No number

I get very annoyed by some very simple things.

One is when people cannot read simple numbers, especially examples like this:


How do you say this number?

Twenty five point six nine

You may want to put a hyphen in, but that’s got nothing to do with saying it.

It is not:

Twenty five point sixty nine

How would you say this: 38.1234? Thirty eight point twelve thirty four? This is nonsense.

Adding “..ty” to something refers to the tens column in a number, so eighty means eight sets of tens. After the decimal point, we have tenths, not tens.

It also annoys me that people cannot write simple numbers. On a game show a couple of days ago, some big celebrity I had never heard of wrote, in answer to a question:


If you can’t read it, there’s a comma in there. This is not a real number, unless you live on the continent and then it is one hundred point zero zero. The number intended was one hundred thousand. You would imagine that grown up adult human beings could write down a simple number, wouldn’t you?

I also find it sad that we use a full stop (.) to substitute for a decimal point (ยท). This is just laziness on the part of computer programmers, and is just plain wrong.

To infinity…

President Trump is struggling to find a place in history, other than being the worst president his country has ever had. On more than one occasion he has expressed views about returning to the Moon, sooner rather than later. My guess is that he sees an opportunity to make money from whatever resources people might find there.

It’s a bit Kennedy-esque, I suppose, certainly the commitment (if that’s not too strong a word).

We (mankind) landed on the Moon in 1969, and by late 1972 the whole programme was over. Nearly all the men who walked there are dead. The USA achieved something magnificent, but do not have the resources or technology to do it now. With the ending of the space shuttle, they do not have a proven method of getting humans into orbit even.

This is an interesting article:

Science fiction

I love a good science fiction film, but there are things that always puzzle me. Here are a couple.

Why do doors on spacecraft nearly always open automatically? Are crewmen so lazy they cannot open a door?

Yes, I know it’s a lift really, but pictures of people walking through doors are not that interesting

The spacecraft we have had so far in realy have had a problem – weight. Every gram of excess weight needs more fuel. Most of the Saturn V rocket was designed to lift, well, itself. The payload was minute. Surely, excess weight for door opening motors would be avoided at all costs.

And have you noticed, when people want locked doors to open they shoot them with ray guns? And when they want them to lock, they shoot them with ray guns.

And what about transporters? They are amazing things. They are machines that take every molecule of an animate or inanimate object and transfer them instantly to another place where they are reassembled perfectly (except when the plot demands they are not working properly) without mixing them up.

The destination doesn’t even have to be another transporter machine. People just appear anyway (or disappear) from thin air. In fact, you can transport from one place without a transporter to another without a transporter. That’s a miracle.

And they must be so deadly accurate, to within the tiniest fraction of an atom. If a person is being transported onto a surface and is just a little bit too low, their molecules will meld with the molecules of the floor and they will be stuck. Too high above the surface and they will fall the last distance and possibly be hurt.

Amazing number IV

The biggest problem with my amazing number theory is this: it’s all made up. Fake news, if you like, though it’s hardly news.Yes, I just invented the whole lot.

The figures are wrong. Admittedly they are believable, and not terribly far from the truth.

There’s a whole load of pseudoscience that just makes things up, or is selective in the data used. Vast claims are based on thin evidence, or none.

I remember being intrigued when I was young with books about the Bermuda triangle, or was God and astronaut? The fact they are nonsense and have been thoroughly debunked does not stop people still believing in these things. Or that the Earth is flat and space does not exist.

James Randi did a good job debunking faith healers, but people still go and give their hard earned money away. And people seriously follow horoscopes too.

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