(Originally sent January 2009)
It’s 2009. Time for some Things.
“There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it’s only a hundred billion. It’s less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers.”
NY Times ideas of 2008, presented in a fascinatingly browseable format: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/12/14/magazine/2008_IDEAS.html#w-ideas-3
Hamster demonstrates centripetal force:
Last time I asked if there were more households with dogs or with cats.
According to the data available to me (which covers the UK excluding Northern Ireland), 23.1% of UK households have 1 or more dogs, and 23.2% have one or more cats. So the answer is cats, but by an almost unbelievably small margin.
(6.1% of households have 1 or more cats and 1 or more dogs; there are about 14.7 million dogs and 17.7 million cats).
This week’s puzzle is a classic: the paradox of value.
Water is generally much more useful than diamonds, yet diamonds are more expensive by a gargantuan factor. Why is this?
The Boston Globe ‘Big Picture’ section always does the best round-up of a year’s photos. Three pages of amazing images start here: