, knocked into space by an asteroid or comet impact, that somehow managed to crash-land on Earth. As one can imagine, the odds against this happening are, well, astronomical! In fact, of the over 60,000 meteorite specimens known to science, only 132 hail from Mars. A fragment from one of these was auctioned on ebay in 2003 for $450,000.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


The US is giving Gaza $47,000,000 in "humanitarian aid".  At $800 per missile, that will buy 58,750 missiles to fire at Israel.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


313 in decimal is 1000111001,

It is the only three digit palindrome in decimal to also be a palindrome in binary.

Monday, July 21, 2014


164,597,832   =   6 x 7 x 9 x 524 x 831 .

Notice that both sides use each of the digits 1 - 9 exactly once.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Saturday, July 19, 2014

422,481^4 ~ 3.18587 x 10^22

Euler conjectured that a 4th power could not be the sum of 3 4th powers.  He was wrong.  The smallest case is

422481^4 = 95800^4 + 217519^4 + 414560^4

Friday, July 18, 2014


The Haifa subway system has 6 stops.

Here are a couple of maps.

And here is a picture from the system.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


The Seattle Fire Department says a man using a spray paint can and a lighter to try and kill a spider started a West Seattle fire that caused $60,000 worth of damage.

A fire spokesman says no injuries were reported.

The Red Cross is providing temporary shelter for the home's two residents.

It is unclear whether the spider survived.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

~ 1.324717957244746025960908854...

The solution to


 Which is approximately


Monday, July 14, 2014

Saturday, July 12, 2014


The Houston Colt 45s was a baseball team named after the gun.  They changed to the Houston Astros.

Friday, July 11, 2014


ii = 0.207879576... (i^î)  (Here i is the imaginary number sqrt(-1). Isn't this a real beauty? How many people have actually considered rasing i to the i power? If a is algebraic and b is algebraic but irrational then ab (a^b) is transcendental. Since i is algebraic but irrational, the theorem applies. Note also: ii is equal to e(- pi / 2 ) and several other values. Consider ii = e(i log i ) = e( i times i pi / 2 ) . Since log is multivalued, there are other possible values for ii.
Here is how you can compute the value of ii = 0.207879576...
1. Since e^(ix) = Cos x + i Sin x, then let x = Pi/2.
2. Then e^(iPi/2) = i = Cos Pi/2 + i Sin Pi/2; since Cos Pi/2 = Cos 90 deg. = 0. But Sin 90 = 1 and i Sin 90 deg. = (i)*(1) = i.
3. Therefore e^(iPi/2) = i.
4. Take the ith power of both sides, the right side being i^i and the left side = [e^(iPi/2)]^i = e^(-Pi/2).
5. Therefore i^i = e^(-Pi/2) = .207879576...


My father was born in 1941.  And 41 was Tom Seaver's uniform number.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Joey Chestnut keeps winning the July 4th Nathan's Hotdog Eating contest in Coney Island.  His record is 69 hotdogs in 10 minutes.

Monday, July 7, 2014


The Number 7 is considered a lucky number in many societies. This may have many different origins. There are religious origins as in the seventh day is considered the Sabbath. Among the ancients, seven represented the seventh son of a seventh son would be born with special powers. The seventh daughter of a seventh daughter would be born with the gift of healing.

Of course today, the number 7 represents luck in virtually every casino in the world. 7 is a winning roll in Craps when there is no number chosen. 777 also stands for a winning spin on many slot machines.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


Hydrox cookies came out 4 years before Oreos.  Hydrox cookies came out in 1908, Oreos 1912.

Saturday, July 5, 2014


1 x 1 = 1

11 x 11 = 121

111 x 111 = 12321

1111 x 1111 = 1234321

11111 x 11111 = 123454321

111111 x 111111 = 12345654321

1111111 x 1111111 = 1234567654321

11111111 x 11111111 = 123456787654321

111111111 x 111111111 = 12345678987654321

(listed under the largest number that everything led up to)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


141 people were hit by trains in the NYC subway system in 2012. 

