# Tag: numbers

## Why Would You Want a Book of a Million Random Numbers?

Are you looking for a good book for this weekend? Let us tell you about one that will really hold your attention. It’s a little hard to describe the overall plot, but […]

## How Do Barcodes Work?

If you were born before 1970 or so, you undoubtedly remember that the responsibilities of the clerk at a grocery store were different than they are today. Back in the murky past, […]

## Can You Decode The Message Designed to Tell Aliens All About Humanity?

Assuming you are a person of reasonable intelligence, (actually, since you are a reader of Commonplace Fun Facts, we assume you are a person of extraordinary intelligence), what would you make of […]

## Why Does Sesame Street’s Count Like to Count?

Children have been learning how to count with the help of Sesame Street’s Count von Count for nearly fifty years. The purple-skinned vampire is well named, since he derives much more pleasure […]

## Learn How Two Grandparents Hacked the Lottery and Made Millions

Despite all the advertisements telling us about the lavish lifestyle that comes to the winners of the lottery, most of us know that buying lottery tickets is just a less efficient means […]

## Could an Infinite Number of Monkeys Really Reproduce the Works of Shakespeare?

It has been said that if you give enough monkeys enough time to peck away at typewriters, they will eventually, through random chance, reproduce the works of William Shakespeare. That’s an interesting […]

## Easy as Pi… Well, As Easy as Coffee, Anyway

Want to remember the value of Pi (3.1415926) in an easy way? You can do it by counting each word’s letters in “May I have a large container of coffee?”

## Not in the Cards to Repeat a Shuffle

Photo credit: By Alan Cleaver (Flickr: Shuffling the deck) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons In a deck of 52 cards, there are 80,658,175,170,943,878,571,660,636,856,403,766,975,289,505,440,883,277,824,000,000,000,000 possible combinations. To give you an idea of […]

## When Quintillionaires Are Paupers

Who hasn’t heard an older person complain that a dollar just doesn’t buy what it used to? Imagine what it was like in Hungary in the immediate aftermath of World War II, […]

## Hodgepodge of Hippopotomonstrosesquipidelian Homeruns

If you are a lover of obnoxiously-long words, you already know the definition of hippopotomonstrosesquipidelian is “of or pertaining to extremely long words.” Perhaps you already know these English language monstrosities that […]

## A Billion By Any Other Name….

Depending on whether a country uses the Long Scale or the Short Scale for its numbering system, 1,000,000,000,000 will always be 1,000,000,000,000, but whether you express that number as one billion or […]

## Maybe Another Career Would Be In Order?

The top treasury official for the United Kingdom, Lord Randolph Churchill (1849-1894), while Chancellor of the Exchequer, expressed his confusion about decimal points: “I could never figure out what those damned dots […]

## Nerd Humor

The following equation can be expressed as a limerick. Can you figure it out? Here it is: Integral z-squared dz from 1 to the cube root of 3 times the cosine of […]

## A Very Big Piece of Pi

Daniel Tammett first came to worldwide prominence on March 14th, 2004 – otherwise known as Pi Day (3/14). To raise money for an epilepsy foundation, Tammett spent five straight hours reciting the […]