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Lovely detail from Doron Swade's book on computer pioneer Charles Babbage (via Wikipedia.)

Babbage once contacted the poet Alfred Tennyson in response to his poem "The Vision of Sin". Babbage wrote, "In your otherwise beautiful poem, one verse reads,

Every moment dies a man,

Every moment one is born.

... If this were true, the population of the world would be at a standstill. In truth, the rate of birth is slightly in excess of that of death. I would suggest [that the next version of your poem should read]:

Every moment dies a man,
Every moment 1 1/16 is born.

Strictly speaking, the actual figure is so long I cannot get it into a line, but I believe the figure 1 1/16 will be sufficiently accurate for poetry."