Monday, July 09, 2007

How Much Is A Billion?

a. A billion seconds ago it was 1959.
b. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.
c. A billion hours ago we were living in the Stone Age.
d. A billion days ago no one walked the earth on two feet.
e. A billion dollars ago was only eight hours and 20 minutes ago, at the rate our
government is spending it.

(I stole the above from my friend Kenny at Coffee in the Morning, who also stole it from somebody else.)

And, I just read that the boost in troop levels in Iraq has increased the cost of war there and in Afghanistan to 12 billion a month. And, the total for Iraq alone is nearing a half-TRILLION dollars. It makes my head spin, this "burn rate" of billions.

"Think of what $10 billion a month would mean to protecting Americans from terrorism, improving security at our ports and airports, and increasing border security," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The US Government's "debt ceiling" is $5.95 TRILLION. (A trillion being a 1 followed by 12 zeros). How much is that, you ask?

5.95 trillion seconds is 188,544 years.
5.95 trillion hours ago the first fossils were being formed.
5.95 trillion meters is the mean radius of the Solar System.
5.95 trillion miles is 1.013 light years--the speed of light being 186,000 miles every second!

I don't know exactly what that 5.95 trillion "debt ceiling" really means, but listen to this: The US National Debt (2001) was $7 trillion + (actually, $7,937,463,000,000). If you had gone into business on the day Jesus was born, and your business lost a million dollars a day, day in and day out, 365 days a year, it would take you until October 2737 to lose a trillion dollars! So, I imagine it would likewise take that long to MAKE a TRILLION dollars....

And yet, the world's 10 biggest oil companies(here read Bush and Cheney among them) were expected to exceed one TRILLION dollars in sales in 2004. In ONE YEAR! You do the math. I can't. No wonder it costs $50 (at least) to fill up our cars.

Is your head spinning?


Tammy said...

This whole thing makes me ill as I sit here watching the death toll rise and now our debt? Grrr!

desert rat said...

Ouch... my brain hurts.

Galena Alyson Canada said...

Hey Pepek, thank you so much for visiting and the many notes! Apparently we share some taste in library stock... ;-)

Yes 1000 Women read like a movie to me too, and yes, I've read the Diary of Adam & Eve, but it's been decades, so I'll have to pick that up again.

Do you think I should separate the books from the music, each to it's own page, or leave them combined?

Did you have a favourite article?
What would you like to see more/less of?

Thanks again,
'Lena (infant blogger)

Pam said...

Bush's legacy...death and debt.

slickdpdx said...

Gas is pretty reasonably priced when you think about the recovery, transportation, refinery, transportation and service at your local station. The problem is we use so much.

Regarding libraries: I'm surprise you all haven't tried Library Thing!

pepektheassassin said...

Ok. Looks fun. I'm doing this NOW.

...deb said...

It is always shocking to see context for these obscene numbers (and acts). Thanks for posting them.