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Nothing

Bullfinch

Bullfinch

Today is my birthday. I have made it into double figures. In spite of the fact that we use the decimal system it is actually eleven years since the last time my age was indicated by two identical digits. This misalignment began early. I had been alive for a whole year before I reached the age of one. Thinking of this made me wonder about nothing – or zero.

Nothing must have always existed, the concept of not having anything must have been understood even when we ran around in our most primitive state. But, no one really put it to good use until around 500 AD when a guy called Aryabhata, from Northern India, published some really interesting astronomical texts in which he used it in the way we do today. The texts were so interesting that soon everyone who was anyone at that time was talking about them, and zero as a decimal placeholder, soon passed into wider use.

In the photo we have a Bullfinch. At one time they were an agricultural pest. They feed off the flower buds on fruit trees and used to decimate fruit crops.  His numbers are down, too, and it does seem to have improved his social responsibility.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. 2018-05-26 at 11:09

    Wow, happy birthday for you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • 2018-05-26 at 15:35

      Thank you – I hope you are keeping well. I am very busy with my stories as the moment – so not much time for the blog.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 2018-05-26 at 15:50

        You welcome! Yes, I am good enough and keeping well as much as I can. I will want to read more from your stories. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. 2018-05-26 at 17:47

    There are still some of my children’s stories on http://www.everopenstorybook.com – I will be changing the site soon as I now have three books. There are some not for children stories on https://medium.com/@ford.davidj/latest – you might like those? I would love to know what you think if you have time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 2018-05-27 at 06:39

    Nothingness is such an interesting concept! I like how you weave together astronomical and aviation history.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 2018-05-27 at 21:03

      Thanks Kate – I wasn’t sure if it would work – I only give myself 200 words in these blogs, and that’s never enough to explain complicated things properly.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 2018-05-27 at 23:02

        Very cool. I have always been a fan of writing constraints.

        Liked by 1 person

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