By ‘a math teacher’, I mean anyone teaching math, including a home schooler. I am not talking about a math teacher who is teaching computer science or some other subject. In computer science it often makes sense to pronounce binary numbers like telephone numbers; a mere series of numerals.

Why current pronunciation systems for binary are inadequate for the math classroom.

Let’s dive in using fourteen as an example.

Fourteen, when converted from our everyday base ten to a binary number is written ‘1110'. Sometimes a subscript ‘two’ or subscript ‘2’ is appended making it ‘1110two’ or ‘1110₂’. Note that this seems to be best that can do to display a…


The base ten counting system has a set of spoken names and rules for pronouncing them that works well, and that we take for granted. Other bases, such as binary, or base eight, or base sixteen seem inhuman, difficult, and useless mainly because they lack an analogous system of names, so that people resort to reading the numbers out like telephone numbers and then saying what base it is to allow the listener to decipher what the number means. To remedy this deficiency in my favorite bases, which are those that are powers two, I developed a unified names and…

This is my second published version of this mnemonic and puzzle. The mnemonic is essentially the same, but I tweaked it significantly. This article contains everything that was in the first article so there is no point in reading that one if you can read this one.

It’s a better, easier puzzle now.

When the order is used as puzzle to be explained, it is now an easier puzzle.

Here’s a puzzle: Why did I order these nations in this order and number them like this and why do I think that this numbered list is awesome? If you know the answer to the first version…

The mnemonic Roy G. Biv is the name of an imaginary person with the initials RGB, which recalls “red, green, blue” which are the names of the light primaries, also known as the primary colors, I noticed. This is in addition to its well-known function of recalling the classic seven colors of the rainbow “red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet”.

I published the ideas of this article about two weeks ago but I can’t find my way back to that account, and so I am republishing it here.

Some of the land and sea zones cut by the 75th parallel north together with some longitude information.

The Mnemonic.

Ga Ba Ka La Ra Ba Da Ga.

This recalls the Greenland Sea, the Barents Sea, Krasnoyarsk Krai, the Laptev Sea, the Arctic Ocean, the Beaufort Sea, Devonshire Island, and finally Greenland and the fact that all of them are at a longitude that is a multiple of 45 degrees east. The latter is indicated by the vowel being a “a”.

Thus Ga (the Greenland Sea) is “at” 0 degrees east (meaning in this context that it contains the intersection of the prime meridian and the 75th parallel north).

Ba (the Barents Sea) at 45 degrees east,

Ka (Krasnoyarsk Krai…

This article dovetails with because that one uses the same system of indicating the longitudes with vowels and diphthongs.

Doing (the important part of) the western hemisphere in the same way as the eastern hemisphere was.

Here are two possible ways that I’d match up the part of North America cut by the 45th parallel with “Fa Taiv Ci Biuc Siur” etcetera:

Longer version of ten syllables.

Ni Nu Na Ci Niuf Ciu Tu Ta Ti Tu

Ten syllables meaning:

U*n*ited States, U*n*ited States, U*n*ited States, Canada, U*n*ited States (and Bay of *F*undy), Canada, A*t*lantic Ocean, A*t*lantic Ocean, A*t*lantic Ocean, A*t*lantic Ocean.

with the…

You don’t need to actually be blind in one eye.

Wait until both eyes are in night vision mode from being in darkness for at least an hour. Then find a place where there is just enough light that you can just see the scene in front of you with your night vision.

Then cover your nondominant eye with your hand and shine a bright light (e.g a flashlight) into your dominant eye for ten seconds or so, destroying your night vision in that eye. Take care not to get any of the flashlight light into your nondominant eye. …

This a perhaps the best parallel to know about, even better than the equator.


I should point out straight away that I have a mnemonic for the details of the 45th parallel that I won’t go into in this article, which presents a more high-level general conceptual perspective. You can read about it if you click the link:

It lies halfway between the equator and the north pole, and so it is very easy to visualize where it is. This is because 45 degrees is half a right angle, but you knew that.

The 45th parallel north cuts the biggest…

Why do so many Americans think it is?

This Wikipedia article:

has this to say:

“The China syndrome (loss-of-coolant accident) is a hypothetical nuclear reactor operations accident characterized by the severe meltdown of the core components of the reactor, which then burn through the containment vessel and the housing building, then (figuratively) through the crust and body of the Earth until reaching the opposite end, presumed to be in “China” (though the antipodes of (sic) continental (sic) U.S. are in fact located in the Indian Ocean).[33][34] The phrasing is metaphorical; there is no way a core could penetrate the several-kilometer…

Every country, and every United States state and Canadian province on it.

The Mnemonic.

Fa Taiv Ci Biuc Siur Bu Cuab Ra Caikz Ki

Ku Ca Mi Cu Ra Jai Hai Kai Tai Pi.

Oimws M to Nov.

“Oimws” is pronounced “oimus” so that the line has exactly five syllables, and so that “Oimws” sounds like an Irish given name (similar to “Seamus”), and (“M to Nov” i.e. “Emtonov”) like a Russian surname similar to “Molotov”.

It has to be “M to Nov”, and not “M to N” or “M to New”, because “N” or “New” could be misunderstood as meaning New…

Matthew Christopher Bartsh

My favorite activity is learning new things.

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