## Monday, 6 May 2013

## Sunday, 5 May 2013

## Tuesday, 30 April 2013

### A to Z Blogging Challenge - Z is for Zero!

Here is a brief history of Zero.

Numbers were
used for thousands of years before they used zero. Egyptian hieroglyphics were used as early as 3500 B.C. Egypt did not have - or need - a zero. Even without zero,
Egyptians became masters of mathematics.

The
Greeks brought mathematics to its highest point in ancient times. Around 500
BC, the Greeks developed a newer more sophisticated system which avoided
repeated letters, but both the Egyptian and Greek number systems still had no
zeros.

And yes, the symbol for 80 is Pi |

In 2500
B.C., the Babylonians started to use Base 60 (which is why there are 60 seconds in a minute, and 60
minutes in an hour). They sometimes used a space to represent
an empty position. By about 200 A.D., they used a pair of
small triangles to represent an empty position. Although the Babylonians never actually invented
a zero, they did make the important first step.

Hindu
culture had a positional number system in base ten. They
used a dot to represent an empty place, and was called ‘Sunya’ which meant empty. At this point,
the early zero was a placeholder and an aid in calculation. By 500 A.D., the Hindus use a small circle to represent Zero, and was recognized
as a numeral.

Arabic people recognized the value of the
Hindu system and adapted the numerals and calculations. Word then spread the ideas in their
travels The zero was named with the Arabic word ‘sifz’. Fibonacci, after learning
Hindu-Arabic numerals from his Arabic tutors, brought news of zero and new computational
methods to Europe.

Europeans resisted Hindu-Arabic numerals. At first, the numerals, including zero, were not accepted, even to the
point where Florence, Italy, passed a law prohibiting
the use of the numerals. Slowly, the numbers became accepted

*In the history of culture the discovery of zero will always stand out as one of the greatest single achievements of the human race.*

*-Tobias Danzig*

Zero is the number that separates positive numbers from negative
numbers

**It’s even***.***it’s the integer that precedes one. Happy A to Z Blogging Challenge!***,*
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## Monday, 29 April 2013

## Saturday, 27 April 2013

## Friday, 26 April 2013

### A to Z Blogging Challenge - W is for Whales with legs

Whales have lost their hind legs (the front ones are now their
flippers), and we have a pretty good fossil record of how they did so, thanks
in large part to the work of Phil
Gingerich (see his great whale evolutionsite here) and his collaborators.

Although whales lack external
hind legs, they do have internal rudiments of the hind limbs and pelvic girdle,
as seen at the top of the above image, which goes through the evolutionary
process of how whales came to be. I think whales having legs is pretty much the
most fool proof way of proving evolution.

Also this, because it made me laugh

## Thursday, 25 April 2013

### A to Z Blogging Challenge - V is for Voyager 1

Voyager 1 is on the edge of the solar system! It was lauched in 1977, and is only now reaching the edge of the solar system, or the outer heliosphere to be exact.

## Wednesday, 24 April 2013

## Tuesday, 23 April 2013

### A to Z Blogging Challenge - T is for The Name of the Doctor

On a more positive note, it seems that Clara and River will meet for the first time. Should be interesting...

## Monday, 22 April 2013

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