Friday 6 February 2009

Maths Quiz

Friday Fun

Numbers seem to be getting smaller these days. Used to be that £1 million would last a footballer all season or count as a decent bonus for a bank exec.
But since Northern Wreck the talk is of Billions. Trillions of Billions of toxic debt.
But what do these sums actually mean. Can they even be comprehended?

If you start counting now, out loud, "One..Two.. Three "without pause, you will reach the number 1,000,000 around about 1pm on Tuesday the 16th February, and you will have missed valentines day.

1 minute = 60 seconds.
1 hour = 60 minutes (or 3600 seconds).
1 day = 24 hours (or 86,400 seconds).
1,000,000/86,400 = 11.574 days.

So, today class, and in a departure from the usual national multiple choice curriculum,
how long would it take to count to
A} 1 Billion
B} 1 Trillion

And part 2.
The UK treasury expected to have to borrow only an EXTRA £118bn for 2010.{exceedingly unlikely to be that little..that was the November '08 fantasy amount} Excluding interest, how long would it take to pay off just this extra borrowing at £100 a second.{Answer. Depends how quickly you can get the printing presses to run}


If we wanted to pay down a billion pounds of the UK debt, paying one pound a second, it would take 31 years, 259 days, 1 hour, 46 minutes, and 40 seconds.

To pay off a trillion pounds of debt, at a pound a second, would take about 32,000 years.

About a billion minutes ago, the Roman Empire was in full swing. (One billion minutes is about 1,900 years.)

About a billion hours ago, we were living in the Stone Age. (One billion hours is about 114,000 years.)

About a billion months ago, dinosaurs walked the earth. (One billion months is about 82 million years.)

A billion inches is 15,783 miles, more than halfway around the earth (circumference).The earth is about 8,000 miles wide (diameter), and the sun is about 800,000 miles wide, not quite a million.

al UK personal debt at the end of December 2008 stood at £1,457bn.With Mrs BQ contributing to a healthy % of it.


Elby the Beserk said...


Our millions and the Yankee billions and numbers upwards have for a while been standardised to the Yankee format.

Special relationship and all that.

Bill Quango MP said...

Yes, I just added the last bit as my researcher said "But our billions are different" and wouldn't have it until we googled a host of sites. In the end had to say "Who's the boss" to get consensus.

Even the comment leavers on this from The Guardian how big is a billion disagree wuth each other.

however best seems to be
"In 1975 Chancellor Denis Healey announced that the treasury would adopt the US billion thenceforth."

Anonymous said...

Quite: the treasury swapped and so it made sense for everyone else to. Who the hell else uses billions, for heaven's sake?

hatfield girl said...

Liras, that's what we should count pounds as. It's quite easy, just move the point along when inflation generates a few more noughts.

Jock Coats said...

Thing is, it's going to take considerably longer to say, out loud, "nine hundred and twenty four million, three hundred and forty two thousand, seven hundred and eighty five".

There must be, I think, a number to which it would be impossible ever to count before inflation trebles it...:)

A little like NINJA mortgage holders ever managing to begin to repay the principal on their loan.

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