Showing posts from August, 2021

An exploration in number systems

For most people, the denary system of numbers is perfectly natural. So much so that people don’t even give other options a second thought. The alternatives are not just hypothetical but are in their own way ingrained in our culture. What is the denary system of numbers? Denary from the Latin decem for ten, is a system of numbers where we have 10 symbols 0 to 9. For this, we use a positional number system based on powers of 10. Each column to the left has a value 10 times that to the right. The number 1000 is: Thousands Hundreds Tens units 1 0 0 0 This isn’t the only system that could be used and in fact, 10 is special only in the sense that we have 10 fingers. If the number of fingers isn’t taken into account then base 12 would make arithmetic a lot simpler. Instead of a 10s column you have a dozens, instead of 100s you have 144s. For this you ofcourse need more symbols. 10 is represented with the symbol A and 11 is represented with the symbol B. 12 is re

Simple repetition; yesterday's news

Over the last year in lockdown, I’ve tried out a lot of little experiments, in an attempt at following my sister's mantra of a parcel a day keeps covid at bay we ended up with a lot of cardboard in the house. After my previous post, wondering about the strength of layers of cardboard I decided to try and make a rock formation that would act as a vertical planter. Starting with the cardboard I built out a ridiculous structure folding the strips of cardboard into triangular based prisms with the intent that this would allow for the most strength. Then after buying 5 litres of PVA glue off amazon and collecting as many evening standards as I could I covered the structure slowly in paper-mache. I spent far too many hours going over and over the structure in layer upon layer of paper-mache. I barely made a dent in my supply of newspaper which for all intents and purposes was an unlimited supply, nor did I make a dent in the 5 litres of glue. The structure took to a shape, not really ver

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