Finding Powers of 10 in a magazine

Picked up the June, 2010 issue of Wired magazine to read the cover article about Pixar which has received over 20 Oscars. (10+1Toy Story 3 took just over 1,000 days to complete from idea to finished film. (10+3)  To complete one of the more complicated scenes like the finale, one frame would take over 10 hours “of computer time to render.” (10+1)   And “the average international gross per Pixar film is more than $550 million.” (10+8)  There is a wonderful exhibition about Pixar with original artwork that has been on an international tour now at the Oakland Museum through January 9, 2011.

After finishing that article, I found several others where powers of ten were jumping all over this issue:

Evan Schwartz’s opening sentence in ‘Looming Space Junk Crisis’ is filled with powers of 10. “Last year, two satellites (100) collided 500 miles (10+2) above Siberia, adding thousands (10+3) of fragments to the half-million (10+5) pieces of junk already orbiting Earth (10+7). Now it’s time to take out the trash – before the trash takes out the International Space Station.” (10+3)

Dominique Browning’s essay on ‘Domestic Terraforming’ has a vivid description of soil.  “It’s a mixture of rock particles, water, air, organic matter, and microorganisms – lovely creatures such as nematodes, protozoa, fungi, bacteria, and actinomycetes… Only 45 percent of soil consists of minerals, with particles ranging in size from clay (less than 0.00008 inch in diameter) to silt (0.00008 to 0.002 inch) to sand (0.002 to 0.08 inch).” (10-5 to 10-2)

Katharine Gammon summarizes what has been launched and landed on Mars (10+7) over the last 50 years. (10+1)  Tim McKeogh describes Moritz Waldemeyer’s design for a jacket with laser beams for Bono. (10+16)  Jack El-Hai spoke with Kevin Murray an expert on how to ‘spy on spies’ – using equipment like ultraviolet flashlights (10-9) and infrared cameras (10-5) Even the article on the ingredients in Worcestershire sauce can be viewed at different powers of 10 in order to understand why it tastes the way it does!

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One Comment

  1. Art Poirier
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    10.10.10 is a month away. How can we celebrate Powers of Ten next month? Ideas please.

    Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, USA

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