— G. H. Hardy
-The Mathematics of Paul Erdos
I just learned that what a Billion is has changed quite recently.
Now when I say quite recently I mean like 1975, and in Britain.
Basically, originally a billion, having the prefix bi meaning two, meant a million million, or (1 million)^2 hence 10^12.
This way was how a trillion was defined, and with this system any prefix would make sense, so centillion, cent meaning 100, would be (1million)^100 or 10^600.
However in most of the English speaking world, a billion means a thousand million or 10^9. Before in the old system, a thousand million was called a milliard. Basically in the new system it’s based on powers of a thousand, so a million is still (1000)^2 or 10^6, but a billion is now (1000)^3 or 10^9, this pattern repeats, so lets say a centillion would now be (1000)^101 or 10^303.
Point being, people think the reason for this illogical change was that someone in the US messed up once with writing a billion and it kind of stuck.
However, most of the rest of the world still uses the “Old system” which are based on powers of a million as the names of each suggest.
To put this in perspective, what used to be a billion is now a trillion. Kind of makes you feel a little bit better about the debt of some countries.
If my calculations are correct, I just proved that there are 165068526724814240565166080000000 possible final Sudoku positions.
Note these were done in about 5 mins and only not thoroughly checked.
— Looking For Alaska—John Green
— John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
— Emil Kerimov
Of course he was a virgin. Once upon a time, so was Madonna. What’s tragic is that he may have died a virgin. Not that this is all that unusual. You met many electrical engineers? But mathematicians are probably the worst that way. How the math gene perpetuates itself is one of the mysteries of our age.
To read the whole article : http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/957/was-isaac-newton-a-virgin