HEADACHES BY THE NUMBER

I’LL start with a question. A diary and a pencil purchased separately cost €11. The diary costs €10 more than the pencil. How much is the pencil? Easy. Answer at the end.

The money required to buy a house for €2,000,000 in cash would require 25 kilometres of €10 notes laid out, end-to-end, along the motorway – from Nerja to Velez-Malaga or from Puerto Banus to Estepona. The notes would weigh 220 kilos – twice the weight of Lennox Lewis in his prime.

No number contains an ‘L’ in its spelling in English until we reach one million. There is no ‘B’ until one billion. In rugby union the only impossible points score-lines are 1, 2 and 4.

There are 2,755 (dollar) billionaires in the world today – roughly one in every 2,867,500 people. A single billion is an enormous number. One billion seconds ago the USSR was still in existence (it was 1991). A billion minutes ago the Mayan civilisation was at its peak. A billion hours ago we were emerging from the stone age (112,000 BC).

Elon Musk is worth $282 billion. To go back in time by one second for every dollar of Elon Musk’s worth, we would go back 8,773 years

The speed of light is 300,000 km per second. The distance of one light day is 26 billion km; one light year is 9.5 trillion km. Earth’s Milky Way galaxy is 100,000 light years in diameter. Trying to define the entire universe in numbers, with its estimated 140 billion galaxies, would give me a headache.

Finally, Spain’s greatest literature figure died on April 22, 1616. The following day England’s died too.  

Ah! The pencil costs 50 centimes (and the diary €10.50).

David Worboys’s opinions are his own and are not necessarily representative of those of the publishers, advertisers or sponsors.

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Written by

David Worboys

Born Aylesbury, 1939. Have lived and worked in London, Zurich, Vienna and Frankfurt travelling extensively throughout Europe and then worldwide as Financial Controller. Interests include travel, music, literature, sport, photography and gastronomy. Bought property in Nerja and contributed to local magazine "Market Place". Retired 1965. Married to Margarete with three daughters.

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