(source:  A poster on the train telling people not to run on the platforms.)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


I got an email:


Amy --


That’s the magic number tonight. That’s how much we have to raise in the next 6 hours to hit our $550,000 Reporting Deadline goal before midnight.

Time is running out. Even $5 will get us that much closer to our mark. If you can, make a contribution tonight.


I'm not sure what they are collecting for.  Someone's campaign, I think.

Monday, June 30, 2014


I was in a line to buy cronuts this morning.  There were 120 people in line when the bakery opened at 8 am.  (I was 10th on line, having shown up at 6:09.)

Sunday, June 29, 2014


The diameter of a circle is equal to the diameter of a circle times pi.  It is also equal to the radius of a circle times tau.  Tau is twice pi, approximately 6.2831853071.  Many people (myself included) feel that we should use tau instead of pi.  It would make measuring angles in radians more intuitive.

Pi day is celebrated on March fourteenth, 3-14.  Tau day is celebrated on June twenty-eighth, 6-28.  Yesterday was Tau day.

A group of 8 of us went out for pizza for dinner last night for no reason other than I wanted to try this place.  We ordered a couple of pizzas.  My brother was wearing a math shirt, so a man from the next table came over to us, and we talked about math a bit.

A bit later he came over to us and commented "I see you're celebrating Tau Day with two pies."

Saturday, June 28, 2014


Expert, whoever they are, estimate that in the past 3500 years, the time without a war anywhere on earth totals about 230 years.

Friday, June 27, 2014


Some nature preserve project had us count horseshoe crabs along the beach.  We counted 22:  2 females and 20 males.

This is 2 of the crabs, mating.  The female is the larger one.   The black things around the edge of the picture are our boots.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


In 2013 there were 653 track fires caused by trash in the NYC subway system.  (source:  An announcement in the subway system asking us not to litter.)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


On Amazon, an ounce of "Indian Kashmir Saffron" sells for $13.50 / gram.  This comes to $6,123.50 per pound.

Monday, June 23, 2014


Here is an app for only $999.99


QSFFStats lets you keep track of Flag Football stats for all passing leagues and is made specially for the company's website.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


1904 was the year that the NYC subway opened, and the year that Stuyvesant HS opened.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


On "Married with Children", Peg's cousin dropped off their son, 7, for the Bundys to raise.  Peg adored him.  The reviewers didn't and he disappeared without any reason given.

Friday, June 20, 2014


An echidna's penis has 4 heads. When a male echidna has sex with a female echidna, one side of the penis seems to shut down, leaving only two out of the four heads in use. The next time he mates, the heads on the other side will be used.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

4114 = 2012 + 2102

2012 squared is 4048144

and you can reverse both numbers and it still works.

