February 2, 2012

Billions and billions of billions and billions

Dr. Evil would lose his mind.

Politicians like to throw out the word "Billion" a lot, it seems:

"This program will cost under a Billion dollars..."
"This will save over a Billion dollars..."

Let's stop, for a moment, and do some basic math:

There are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, and 365.24 days in a year.

So, consider:

A billion seconds ago? That would be 31 years and 6 months ago... or September, 1980.

A billion minutes ago? The year 111 A.D. The Roman Empire was the dominant force in the world.

A billion hours ago? 114,000 years ago. Homo Sapiens were displacing Homo Erectus as the dominant bipedal species on Earth.

A billion days ago? Pliocene Era.

A billion dollars in Federal Spending ago? About the same time I had breakfast this morning.

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