Wondering about wild grapes

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Wondering about large to small numbers.

All my life I have worked with numbers.  Doing engineering design work mandates that, whether you are working with the deflection of beams or wind load or shear or tensile strength of materials.  Some of these numbers are huge and some small.  I have designed teeny, tiny (those are engineering terms you know) stuff with tolerances only a watch maker would appreciate to huge towering structures (OK, you want an other engineering term – “big”  or “BMF”) that you could play a foot ball game in or tall exhaust stacks or huge turbine air filters and silencers.  So size is a relevant thing.  Just look up in the night sky with a telescope and peer into the vast universe or look through a microscope to the invisible tiny world that lurks there.  Size goes both directions.

OK, a couple of trivial facts relating to the size of a number.
100 billion are the estimated number of planets in the Milky Way, our home galaxy.
1 second is how long the U.S. Naval Observatory will delay official clocks at 23:59:59 (UTC) June 30, 2012, to keep official time consistent with mean solar time.  I talked before about the earth’s orbit and its rotation changing.  So by this June it has changed another second.  Oh well, will any one notice?
You all have a great day now, you hear?


  1. No matter how I manage or count time, I still seem to find a way to waste it!

    I think what you do is really facinating!

  2. time seems to slip away from me, each year seems to pass at a faster rate. I bet there is a formula for this will varibles like..when your young and learning about life time goes slow...when you mature and starting to figure out a few things, God speeds up time.
    Big and small numbers..being tax day I wonder how the govt. defines numbers???

  3. Trouble, I thought I did (grin).

    HJ, trouble is there ain't that much time left to waste. Thanks, and it is fascinating. You wouldn't believe all the strange projects I have gotten into. None this year, maybe I am really retired now.

    Jill, When we are young are minds run fast so time seems to go slow, as we age our minds slow down making time to appear to run faster. At my age time is getting to be super sonic. . .