Tag: number


Big numbers are not scary

Because they’re still numbers. You’re scared of them because you’re not used to seeing them on a regular basis. The recent announcement of the US public debt being in the neighbourhood of 14+ trillion had caused some waves. You can relate with 0 to 20 easily. You can count reasonably well to 100. You might […]


Negative sales targets and percentage commissions

A while ago, I received an email from a distraught salesman. He believed his sales commissions were wrongly calculated, and asked me to shed some light. Note that I’m not using the exact numbers he gave in his email. The story goes that Michael (as I’ll call him) and his colleagues were given sales targets […]


Colour of numbers

I was mucking around in my image editor (Paint.NET) because I was doing some CSS colour editing. While I was playing around with the HSV of the colour, I saw this in the RGB box: 314159. You know what that reminds me of? PI. No, not that pie, PI! Great, now I’m hungry… So I […]


Financial reports must be untouched by human hands

People handling billing or financial data are usually very uptight. Especially when it comes to numbers. If you thought mathematicians, statisticians or economists were protective of their numerical figures, go talk to someone who works in the financial department. PI is an elegant number. It goes to about 3.14159265, and describes the ratio of the […]


“The numbers don’t tally!” – a serial counting problem

How many numbers are there from 7 to 26 (both inclusive)? How do you calculate your age? Both solutions require you to count from one number to another. And if you’re quick-witted, you might have deduced that a subtraction shortens the process considerably. However, be careful of how you subtract. For the first question, if […]