Introducing “The Puli Number of the Month”
According to Wikipedia, “A number is a mathematical object used to count and measure.” Admittedly, this does not sound very cool. But wait a minute – perhaps we can change your mind! Let's start with our great dog: the most common measures for our namesake, the ancient Hungarian herding and livestock-guarding dog breed puli are its height and mass. Pulis can be at the withers as tall as 45 cm – or almost 18 inches – and its average mass is given as 23-25 pounds in the Wikipedia article or up to 15 kg in the Hungarian wiki version. You, of course, immediately notice that to measure something we always need a number and a measurement unit. If we want to be sure that we know what we are talking about, it is absolutely necessary to define precisely the unit of the measurement. This seems to be trivial, but do you know all the possible meanings of, let us take just one example, ton? Or are you familiar with all the temperature units and their conversion? You can immediately see, just telling about some of the coldest places known in our Solar System – yes, they are on the Moon! –, gives you the chance to add a lot of other interesting stuff, like the existence of various temperature scales, that you might tell the audience about. Counting seems to be a bit simpler than measuring: we just need to find the number of elements of a set. Of course, the meaning of the specific set, or the change of the number we are counting during a time period, makes the presentation of “countings” at least as interesting as to report on a measurement. Measurements or counting – in both cases the additional value for free is that we can easily enrich the telltale story of our numbers we are explaining. This is education at its best – so be prepared for The Puli Number of the Month, our number crunching blog series, to be launched soon! Post Scriptum: By the way, did you already notice that Mark Zuckerberg – whose quite well known company reached the 500 million-user mark July 2010, and counting – has recently bought a puli, called Beast? The guy might guess something about the outcome of GLXP!