Counting to One Million in Different Languages (Chinese, English and Spanish)

Posted In: Counting | Math
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Updated: Lots of folks on Reddit pointed out some mistakes in the Spanish calculations, and helped me figure out the solutions, so the Spanish graphs are now updated. The Spanish calculator is now live!

Building off of the last post about Counting to One Million in English, I received some comments about looking at other languages.  That seemed like a very good idea, so I looked at a list of the world’s most popular languages and saw Chinese and Spanish listed with English in the Top 3.  Having a little experience with both of those, I set out to compare how long it’d take to count in each of these languages, if you had to pronounce every single number from one to one million.

Again, here’s the plot of the number of syllables per number for English.  The longest word is seven hundred seventy seven thousand seven hundred seventy seven (20 syllables).

Count to one million in English
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March Madness Bracket Picker Based on Historical Probabilities (and Monte Carlo Simulation)

Posted In: Sports
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March Madness Matchup Visualizer

Posted In: Sports
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It’s March and for those who follow sports, that means college basketball and March Madness.  The tournament is mainly interesting because of two reasons: (1) filling out brackets and (2) watching and hoping for upsets .  This interactive March Madness matchup visualizer helps do both of these things by showing you the history of the tournament (since 1985 when the tournament expanded to 64 teams) in terms of matchups between teams with different seeds (1 through 16 in four regions).
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How long does it take to count to 1 million? 1 billion? 1 trillion?

Posted In: Math | Programming
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My son likes large numbers (like septillion, googol and googolplex) and once asked me how long it would take to count to septillion (which is 1 followed by 24 zeros).  I told him it would take longer than the age of the universe to do that, so he started working his way down.  He asked me about counting to one million.  I did a little math (assuming one number per second) and got about 11-12 days . . . but then thought, the large numbers (like 658,243) take more than a second to say.

Looked on the web a little to see if anyone else had done a more sophisticated calculation.  Lots of calculations were like my own (assuming one number per second).  Others acknowledge that it would take longer for large numbers and made assumptions about what that would be.  But nothing definitive, so I thought I’d make one.  This counting calculator is based on the number of syllables in every number and counts all the syllables you’d have to pronounce in order to count from one to one million (or other numbers).

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Tesla Model 3 Sales Tracker

Posted In: Energy | Technology | Transportation
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Tesla has been building innovative and industry-leading battery-powered cars for about a decade, starting with the Roadster, and then the Model S and Model X. The company unveiled the Model 3 (their first mass-market electric car with 220 miles of range, priced at “$35,000”), in early 2017 and hundreds of thousands of people put down a $1000 deposit within a few days. Overall, the number of these pre-orders total about half a million! Impressive for a car most people have not driven or even seen.

The company also had optimistic timeframes for producing and shipping these vehicle: they had originally estimated production rates of 5000 cars/week by the end of 2017 and 10,000 cars/week(!) in 2018. That’s Civic or Camry levels. These have since been delayed due to reports of “production hell” in scaling up mass production for the vehicles. Given the unprecedented demand and production challenges as Tesla transitions from niche automaker to mass-market production, I thought it would be worthwhile to track the sales of Model 3s as they are built and shipped to customers with the Model 3 Sales Tracker.

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Financial Freedom Calculator

Posted In: Financial Independence
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The goal of the freedom calculator is to let you know how close to financial independence (i.e. freedom) you are, measuring your progress in terms of freedom days.  The key determinants for retirement are total retirement savings and annual spending.

Freedom days refers to the number of days that your retirement savings could sustain you (without working) each year (indefinitely) at your current spending level. Once you reach 365 freedom days per year, you’ve got enough money saved up to never have to work again. The freedom date then tells you the date through which your retirement savings would support you each year.  For example, if you have 100 freedom days then your spending could be covered through April 10th, each year.

How close are you to 365 “freedom days”?

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