2102 squared is 4418404


Wednesday, June 18, 2014


     Girls in miniskirts and high heels; rabbis in black hats and white Shirts; the revelry of the Gay Pride parade in the background - this is Friday night in Tel Aviv and a Shabbat for the record books.
     Exactly 2,226 people gathered at Hangar 11 at the Tel Aviv Port to participate in the record making largest Shabbat meal ever, organized by White City Shabbat, the Tel Aviv-based NGO that organizes public shabbat meals once a month at the Goren Synagogue on Modigliani Street, as well as other events geared toward the English-speaking and olim community that include holiday learning classes, chalah baking classes, and religious lectures. Sponsors of the Guinness event include the Tel Aviv Municipality.
     White City Shabbat is as popular for its monthly Shabbats as Tel Aviv is notorious for secularism.  “One of the reasons we started White City Shabbat is because Shabbat doesn’t need to be in the domain of the religious,” co-founder Deborah Danan said at the start of the event. “For those that don’t have family here, White City has become an alternate family.”
     For the Guinness world record event, it took three months of preparation, 60 days of crowdsource fundraising and the culmination is 600 bottles of wine from sponsor Golan Heights Winery, 74 bottles of vodka, 1,800 pieces of chicken,  1,000 pieces of meat, 250 vegetarian options, and 2,000 people signed up, with hundreds more having signed up for a waitlist. Notable attendees are Alan Dershowitz, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Meir Lau, and former ambassador to the US Michael Oren.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Think your last Starbucks order was expensive? Think again.
On Saturday, a customer the blog Consumerist identified only as “Andrew” allegedly ordered a massive, 60-espresso-shot 128-ounce milkshake, which would have cost an astounding $54.75. (That’s one way to get brain freeze.)
Luckily for Andrew, he’s a “Gold” member of Starbucks’ loyalty program, which snags him one free drink for every dozen he buys. Unfortunately for Starbucks, the chain didn’t stipulate how large or expensive the drink can be. And Andrew, inspired by a 2013 YouTube video featuring the previous record holder for most-expensive-Starbucks-order, took advantage; this behemoth was his “gimme.”
According to an email Andrew sent Consumerist, the extras in his milkshake included two bananas, strawberries, matcha green tea powder, pumpkin spice… and those whopping 60 shots of espresso.
"I gotta say, it was delicious," Andrew wrote, adding that he finished off an impressive third of it. No word on whether Andrew was able to sleep that night.

Monday, June 16, 2014


3 Jewish teenagers have been kidnapped by Hamas.  We don't know much more.

Sunday, June 15, 2014


Former First Lady Hillary Clinton recently revealed that she and her husband were “dead broke” when they left the White House. Her claim — which was significantly undercut by the fact that she received an $8 million signing bonus for her memoir at around the same time — has been mocked relentlessly.
However, Campus Reform’s Caleb Bonham has created the “Hillary Clinton Fund for Dead Broke Politicians” in a valiant effort to make sure future U.S. presidents and their families are not destitute when they leave the White House.
Bonham recently visited Georgetown University to ask students to donate to the “Hillary Clinton Fund for Broke Politicians,” though he predictably failed to find people who really sympathize with the former first lady.
Bonham received a total of $5.63 in donations and he plans to send the money directly to Hillary Clinton.

Friday, June 13, 2014


The sum of the proper factors of 945 is 975.  Any number whose proper factors add up to more than  the number itself is an abundant number.  945 is the lowest odd abundant number.  I don't know how many even abundant numbers there are below 945, but there are over 100.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


Twin boys delivered 24 days apart

Twin boys delivered 24 days apart at Tufts Medical Center in Boston are doing well, the Boston Globe reported.

Lindalva DaSilva, 35, was only 24 weeks pregnant with her twins when she went into labor on February 27. Though doctors attempted to halt her contractions, they were unsuccessful.  As DaSilva went into labor, Dr. Sabrina Craigo, chief of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Tufts, informed her of the possibility of delivering one twin, and keeping the other inside the womb, if conditions during the delivery were right.

After delivering son Alexandre, DaSilva’s labor slowed. She was treated with antibiotics and moved back to her hospital room to wait, while baby Alexandre fought for his life in the intensive care unit.

Twenty-four days later, Alexandre’s twin brother Ronaldo was born.  Both twins are still being treated in intensive care, but doctors say their prognosis is good – and they should be able to return home by their original due date, June 18.

Delayed deliveries, which are extremely rare, can carry a risk of infection. They can only be performed on fraternal twins, who don’t share a placenta, and are only feasible if the mother’s contractions slow after the first baby is born, the Boston Globe reported.  Craigo told the Boston Globe she’s delivered fewer than 10 delayed twin births in the last two decades – and never with as much time between deliveries accompanied by positive outcomes for both infants.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


This North Sacramento, Calif., ZIP code is among the most diverse in the country, Business Insider last year. Race and ethnic groups are more evenly distributed here than in most places, meaning residents are more likely to encounter people who are different. The population broke down along these lines: Asian, 20.4 percent; black, 15.8 percent; Hispanic, 27.4 percent; white, 29.2 percent; and multiracial, 5.2 percent.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Some facts about the number 170:

170 = 2 x 5 x 17.

