How to deal with large and small numbers

Big numbers can be intimidating. Some people are more comfortable talking, instead, about small numbers. Here’s an example. In this video, called “Commission Meeting Million Dollar error Sept-23-2009“, a woman identified as Mrs. Carter asks two questions. Here’s a partial transcript: MRS. CARTER: “There were two things that were brought up at the budget committee […]

Fun with numbers: Coffee, Sex, Stroke

A new study in the journal Stroke is triggering lots of exciting news stories about sex, coffee, defecation, and other activities. Here are two fairly typical headlines: Common Activities Such As Sex, Coffee Can Cause Stroke [] Sex and coffee ‘trigger stroke’ [BBC News] You might enjoy looking at the study itself, and asking yourself […]

A little numbers game

Investigator William J. Maloney received the following note. It maybe be of interest as a harbinger of what scientists will be doing for the next several years: Dear William, From where I sit, small is big. In my work at Boston College, I focus on developing nanotechnology-inventions so small they are measured in nanometers: billionths […]