March 27, 2006

A Google of People

Jenna was getting ready for bed and in her usual intense way reminded me that somebody somewhere died today. Oh my dear child. I am blessed. "Hmmmm," I said.
"Right mama? I mean the world is big. So somebody died someplace today."
I leveled with her while avoiding stating the obvious--that TONS of people died today--and die every day. Instead I simply said, "Well yes, given all the people on the planet, probably somebody did die today."
She said, "I know, because there are a LOT of people on the earth, like more than a million. I mean there's a google of people on the earth."
"A google of people? You mean like a 'billion' or 'gazillion'? Is that the word you mean?"
"No, I mean a google of people. When you add them all up. I mean A LOT of people, a GOOGLE."
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Stu Savory said...

Uh, Jeneane,
I think you may have misheard her.
"A Googol" is a name for a particular large number.
A googol is equal to 10 to the 100th power.

So her idea was right; just that she was off by a few orders of magnitude ;-)

Jeneane Sessum said...

Oh. My. God. My kid is smarter than I am.

(no big surprise)

Thanks Stu, yes, i did not know.

(can i still like google better?)

Jessica said...

So sweetly precocious....

misterorange said...

Yup, it's a Googol all right. It's funny as hell because Google is how everyone expects to spell it and I read somewhere that Sergey and Larry were terrible spellers so they unveiled the company name mispelled.

It's a good thing they can't spell very well ;)

Stu said...

BTW, the buildings where the Google company reside are also called the "Googleplex".

A Googolplex is an even larger number, ten raised to the power of a googol, that is, 1 followed by a googol zeroes. The term googol was coined by the nephew of mathematician Edward Kasner. Googolplex was coined by Kasner to define an especially large number by extension from his nephew's idea.

So it was a child who invented the 'Googol', you should tell your daughter that :-)