170 is 10101010 in base 2 (binary). It is 2222 in base 4.

170 has two representations as a sum of two squares: 170 = 12 + 132 = 72 + 112.

170 is the smallest number that can be written as the sum of the squares of two distinct primes, where each of these primes is the square of a prime added to another prime: 170 = (22 + 3)2 + (32 + 2)2.

170 is the start of a record-breaking run of consecutive integers (170 to176) with an odd number of prime factors.

Each internal angle of a regular 36-sided polygon is 170 degrees.

(copied from NumberADay who copied it from Prime Curios!)

Monday, June 9, 2014


a few facts about 49:

449 is a prime number.

449 is the smallest prime number whose digits are composite perfect squares.

449 is the 87th prime. Note that 42 + 42 + 92 = 82 + 72 = 113.

449 is the sum of five consecutive prime numbers: 449 = 79 + 83 + 89 + 97 + 101.

(copied from Mathematical Association of America who copied it from Prime Curios)

Sunday, June 8, 2014


In the King James Bible Psalm 46, the 46th word is "shake". The 46th word from the end is "spear". Shakespeare was 46 in 1610 when the text was being prepared for printing.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

101 ( 25 + 76 )

There are 2 2-digit numbers that are automorphic.  When you raise the number to any power, the number you get ends with the original number.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Chapernowne's number, 0.12345678910111213141516171819202122232425...

Chapernowne's number, 0.12345678910111213141516171819202122232425... This is constructed by concatenating the digits of the positive integers. (Can you see the pattern?)

This number is irrational (it can not be written as a fraction) and transcendental (it can not be the solution to an algebraic equation).

Thursday, June 5, 2014


The fastest known moon in our solar system, Metis, travels at 70400 mph, circling Jupiter every 7 hours, 4 minutes, and 29 seconds. 

for more info:  Metis on Wikipedia

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


There are several theories as to why the number 13 is considered unlucky:

13 turns make a traditional hangman's noose. Anything less would not snap a neck.  (I don't know if that is true or not.  I have not tried it.)

At Jesus's last supper, there were thirteen people around the table, counting Jesus and the twelve apostles.

On Friday 13 October 1307, King Philip IV of France ordered the arrest of the Knights Templar.

A year which contained 13 full moons instead of 12 posed problems for the monks who were in charge of the calendars. This upset the regular arrangement of church festivals.

In ancient cultures, the number 13 represented femininity, because it corresponded to the number of menstrual cycles in a year (13 x 28 = 364 days). The theory is that, as the solar calendar triumphed over the lunar, the number thirteen became anathema.

Ancient Persians believed the twelve constellations in the Zodiac controlled the months of the year, and each ruled the earth for a thousand years at the end of which the sky and earth collapsed in chaos. Therefore, the number is identified with chaos and the reason Persians leave their houses to avoid bad luck on the thirteenth day of the Persian Calendar, a tradition called Sizdah Bedar.

In the Viking tradition, it is believed that Loki in the Norse pantheon was the 13th god—more specifically, Loki was believed to have engineered the murder of Balder, and was the 13th guest to arrive at the funeral.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


9 x 9 + 7 = 88

98 x 9 + 6 = 888

987 x 9 + 5 = 8888

9876 x 9 + 4 = 88888

98765 x 9 + 3 = 888888

987654 x 9 + 2 = 8888888

9876543 x 9 + 1 = 88888888

98765432 x 9 + 0 = 888888888

(listed under 9 because that is the constant in the multiplication)

Monday, June 2, 2014


The Original “HOLLYWOOD” Sign sold on ebay for $450,400.

“I hope the winning bidder has exciting plans for it,” said the sign’s previous owner, Dan Bliss. Built in 1923 as a real-estate gimmick, the maiden set of oversized “Hollywood” letters overlooked Los Angeles until it was replaced by a newer group in 1978. The former landmark finally found a new home after being auctioned off in 2005.



