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POST #19: Big Things

Bart simpson

Here are the three longest words in the English Dictionary. Because… why not?

  1. Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis – a supposed lung disease  (45 letters)
  2. Floccinaucinihilipilification – the estimation of something as worthless (29 letters)
  3. Antidisestablishmentarianism – opposition to the disestablishment of the Church of England (28 letters)

And have you ever wondered what the chemical formula of a human would be?

ANSWER: H375,000,000 O132,000,000 C85,700,000 N6,430,000 Ca1,500,000 P1,020,000 S206,000 Na183,000 K177,000 Cl127,000 Mg40,000 Si38,600 Fe2,680 Zn2,110 Cu76 I14 Mn13 F13 Cr7 Se4 Mo3 Co1

To put it in context, one molecule of water is, as we know, H2O. To say we have a lot of H2Os in our body is an understatement indeed.

And the other thing is that this is an Empirical Molecular Formula, which means that the biggest amount of an element is only relative to the smallest (Cobalt – 1 molecule). In actual fact, there is more than one or two cobalt molecules in the human body, which means the numbers in this formula should be much bigger.

The act of collecting together all the items of this ‘human recipe’ has been estimated to cost a little over $2000 – so if you really want to know your true worth, it’ll probably be about that figure!

Finally, how many different tweets can be written from 140 characters?

If you include all possible characters on a keyboard, plus extra symbols (*@^-!, etc.) you come up with roughly one hundred different things you can press. So the question is; how many ways can you combine these in one hundred and forty characters (the word limit for a tweet on Twitter)?

The number is: Googol to the 2.8 (which is a 1 followed by 280 zeroes!)

1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000….

I’m gonna stop – I’m getting cramp in my finger already…

Any thoughts? 🙂

FURTHER READING:

http://www.eoht.info/page/Human+molecular+formula

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/what-is-the-longest-english-word

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03fm36p

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3028890/Recipe-HUMAN-revealed-Biologist-calculates-chemical-formula-person.html

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3 thoughts on “POST #19: Big Things

  1. I find all this fascinating but long winded. I am now trying to find out:
    1. What is the shortest word in the English language.
    2. What is the shortest formula know to mathematicians?
    3. What is the shortest blog ever written?

    Like

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