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A. Hall & Co. by Joseph C. Lincoln
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Can You Count to a Googol? by Robert E. Wells
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Comments for The Disappearing Spoon

The Disappearing Spoon: 03/31/14

cover art

My children are growing up around a family and extended community of scientists, mathematicians, and computer programers. Before they were born, when we were newlyweds, we here living in married student housing at Caltech. We were the second generation to do this (my husband's parents having also done this).

At a welcome new graduate students (and their families) dinner, we sat across from a man who would become my husband's best friend. He had done his undergraduate work at Harvard and said off handedly that his ex-roommate was now at Stanford working on a little project called Google.

Last year Google celebrated it's fifteenth anniversary. Since then they three of us (for different reasons and at different times) have moved to the Bay Area. Both men are now working for Google.

It is in this atmosphere that our children have been raised. Mathematics is discussed regularly as my husband has also worked as a math professor, and went through grad school for his PhD in math during their life time.

So it should strike no one as weird that my daughter (whose both grandmothers majored in mathematics at one point or another; we tend to go for multiple degrees) chose Can You Count to a Googol by Robert E. Wells for some fun reading. She chose it already knowing how big a googol is and its inspiration for the search engine's name.

For those that aren't aren't as into math at such a young age, Can You Count to a Googol? is an introduction to numbers and uses real word things in humorous drawings to show the small (one to ten) and how BIG or HOW MANY the larger ones represent.

To answer the title's question, the answer is no. It would physically take too long for a single person to count to a googol one digit at a time.

Four stars
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