Thursday, August 20, 2009


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Dear Friends:

As promised, I have posted the answers to the questions which follow at the bottom of this page. Enjoy them. They will give you a improved sense of perspective.


Douglas Castle

With the help of some Search engines and a calculator, you may wish to answer the following questions:

1. How many Angstrom Units are there in one inch?

2. If Bill Gates were to divide his current net worth amongst the entire population of the United States, how much additional wealth would each of us have?

3. At today's prices, how many ounces of gold would it take to pay for a home valued at $240,000.00?
Here are those long-awaited answers:

1. An Angstrom or Aangstroem (the official transliteration), or Angstrom or any combination of standard and special characters, (symbol Å) is a non-SI unit of length that is internationally recognised. It is sometimes used expressing the size of atoms, lengths of chemical bonds and visible-light spectra. For an example of lengths in this unit, the average diameter of an atom, calculated from its empirical radius, ranges from approximately 0.5 Å for hydrogen (the smallest element) to 3.8 Å for uranium (the largest naturally occurring element on earth). The Angstrom is named after the Swedish physicist Anders Jonas Angstrom (1814-1874), one of the founders of spectroscopy. From 1927 to 1960, the Angstrom was a secondary unit of length for use in spectroscopy, defined separately from the meter, which was still defined based on a physical prototype. In 1960, the meter itself was redefined in spectroscopic terms, making the Angstrom obsolete.

There are 254,000,000 Angstrom Units in one inch.

2. Despite losing $18 billion in the past year, Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates reclaimed the title of richest man in the world, with a total net worth of $40 billion for 2009. Warren Buffett is No. 2, with $37 billion. He lost $25 billion in the past year as shares in his company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc., dropped nearly a third in value.

The total population of the United States is currently 305,182,292, according to the most recent census.

If we took Bill’s net worth of $40 Billion and divided it amongst the entire population of the United States (305,182,292 persons), each person would have an additional net worth of approximately $1.31.

Disappointed? Don’t be. If you could collect a penny from every member of the population of the United States (excluding yourself), you would have only collected a total of $3,051,822.91… a bit over $3 Million.

3. As of 8:00 pm Eastern Time today, the price of an ounce of gold was approximately $939.79. The price is quite volatile, and it fluctuates quite a bit during the course of a single day.

If an ounce of gold is valued at $939.79, and the house that we are looking at purchasing goes for the sum of $240,000.00, all we need to do is some division. If we simply divide $240,000.00 by $939.79 per ounce, we find that we would need 255.38 ounces of gold to buy the house.

Since there are 16 dry ounces to the pound (these are measures of solid weight, and not of liquid volume), the weight of our sack of gold would be approximately 15.96 pounds (not counting the weight of the sack).

Just as an observation: In theory, the best time to purchase a house would be when the price of gold was at a high, and the prices of residential real estate were low.


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