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.

"If everything is correlated to everything else, try checking the statistical significance of the number of lakes in a country to its population's life expectancy. Good luck with that!" This seems to be the only statement you make in your comment that is clear and specific, so I will respond to it now.

I expect not to find a statistically significant correlation between the number of lakes in country and its population's life expectancy, but that is only because there are so few countries. …

My brainchild has a child. My ‘braingrandchild’?

Copy pasted from a direct message on Twitter from Lindes to me timestamped Apr 20, 2021, 8:44 AM:

As for base seven, I hadn’t thought to assign a vowel to that base, but I suppose one could assign “u”? So, a few random examples, in bases 5 and 7: input => decimal/hex/octal => pronunciation

1 (b5) => 1/0x1/01 => sita

2 (b5) => 2/0x2/02 => sina

3 (b5) => 3/0x3/03 => sima

4 (b5) => 4/0x4/04 => sira

10 (b5) => 5/0x5/05 => tita

11 (b5) => 6/0x6/06 => tita sita

12 (b5)…

To really impress that "cute girl", how about *speaking binary*?

Twenty-eight could be spoken in several cool ways. Here they are in order of difficulty and reverse order of coolness:

"sixteen and eight and four",

"sixteen eight four",

"two to the fourth two cubed two squared",

"ri eight four",

"ri mi ni".

Here's a free access article about it:

If that is too deep for you, here is a shallower end of the same swimming pool:

Congratulations Phil Kesten: you have correctly explained here

how momentum is conserved, in my opinion. That isn’t so common. I thought I’d go into a bit more detail in my own explanation.

First watch this video from the two minute mark to the two minute forty seconds mark. It shows clearly how angular momentum is conserved in the astronaut’s body:

I figured out the same thing before coming to your site while watching the first falling cat (the second cat does not show it so clearly — and it’s a pity it was included) in slow motion in…

A note on the word ‘significant’.

First let me clarify for the lay person that ‘significant’ is often used in a misleading way by scientists and journalists when communicating with the public. In plain English it means it is consequential, of considerable importance, as in ‘his salary was raised, but but not by a significant amount’. But in statistics as an academic discipline, it means nothing of the kind. Rather it means, ‘it was probably not entirely due to chance, i.e. was probably not completely misleading’. The ‘significance level’ is the probability that that the result was purely due to chance. …

Consider 999,999,999 : one short of a billion. We say ‘nine hundred ninety-nine million nine hundred ninety-nine thousand nine hundred ninety-nine’. What we say, from a certain intellectual perspective, is not base ten but base one thousand.

If we think of ‘nine hundred ninety-nine’ as the name of a base one thousand numeral, one of nine hundred ninety-nine such numerals with the smallest being ‘one’ and the biggest being ‘nine hundred ninety-nine’ it really does look like base one thousand, albeit with numerals whose names are built up out base ten names. ‘Nine’, ‘ninety-nine’, ‘nine hundred’ , and indeed ‘nine…

Matthew Christopher Bartsh

My favorite activity is learning new things.

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