Google or the origin of one of the biggest and most famous errors on the internet…
With annual revenue (chiffre d’affaires) of more than $100 billion, 750 million users, 100 billion requests every month, the figures are staggering: Google reigns supreme in the world of the web. Eighty years ago, Edward Kasner, an American mathematician, coined the term (inventé le terme) “googol” (“gogol” in French) to refer to a “number 10 raised to the power of 100” (10 followed by 100 zeros), a very huge number. But why this term? Perhaps for the astonishment caused by the enormity of this number. Indeed, in 1996, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, students at Stanford University, had a revolutionary idea. They wanted to create a search engine capable of scanning web pages. One of the coworkers proposed to baptise it “googolplex” (googolplex) (the number 10 raised to gogol power). A number with seemingly endless zeros, symbolizing the potential of the data retrieved by students. The word was eventually abbreviated to “googol”. Eventually, a typing error when naming the search engine will change this googol into google.
The durian, also named the “king of fruits,” is a fruit grown in Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and southern Thailand. It has a hard shell, covered with thick yellow-green spines and is recognized for its large size, weight and above all, its strong smell. Whereas a small majority of people perceive the durian as having an enjoyable sweet fragrance, others feel an intense disgust because of its taste and smell. The latter have been compared with rotten onions, gym socks and even raw sewage. As such, the durian is banned from certain hotels and public transportation in some places, such as Singapore. Nevertheless, the fruit’s flesh is used in Asia to flavor traditional dishes and candies, as well as in traditional Asian medicine. Lastly, according to a Japanese study, the durian strongly inhibits a liver-based enzyme to break down alcohol. Simply put, drinking alcohol while eating durians can cause death.
When you hear a plane in the sky, do you ever have trouble spotting it? Have you ever looked up where the sound seemed to be coming from but the plane was no longer there. If so, there is a scientific reason behind it. It’s because it takes time for the sound waves to reach you. And by the time they do, the object you were looking at has moved.
We could argue that you were in fact “hearing back in time”, because the sound you hear is the sound of the plane several seconds ago, not the sound of the plane now. When you do spot the plane, you’re actually seeing it as it was a tiny fraction of a second before since, just as sound waves take time to travel, so do light waves. Now, from where we stand, nothing faster than the speed of light. In fact, if you were able to go faster, some theories suggest that you’d be blind, for the light could not be able to catch up with you.
Another important factor is how far you’re trying to look. If you look in the mirror, the distance is so miniscule that you see yourself almost instantly. If you try to look at the moon, there’ll be a short delay due to the distance. So, trying to see astral beings farther than the sun would mean seeing them slightly in the past.
The farther your destination, the more information takes time to reach your eyes. In other words, theoretically, if you were to look at a hospitable planet that’d potentially be sustainable and which took the same evolutionary path as Earth, you could see it in the dinosaur era.
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