quarta-feira, julho 20, 2005

24 865

What do you think there is so special about this number? Is it a prime? Well the number is odd and greater than two, so it could be a prime — huumm, it isn't: it is divisible by five. Anyway, it doesn't matter, it is not the mathematical properties of this number that we are interested in. This natural number, like most of its kind, was just used for couting.

24 865 is the number of civilians, mostly Iraqis, that were reported killed in Iraq between 20 March 2003 and 19 March 2005.
Want another natural number? Well here it goes: 9 270. This is the number of victims killed by the allied forces (of whom 86 by the British forces).

They are so nice these natural numbers. They allow us to count so many things. Here I've just showed one application of natural numbers: counting dead people.