stoner

“He found his release and fulfilment in the classes in which he himself was a student. There he was able to recapture the sense of discovery he had felt that first day, when Archer Sloane had spoken to him in class and he had, in an instant, become someone other than who he had been. As his mind engaged itself with its subject, as it grappled with the power of the literature he studied and tried to understand its nature, he was aware of a constant change within himself; and as he was aware of that, he moved outward from himself into the world which contained him, so that he knew that the poem of Milton’s that he read or the essay of Bacon’s or the drama of Ben Jonson’s changed the world which was its subject, and changed it because of its dependence upon it.”

‘Stoner’ by John Williams

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how far is it to mars?

http://www.distancetomars.com/

Thanks David and Jesse

Here is the distance to Mars in rods:

distance to mars

The bottom layer represents 10 raised to the power of 6, and this is then multiplied by 8 then 7. The distance to Mars at closest approach is about 56 million Km.

googol and googolplex

Googolplex is the biggest number with a definite nice name. It’s little sister is Googol. This little sister is so much smaller, it’s smaller than an ant compared to the volume of the universe. However, googol itself is far greater than the number of atoms in the universe. These are nice numbers.

Googol is 1 followed by 100 zeros.

Googolplex is googol written down googol times with multiplication signs between each of the googols.

Just thought I’d share that with you.

Here they are in rods:

googol and plex

Call the white rod 10. Then the orange is 100. The left hand side represents 10 raised to the power 100. The right hand side shows googol raised to the power googol.

ps I’ve made a mistake here. Googolplex is much smaller than I thought. It’s only 10 raised to the power googol. Titchy compared to my version above. So I have to name what I called googolplex above. I hereby call googol raised to the power of googol, googoljax. Hurray……a number named after me. I’ll write it again:

googoljax is googol raised to the power googol

the square root of 2

Ever wondered what irrational meant?

Imagine that the area of one surface of a 1 rod is 2. You can if you want too. There’s no law against it.

In that case the length of one side is the square root of two.

This really upset Pythagoras. This length, or number, cannot be written down exactly. It cannot be written as a fraction with two wholes, top and bottom. It can be written as an approximate decimal but the trouble is its only approximate no matter how many decimal places you use.

You have come face to face with infinity.

You could not write down this number exactly, even if you were to use the WHOLE SPACE OF THE UNIVERSE.

That’s wondrous.

Pythagoras tried to hide this from general view.

But not us!