So how well do you grok big numbers?
I'm an astronomer, so I do OK. More importantly, I am a huge geek (bordering on dork) when it comes to numbers, and when I was a kid I would sit and memorize the names of the big exponents: decillion, nonillion, octillion (my favorite; I like the way it sounds).
But what do they really mean? How big are these numbers? Most of us have a hard time grasping anything past about 16, so a million is hard. The bailout is in the hundreds of billions of dollars, and the national debt in the trillions. How much cash is that?
A billion is a big number.
And now maybe you'll have an idea of just how big. You see that picture? That's only a million pennies (plus change... literally). That's only ten grand's worth. Think you know how many a billion is? Guess first, then click through. You may be surprised.