This artist's impression shows a sunset seen from the super-Earth… (ESO / L. Calcada )
It’s been a week of big numbers, mostly with dollar signs attached.
A group led by former NBA great Magic Johnson paid $2 billion to buy the Dodgers.
Which means a nice check for Frank McCourt, the guy who paid about $430 million for the team in 2004. It also means Frank’s ex-wife, Jamie, who helped him run the team into the ground, will get her $130 million, which should keep her in houses for a couple of years.
The Mega Millions jackpot has reached $500 million for Friday night’s drawing. Your odds of winning? About 1 in 176 million. (Funny, those who despise the lottery often talk about the lousy odds, but they never tell you what the odds are of actually earning that much money.)
If you want really astronomical numbers, you’ll love this: Scientists, doing what scientists do -- crunch numbers -- estimate that there are tens of billions of planets in the Milky Way galaxy alone that may be able to sustain life. Which makes one wonder: Do the beings on those planets like baseball? How many play the lottery? Are their odds of winning lousy too?
Speaking of space, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos -- who Forbes says is worth $18.4 billion -- plans to try to recover from the ocean floor one or more of the Saturn 5 rocket motors that propelled Apollo 11 on its way to landing on the moon in 1969. Which means, I suppose that Bezos is so rich that he has time to think up silly ways to spend some of his dough.
And finally, giving new meaning to the adage “a fool and his money are soon parted,” Newt Gingrich’s biggest backer, Sheldon Adelson, said Wednesday that his guy is “at the end of his line” -- this after Adelson, his wife and children donated $16.5 million to Winning Our Future, a “super PAC” that helped boost Gingrich’s campaign.
To which most everyone else is saying: Only dopes play the lottery, but this guy owns a casino? Is this what is called "stupid rich"?
Of course, there was one little number making news this week too. Five Supreme Court justices appear poised to declare President Obama’s healthcare reform law unconstitutional.
That decision would spawn some more big numbers: Millions of Americans won’t have any health insurance, and millions more will be forced to choose between paying bills or being sick.
But to today’s Republican Party, that’s a small price to pay for “freedom.”
For the rest of us, I guess it’s the old Janis Joplin song line: “Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.”