Growing up my grandpa always used to say “the best way to learn, is to read.” And while I didn’t really listen to him way back then (unless you count photo books? ;)), I’ll admit he was on to something there. Only I’ve come to think of it as, “the best way to learn, is to read SOMETHING THAT INTERESTS YOU!”
That probably sounds like common sense to most of you, but back as a kid I never caught on to it. And it’s really a shame as I could have turned all those time being dragged to the library or book store, or anywhere else where papers were stuck together with words on them, into more of an exciting adventure than full of dread. The only time it got better was in middle school when I realized there were tons of books with *pictures* in them! So I’d then head straight back to the art and photography section while my family members probably mocked me ;) They’re all book worms…
Anyways, I’m all better now and I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE reading, but only when it’s a topic that excites me. Like, these days money and coins. So I’m subscribed to every other personal finance magazine out there, as well as all the coin stuff I can get my hands on too. Which you’d think they’d kinda cross over being that both genres are based on money, but the funny part is they don’t. Personal Finance is all about using your brain and applying it to your daily lives, whereas coins are more of hobby stuff on the side with incredible history lessons. More of an “escape” if you will, like when you’re learning about pirate ships and sunken treasure! Blimey!
The more you read, the more you come across interesting little factoids you’ll want to share with the world too. Or better yet, at cocktail parties or bars to make yourself look smarter and more interesting. (Does anyone even *have* cocktail parties anymore, btw?) Which is the point of me sharing my new found info with you today – to make myself look better :) Or to give you a mental break from all that hardcore finance you’ve been reading lately, you choose.
(On a side note – if you can figure out a way to pull of the “cute factor” a la the kid from Jerry Maguire, please let me know. It’s hard to beat “the human head weighs 8 pounds!” when you’re trying to impress your wife.)
So in my recent adventures with reading, here’s a bunch of interesting facts I’ve found all surrounding our good ol’ currency system:
- There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar (if you include the $1 coin)
- There are 9,823,546,661,905 ways to make change for a $100.00 bill!
- It costs approximately 6.4 cents per note to produce U.S. currency.
- Our bills are fabric composed of 25% linen and 75% percent cotton.
- About 4,000 double folds (forward and backward) are required before a note will tear.
- The average life span of a $1.00 bill is 21 months.
- The average life span of a $50.00 bill is 4.5 years.
- The Bureau of Engraving and Printing produces 26 million notes a day, with a face value of approximately $907 million.
- The largest bill ever printed by them was the $100,000 gold certificate.
- The U.S. Secret Service was created during the Civil War to fight counterfeiting.
You can find more gems like these at federalreserveducation.org and Frank Morgan’s Math Chat, even though I *ahem* read most of this stuff in my coin magazine, thank you very much. I’d like to think reading paper makes you smarter than reading online, even though that’s totally ridiculous of course. Especially since my entire BLOG is on the web! Haha…
Maybe it’s time to come out with an actual book?! I do have an agent willing to work with me, if you can believe that (remember when bloggers used to be frowned upon??), but it seems I’m lacking some motivation and a brilliant idea to jump start everything… Maybe you have one I can steal? ;)
Anyways, that wraps up this lesson for the day. If my grandpa were still around I hope he’d be proud that I’m finally listening to him. Even if it took 30-something years to sink in! Haha… Now get out there and start spreading your new facts! Perhaps it’ll get you a hot date, or at the very least a free cocktail. I recommend the Show Me The Monkey.