We found a great way of getting a sense of relative sizes of BIG things today. One of my students told me that she was reading her math text the other night. First I thought she was joking, like, "I was sooooo bored, I actually read my math book". But she was serious (woot woot). She mentioned a cool thing she learned.
In our text they compare a million (10^6), a billion (10^9), and a trillion (10^12) with the following questions. Now, I couldn't figure out a fast way of putting a drop down menu with the answers here, so I'll put the answers in the comment section.
1. How much time is encompassed in a million seconds? (in hours or days or years) ..... don't use a calculator, just go by gut feeling.
2. How much time is encompassed in a billion seconds? (again, no calculator ....)
3. How much time is encompassed in a trillion seconds? (drop that calculator!)
How cool is THAT .... and how mind bending.