And a One, And a Two…

There is nothing we do that doesn’t require counting somehow. You can count on that. And you can count on me to brighten your Friday afternoons. Relax, and count your blessings.  :))

What a week.  With all the effort, time and money that went into the election, we find ourselves relying on a basic human skill – something that goes back thousands and thousands of years … counting.  It’s something that is so natural, we seldom think about its origins or how we learned to count in the first place.  As a youngster, I was privileged to watch Sesame Street, and enjoy one of my favorite characters, The Count.  Putting numbers to music was brilliant, and I still enjoy the songs and the number of the day especially with my granddaughter.  There are expressions we use here at KHT all the time, when it comes to solving your PIA (pain in the @%$) Jobs! – like “you can count on me”, “you can count on it”.  Many of us say “count me in/out” and “down for the count”. We “count our calories”, “lose count” and know “it’s the thought that counts”.  I’m often “counting my blessings” when I think of my wife, children, grandkids, friends, vendors and amazing customers and the gang here at KHT.  I’m also blessed to have married a counting savant.  Jackie’s natural abilities astound me, as she can organize numbers and things WAY better than I can even imagine – (if you could see my sock drawer I might have a chance!).  Here’s some history and trivia – and a song from The Count – enjoy!  Special thanks to Wikipedia and transom.org for the info.

  • Counting is the process of determining the number of elements of a finite set of objects. The traditional way of counting consists of continually increasing a (mental or spoken) counter by a unit for every element of the set, in some order, while marking (or displacing) those elements to avoid visiting the same element more than once, until no unmarked elements are left; if the counter was set to one after the first object, the value after visiting the final object gives the desired number of elements. The related term enumeration refers to uniquely identifying the elements of a finite (combinatorial) set or infinite set by assigning a number to each element. (how’s that for an explanation!)
  • Counting sometimes involves numbers other than one; for example, when counting money, counting out change, “counting by twos” (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, …), or “counting by fives” (5, 10, 15, 20, 25, …).
  • There is archaeological evidence suggesting that humans have been counting for at least 50,000 years.  Counting was primarily used by ancient cultures to keep track of social and economic data such as the number of group members, prey animals, property, or debts (that is, accountancy). Notched bones have been found in the Border Caves in South Africa that may suggest that the concept of counting was known to humans as far back as 44,000 BCE. The development of counting led to the development of mathematical notation, numeral systems, and writing.
  • Counting can also be in the form of tally marks, making a mark for each number and then counting all of the marks when done tallying. This is useful when counting objects over time, such as the number of times something occurs during the course of a day.
  • Tallying is base 1 counting; normal counting is done in base 10. Computers use base 2 counting (0s and 1s).
  • Counting can also be in the form of finger counting, especially when counting small numbers. This is often used by children to facilitate counting and simple mathematical operations. Finger-counting uses unary notation (one finger = one unit) and is thus limited to counting 10 (unless you start in with your toes). Older finger counting used the four fingers and the three bones in each finger (phalanges) to count to the number twelve.  Other hand-gesture systems are also in use, for example the Chinese system by which one can count to 10 using only gestures of one hand. By using finger binary (base 2 counting), it is possible to keep a finger count up to 1023 = 210 − 1. This explanation makes me tired!
  • Various devices can also be used to facilitate counting, such as hand tally counters and abacuses.  Computers at about 205 million per second. If the last value in the for loop is changed to 18,446,744,073,709,551,615 (the largest value that a 64 bit ulong can hold), this loop would take about 89,984,117,433 seconds which is about 1,041,483 days or 2,853 years! (would someone please call Jackie!)
  • Inclusive counting is usually encountered when dealing with time in the Romance languages.  In exclusive counting languages such as English, when counting “8” days from Sunday, Monday will be day 1, Tuesday day 2, and the following Monday will be the eighth day. When counting “inclusively,” the Sunday (the start day) will be day 1 and therefore the following Sunday will be the eighth day. For example, the French phrase for “fortnight” is quinzaine (15 [days]), and similar words are present in Greek (δεκαπενθήμερο, dekapenthímero), Spanish (quincena) and Portuguese (quinzena). In contrast, the English word “fortnight” itself derives from “a fourteen-night”, as the archaic “sennight” does from “a seven-night”.
  • Names based on inclusive counting appear in other calendars as well: in the Roman calendar the nones (meaning “nine”) is 8 days before the ides; and in the Christian calendar Quinquagesima (meaning 50) is 49 days before Easter Sunday.
  • Musical terminology also uses inclusive counting of intervals between notes of the standard scale: going up one note is a second interval, going up two notes is a third interval, etc., and going up seven notes is an octave.
  • Learning to count is an important educational/developmental milestone in most cultures of the world, but some cultures in Amazonia and the Australian Outback do not count, and their languages do not have number words. (I think this is where the expression came:  “be home before the street lights come on”)
  • Many children at just 2 years of age have some skill in reciting the count list (that is, saying “one, two, three, …”). They can also answer questions of ordinality for small numbers, for example, “What comes after three?”. They can even be skilled at pointing to each object in a set and reciting the words one after another. This leads many parents and educators to the conclusion that the child knows how to use counting to determine the size of a set.  Research suggests that it takes about a year after learning these skills for a child to understand what they mean and why the procedures are performed
  • Counting takes longer than you think.  To count to a trillion, a computer can get to one billion (9 zeros) rather fast – 15 seconds. But to get to one trillion (12 zeros) – the difference is amazing – 4 hours and 10 minutes.
  • If you love numbers, here’s some great trivia

 

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DO YOU LIKE CONTESTS?
Me, too.
As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me
a quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))  
Have fun!!

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