"Log scales" (or, we are out of birthday candles)


There's no comfort in the truth,
pain is all you'll find
--George Michael, "Careless Whisper"

We had a birthday celebration this weekend for a 65 year old. We didn't have 65 candles for the cake (and, had we had that many, we undoubtedly would have set off the fire alarms, but that's a different story).

We did, however, have 6.  So SLM decided to use one candle per decade.  Now, we have a nicely manageable 6 candles on the (yummy!) ((gluten-free)) carrot cake.

My birthday is coming up, and I suggested the same protocol -- we can use one candle for each decade, requiring 4 candles on my cake.

Note that the difference between candles -- 6 versus 4 -- is much less than the difference in actual years -- 65 versus 43.

The "one per decade" rule is actually log(10)[age], for those of you who want an equation.

For the rest, when you want to make things look closer together, for a birthday or a chart, use a log scale like "one per decade". For example, there are ~2.25 log-words in this post.

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