Sunday, June 1, 2014


On this day (in the Jewish calendar - 2nd of Sivan) in 1967, the 6 Day War ended.

Saturday, May 31, 2014


"079 me" is British slang for "call me".  079 is the most common cell-phone prefix.  The phrase comes from a song called (guess what?) "079 Me".

Friday, May 30, 2014


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

Thursday, May 29, 2014


Some facts about the number 12:

 ->  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.

 -> 12 is a sublime number.  A sublime number is a number where the number of factors is a perfect number and the sum of its factors is a perfect number.  The factors of 12 are 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 12.  There are 6 factors and they add up to 28.  6 and 8 are perfect numbers.  (A perfect number is a number that is equal to the sum of its proper factors.)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Last year, Anchorage set a record for the number of consecutive days that reached 70 degrees Fahrenheit.  Every day from July 16 through August 4 reached 70 or higher, making 20 consecutive days.

Monday, May 26, 2014


What a difference a year makes in Anchorage.

The high on May 17th, 2013 was 37°F, a record low maximum. 

In 2014, the high on May 17th was 73°F, a record high maximum.

This is a difference of  36 degrees.

Sunday, May 25, 2014


1,200 Jews were massacred by an Arab Christian mob attack on the Jewish section of Toledo, Spain, on this date (25th of Iyar) in 1355.

Saturday, May 24, 2014


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.  Spell-check, however, does not seem to like it.

Friday, May 23, 2014


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.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


The largest known prime number is 17,425,170 digits long.  It was discovered on January 25, 2013.  The number is 2^57,885,161 - 1.

(This superceeds my previous blog entry of 11/28/12 that the largest known prime is 12,978,189 digits long.)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


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

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


On this date by the Jewish calendar (20th of Iyar) thirteen Jews in Troyes, France were burned at the stake by the Inquisition on the 20th of Iyar in 1288. They were accused, in a blood libel, for the supposed murder of a Christian child. The thirteen Jews chosen were from among the richer members of the community.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Liouville's number 0.110001000000000000000001000 ...

1! = 1      (one factorial)
2! = 2x1 = 2   (two factorial)
3! = 3x2x1 = 6
4! = 4x3x2x1 = 24
5! = 5x4x3x2x1 = 120

Liouville's number is a decimal that is all 0s except for the decimal places that correspond to a factorial, where thee is a 1 instead.  So there is a 1 in the 1st, 2nd, 6th, 24th, 120th, 720th. etc place.

Since the decimal never forms a repeating pattern, it is not rational, meaning it can not be written as a fraction with a whole number over a whole number.  It is also transcendental, meaning it can not be the solution to an algebraic equation.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Saturday, May 17, 2014

2,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (Two undecillion)

A Manhattan man has sued the city, NYC Transit, Au Bon Pain Store, two local hospitals, Kmart, a “Latina” dog owner and anyone else he could think of – for $2,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000  (Two undecillion)
Anton Purisima, 62, filed the hand-scribbled lawsuit in Manhattan federal court seeking more money than what’s on the planet — and, in turn, likely setting a new record for a lawsuit money demand.
Purisima is representing himself.

He correctly listed the obscure number few have heard of in a fabulously frivolous 22-page complaint that rambles on by accusing the defendants of everything from civil rights violations to attempted murder.  While its difficult to decipher just what Purisima is accusing the defendants of, some allegations are clear.

His claims include having his middle finger infected and bloodied after being bit by a “rabies-infected” dog on a city bus and then having a “Chinese couple” taking unauthorized photos of him while he was being treated at a local hospital.  Included in the suit as evidence is a photo of his bloodied finger.

Friday, May 16, 2014


Some sicko Muslim group named "Boko Haram" (which means - Western education is forbidden) kidnapped some girls from their boarding school in Chibok, Nigeria.  They feel that Western education is the cause of the problems in Nigeria.  They have a history of killing students.  They also have a history of kidnapping girls and using them as sex slaves.  They are threatening to sell the girls. 

