Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Next Solar System Over

Let's say out sun was exploding, and we needed to get out of here.
Our best bet would be to go to the next nearest star, because there might be planets and there is for sure energy.
How far is the next nearest star?
4 light years and a bit.
4?! That's not a big number at all!
So we hop into our RV and start driving at 100 kilometers an hour, straight at that star.
How long till we get there?
Just, uh, 46 million years.
Think of how many generations would come an go in that RV.
And now take into consideration evolution.
The oldest primate fossils ever found are 47 million years old.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Memorial Day

More than 1 million people have died because of the war on terror.
Less than 6 thousand of them have been American.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft is a massively-multiplayer online role-playing game.
The most popular of all such games, it boasts 11.4 million paying players.
If it were considered a country, it would be the 73rd most populous, higher on the list than Greece, Sweden, and the Czech Republic.
If it were a state, it would be the 8th most populous, with 1 and a half million more people than Michigan.
If it were a city, it would be the 6th most populous, coming in ahead of Tokyo, New York City, and London.

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Saturday, 28 May 2011

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber is a fairly successful singer-songwriter.
The music video for his song "Baby" is the most viewed video on youtube, with 500 million hits.
So how much time have people spent watching it?
3 minutes, 45 seconds per view.
Almost 4 thousand years.
To watch a video and listen to music, an average computer uses about 280 watts every hour.
In the United States, where most of the views come from, 1 pound of carbon dioxide is created for every kilowatt used.
Almost 10 million pounds of carbon dioxide have been created to watch this single video.

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Friday, 27 May 2011

MIT Puzzle

Ron Rivest, of MIT, has revealed a puzzle today.
And this puzzle involves some very big numbers.
The biggest number of the bunch is 2279685186856218, which you need to divide by another number and find the remainder.
Yes, 2 to the power of almost 280 trillion.
Google calculator can't handle that.
New scientist tells us it's 74 quadrillion digits long.
What if you wanted to solve the puzzle by hand?
First you'd need to write out this problem.
Let's say you teamed up with everyone else on the planet to write it down.
And you can all write a digit every second.
The number would take 12 and a half days to write down.
And the you have to start with the long division.

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Thursday, 26 May 2011

Toxic Water

The situation at the Fukushima Nuclear Plants isn't getting much better.
A report today said that 100 thousand tons of radioactive water that have leaked out.
That's 90 million liters.
Let's pretend that's gas instead of toxic water.
And let's pretend you filled up your Hummer with it, and started driving.
How far would you get?
Well, you could drive down every paved road on the planet not once, not twice, but 5 times.

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Wednesday, 25 May 2011


Youtube is throwing two big numbers at us today, in a post they made on their blog.
2 days of video uploaded every minute, and 3 billion video views a day
A pretty nice sixth birthday gift for the site.
Let's look at those numbers though. 2 days of video per minute.
Youtube provides no statistics about the average video length on the site, so we have to assume.
Let's say it's around four minutes.
That's 42 thousand videos a day.
Pretend those views are evenly spread around all the videos.
43 thousand videos. 3 billion views.
That's 70 thousand views on every single video.

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Tuesday, 24 May 2011

The Moon

The moon is pretty big. But how big, exactly?
22 billion cubic kilometers.
But that number makes no sense.
Let's say we crumbled the moon, and spread it around the earth.
First thing it would do would be completely fill every oceans.
Then it could cover the land. How deep would the entire earth be cover in moon dust?
40 kilometers. 25 miles.
For perspective, the tallest thing made by man is less than 1 kilometer tall, and the highest mountain is less than 9 kilometers tall.

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Monday, 23 May 2011

Rubik's Cube

Rubik's cubes can be scrambled in a lot of different ways.
Around 43 quintillion. That 43 followed by eighteen zeroes.
Let's say you wanted to have a cube scrambled in each way possible.
Let's say you can scramble one every second, and you have 99 friends who can do the same.
So together you can scramble 100 cubes every second.
How long would it take you to scramble all 43 quintillion of them?
13.7 billion years.
Seem like a familiar number?
That's how long the universe has existed for.

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Sunday, 22 May 2011


700 billion minutes are spent on facebook each month.
Every second that passes, 16 million seconds are spent on facebook.
The average length of a life of a human is 67.2 years.
Every hour, 27 entire life spans are spent on facebook.

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Saturday, 21 May 2011

The Debt

The United States of America is in a lot of debt right now. They owe 14,389,367,763,475 at the moment of writing this. But what does that number really mean?

Let's say you make 1000 dollars a second.
You've earned the average household annual income in less than a minute.
You're a millionaire in 17 minutes.
You're a billionaire in 12 days.
You've earned enough money to pay off the debt after 456 years.

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