One billion seconds is 31.69 years or a little more than 11,574 days. In the context of a human lifespan, I will personally cross the one billion second threshold around dinner time on May 2nd, 2021. Jean Calment holds the record for individual longevity, clocking in at an impressive 3.86 billion seconds of life. To put that in context, Calment's lifespan covers more than 1% of the total longevity of human civilization, which has been around for roughly 378 billion seconds.
It's been estimated that 70 percent of the volume of trading on the stock exchanges is done by something called flash traders, which are basically computers that buy and sell stocks and hold them for about 11 seconds on average. All of the discussions around what moves the market, the economy, politics, regulations, company earnings it’s really all out the window given there’s just no way that a computer holding and selling a stock in 11 seconds is going to be able to do all of that analysis. Essentially, there’s no clear-cut explanation for why stocks move up and down every day. And frankly, the fact that we have media trying to make these reports about how it’s related to this or that is just not very helpful for the average investor.
17th century Europe was an era of emerging luxury in which status was often defined by the one's ability to conquer the wild and take control of its beauty. In order to display ones wealth, a flower collection was needed. Like anything within a society, the value of flowers was decided by rarity, which due to a strange sequence of events created a brief moment when tulip bulbs were counted amongst the most valuable objects on earth.
Tulip cultivation in Europe was started in the Netherlands around 1593 by the Flemish botanist Charles de l'Écluse, who had received a collection of tulip bulbs as a gift from the Ottoman Empire. Tulips grow from bulbs, and can be propagated through both seeds and buds. Seeds from a tulip will form a flowering bulb after 7–12 years. When a bulb grows into the flower, the original bulb will disappear, but a clone bulb forms in its place, as do several buds. Properly cultivated, these buds will become bulbs of their own.
Certain color varieties like striped tulips could only be grown through buds, not seeds, and so cultivating the most appealing varieties took years. Tulips bloom in April and May for only about a week, and the secondary buds appear shortly thereafter.
As the flowers grew in popularity, professional growers paid higher and higher prices for bulbs. By 1634, in part as a result of demand from the French, speculators began to enter the market. In 1636, the Dutch created a type of formal futures markets where contracts to buy bulbs at the end of the season were bought and sold. This trade was centered in Haarlem during the height of a bubonic plague epidemic, which may have contributed to a culture of fatalistic risk taking.
The contract price of rare bulbs continued to rise throughout 1636. At its zenith, a single tulip bulb was valued at the equivalent of $400,000. However in February 1637, tulip bulb contract prices collapsed abruptly and the trade of tulips ground to a halt.
Blimp pilots are an uncommon breed. There are less than 30 operational blimps worldwide, and in the United States, only 24 people who are officially licensed to fly them.
Note: The image above depicts German Zeppelin LZ 129 Hindenburg on arrival at Lakehurst, New Jersey, after its inaugural flight from Friedrichshafen, Germany, on the early morning of 9 May 1936.
The man credited with the ‘invention’ of the numbering sequence of the modern standard dartboard is Brian Gamlin. Gamlin was a carpenter and showman from the County of Lancashire, England and came up with the sequence at the age of 44.
He introduced the numbering variation at a county fair in 1896. Though darts were already a popular fairground activity, Gamlin built the board for a new game he called ‘round the clock’ in which players have to score with darts in numerical order.
Gamlin designed the numbering in such a way as to cut down the incidence of ‘lucky shots’ and reduce the element of chance. The numbers are placed in such a way as to encourage accuracy - the placing of small numbers on either side of large numbers.
There are 2,432,902,008,176,640,000 different possible arrangements of the 20 segments on a standard dartboard, so it's impressive that Gamlin’s arrangement of the numbers is almost perfect.
From a mathematical perspective, total of the difference between adjacent numbers on Gamlin's board is 196, only 4 away from the maximum possible total of 200.
The best way to improve the board would be by moving the 14 and placing it between the 6 and the 10.