Let’s talk numbers!

Two neat things from an AskReddit post.


cubosh said: Take every planet in our solar system, line them up so they are all touching, and they will fit inside the space between earth and our moon, with room to spare.
>to which jbhall36 said: Take every planet in our solar system, line them up so they are all touching, fit them in the space between Earth and our moon, and the gravitational force would be catastrophic and likely kill everything on Earth.
>>to which Rogukast1177 said: You don’t need the “likely”
>>>to which pinkbutterfly1 said: You do need the “likely”. Because Tardigrades. http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150313-the-toughest-animals-on-earth


A while ago I write about Graham’s Number, which is really migraine inducing. Another (much smaller) number is how many ways you can shuffle a standard deck of 52 cards. Here’s what VerbableNouns said (which really was written by techniforus):

One of my favorite is about the number of unique orders for cards in a standard 52 card deck.

I’ve seen a a really good explanation of how big 52! actually is.

  • Set a timer to count down 52! seconds (that’s 8.0658×1067 seconds)
  • Stand on the equator, and take a step forward every billion years
  • When you’ve circled the earth once, take a drop of water from the Pacific Ocean, and keep going
  • When the Pacific Ocean is empty, lay a sheet of paper down, refill the ocean and carry on.
  • When your stack of paper reaches the sun, take a look at the timer.

The 3 left-most digits won’t have changed. 8.063×1067 seconds left to go. You have to repeat the whole process 1000 times to get 1/3 of the way through that time. 5.385×1067 seconds left to go.

So to kill that time you try something else.

  • Shuffle a deck of cards, deal yourself 5 cards every billion years
  • Each time you get a royal flush, buy a lottery ticket
  • Each time that ticket wins the jackpot, throw a grain of sand in the grand canyon
  • When the grand canyon’s full, take 1oz of rock off Mount Everest, empty the canyon and carry on.
  • When Everest has been levelled, check the timer.

There’s barely any change. 5.364×1067 seconds left. You’d have to repeat this process 256 times to have run out the timer.

Now, that gives you some inkling of how big 52! is, but that’s nothing compared to Graham’s Number which I mentioned earlier.

This is why we can’t have nice things

My 6th grade is studying waves. Part of this involves making waves using slinkies. I know that slinkies are fun toys, so there’s a whole harangue about treating them carefully and not playing with them. Nonetheless, it didn’t take 2 days until someone turned one into abstract art.

Now, I know that slinkies aren’t expensive, but it’s the principle of the thing. Now I don’t have enough for all the groups.