I was watching my kids try to pick who got go first by doing the kids rhyme,

“Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, catch a tiger by the toe, if he hollers let him go, eeny, meeny, miny moe.”

Since there were only two of them, it got me thinking, if you knew which one it would fall on at the end, you could decide who to start counting with to ensure that you select who you want. For each set with different numbers of options, you will get a different individual from that set chosen so I thought I’d visualize who gets selected.

Click “Start” to see which option gets selected when there are different numbers of options. Hover over the graph to see which option is chosen.

There are multiple variants of the rhyme, but the primary one mentioned above has 16 counting elements. The math is such that you take the modulo (which is equivalent to a remainder in long division). For example, if you have 15 choices for the 16 element phrase, you’ll count through all 15 and then go back to the first option and end on it (i.e. item number 1 is chosen). 16 divided by 15 has a remainder of 1. In the case that the remainder is zero, you choose the last item. I.e. if there are 16 items/people to choose among, the last option is chosen and the remainder will be 0.

Longer variants will have more words, which are also shown on the dropdown menu. If you know of other variations, let me know in the comments and I can add them.

Primary: “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, catch a tiger by the toe, if he hollers let him go, eeny, meeny, miny moe.” – 16 counting elements (“catch a” is one element, “by the” is another, etc)

Variation#1: “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, catch a tiger by the toe, if he hollers let him go, eeny, meeny, miny moe My mother told me to pick the very best one and that is Y O U” – 31 counting elements

Variation#2: “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, catch a tiger by the toe, if he hollers let him go, eeny, meeny, miny moe My mother told me to pick the very best one and you are it” – 29 counting elements

**Source and Tools:**

The rhymes come from my childhood and my kids helped me remember some of the variants. Calculations are done in javascript and visualization is done with the open source Plotly javascript graphing library.

This is a simple age calculator that calculates your age down to the second.

The age calculator should be relatively self-explanatory, just enter your birthdate into the tool. You can also enter the time of birth (if you want to), otherwise it will assume you were born at midnight.

- The first (“
**Numerical Age**“) is a table that shows the number of years, months, days, hours, minutes and seconds since you were born. It also shows how long it will be until your next birthday. You can also use the**Start Clock**button to see your age change each second. - The second (“
**Graphical age**“) is a figure that shows your age in the context of a 90 year lifespan. Each block shown is one week and there are 52 weeks (blocks) in a year (row) and 10 years (rows) per decade (group of blocks).

This visualization is based on the the very interesting Wait But Why post “Your Life in Weeks” by Tim Urban. It’s a bit humbling to see your life laid out in this way, and to think about how you will spend the (hopefully many) remaining weeks of your life.

You can click the **URL** button to create a URL that is based on the your birthday (so you don’t have to type it in again). Just copy the URL in the address bar at the top of your browser (after pressing the button) to share with others.

**Programming:** this program was written in javascript and uses the moment.js library to simplify the date calculations.

Disculpe(n) mi pobre español. Utilicé google translate para escribir esto en español.

Aquí está la calculadora que calculará cuánto tiempo lleva contar un millón (o números mayores) en español.

(more…)

There was lots of interest in the calculator to estimate counting time (in English) to one million, one billion and up to one trillion. I decided to do the same for other popular languages (Spanish). Here is the calculator that will calculate how long it takes to count to one million (or larger numbers) in Spanish. If you’d like to see this in Spanish click here.

(more…)

**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).

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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