The reports say 329 were kidnapped and 53 escaped.  We can not be sure how correct these numbers are.

Here is the Wikipedia entry:

Thursday, May 15, 2014


When I was a kid, we only had 7 TV channels.  The dial went from 2 to 13, but we only had channels 2 (CBS), 4 (NBC), 5 (Some local channel), 7 (ABC), 9 (some local channel), 11 (some local channel), 13 (PBS).  The U on the dial let us choose a UHF channel by turning another dial, but they never came in well enough to watch.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


In the classic Star Trek episode "The Trouble with Tribbles," the Enterprise and a space station become infested with adorable, trilling balls of fluff called tribbles. Tribbles are cute, so you may be inclined to keep one as a pet. But be warned: tribbles reproduce rapidly, so they will soon eat all of your food.

In this scene from that episode, Spock says that there are 1,771,561 tribbles onboard the Enterprise.


How does he come up with that figure? Kyle Hill, a science journalist, derived Spock's mathematical calculations

Above, I started with what I knew. For P (population) at time 0 (when the tribbles first came aboard), there was 1 tribble. Easy enough. We also knew, thanks to Spock, that after 72 hours, P was equal to 1,771,561. Now it gets a little more complicated.
To write a useful equation, what we really want to know is what the population of tribbles will be at any one time. Therefore, I wrote Population=P(t). But we know that tribbles grow exponentially (or we are checking that assumption), so we have to include that information. To find the rate of tribble growth, we take the mathematical derivative of Population=P(t) to get P’(t). Putting those two together we get P’(t)=kP(t). (This equation says that the rate of growth is equal to some constant k times the population at some time. pops out of the normal process of taking the derivative of a function.)


Saturday, May 10, 2014


American Apparel Has A 62-Year-Old Lingerie Model

American Apparel is known for its edgy advertising. 
Now, the brand has featured a 62-year-old modeling lingerie. 
"Sexy has no expiration date," the company writes in a Facebook post introducing the model, Jackie O’Shaughnessy. 
O'Shaughnessy's has appeared in the company's ads before, though never in lingerie, reports Alyssa Vingan at Fashionista. 
The model told Fashionista last year that she was scouted by the retailer while hanging out in the West Village of Manhattan: 
"I found a spot on the stoop and sat there smoking in my puffy winter coat and a woman walked by and said, 'You look so regal sitting there smoking that cigarette.' I said, 'Well, I don’t think most people would agree with you these days.' And she answered, 'It’s not the cigarette. You’re just beautiful,'" O'Shaughnessy said. 
She had never modeled before, but enthusiastically accepted an offer to work for American Apparel.

Read more: 

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Shannon Number

The Shannon Number is the number of possible chess games.  It is estimated to be between 10^111 and 10^123.  For comparison, it is estimated that there are 10^81 atoms in the known universe.

Thursday, May 8, 2014


One of Albert Einstein’s Handwritten Letters sold on ebay for $3,000,100.

In 1954, the great physicist penned a candidly-worded letter to Jewish philosopher Erik Gutkind in which he defended his views on ethics, religion, and human nature. Nearly six decades later, it caused a minor media sensation by showing up on eBay.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


There were 112 measurable earthquakes in Alaska on May 4.  This was not an unusual day, my friends and I were just wondering how many there are per day so we counted the ones on May 4.  The largest one, which I felt, measured 4.7, was 41 miles SSE of Anchorage, and was 21 miles deep.  There was one that measured 4.5, and was near the Aleutian Islands.

Monday, May 5, 2014


Today is Memorial Day in Israel.  In the US Memorial Day is celebrated with a day off and picnics.  In Israel, Memorial Day is observed with a few minutes of silence in memory of the soldiers that have died in battle.  There were 23,169 of them.

Here is a website that lists them.  You can search by name, date, or town.  It is in Hebrew, however.