What-If Numbers
February 6, 2013 4:15 PM   Subscribe

XKCD/What If's Randall Munroe brings meaning to numbers. As a by-product. Of his day-to-day research. For your day-to-day entertainment.
posted by aniola (22 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Already in my RSS feed, but great to see here on the blue.
posted by Fizz at 4:19 PM on February 6, 2013


...seriously 12 cigarettes a day? Back when I used to smoke I'd feel profligate if I had three a day. Yeesh.
posted by The Whelk at 4:29 PM on February 6, 2013


Amateur. I used to smoke two packs (40) a day.
posted by signalnine at 4:38 PM on February 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


So I read this for a really long time before realizing that each entry was not about 5789.
posted by windykites at 4:39 PM on February 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's not my fault; there was an arrow.
posted by windykites at 4:39 PM on February 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's not my fault; there was an arrow.

Ah, memories of the 2000 election.
posted by The World Famous at 4:52 PM on February 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


107: Speed record in miles per hour for a bicycle going downhill on a volcano

I need to know more about this.
posted by invitapriore at 4:56 PM on February 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


A while back I was trying to figure out what I owned that was worth more than its weight in gold. I was a little disappointed when it turned out it was only flash memory and CPUs.
posted by ckape at 5:05 PM on February 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


> I need to know more about this.

It's not a happy story.
posted by tiaz at 5:06 PM on February 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oof. That is awful, but when I extrapolate upwards on the speed scale from injuries I've suffered at a mere 15 MPH to his 107 I have to admit that a few broken ribs, a dislocated shoulder, and some torn muscles sounds like a pretty open-and-shut case of cheating death all told.
posted by invitapriore at 5:18 PM on February 6, 2013


I've gotten sick of XKCD in recent years, but "What If" is wonderful. Glad to see he's expanding the brand.
posted by JimBennett at 6:32 PM on February 6, 2013


Aha, and today I learned that you can get an rss feed for any twitter account (or other twitter search), at least until twitter changes it. whatifnumbers twitter as rss feed.
posted by jepler at 6:48 PM on February 6, 2013


> A while back I was trying to figure out what I owned that was worth more than its weight in gold.

For most of the 90s, the price of an ounce of good pot was more than the price of gold...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 6:54 PM on February 6, 2013


It's not a happy story.

I went down the same volcano on a sled. It wasn't an entirely happy story for me either. I still have the dust under the skin :/
posted by empath at 7:40 PM on February 6, 2013


I don't know what it is, but whenever I see something by this guy I seem to need to stare in bafflement for a couple of minutes before I start to get an inkling of what I'm looking at. And then I think "Yeah, and?"

It's like Randall Munroe is some sort of anti-me, brain-wise.
posted by Decani at 2:53 AM on February 7, 2013


what I owned that was worth more than its weight in gold

Any saffron in the kitchen?
posted by yerfatma at 5:48 AM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


6.1: Average US adult alcohol consumption in the year 1825 in shots of 80-proof liquor per person per day

How is this possible? It would seem like the adult population would be mostly sloshed for most of the day. It would explain the Western's reliance on saloons though.
posted by Mitheral at 6:39 AM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


remember it is only relatively recently that stopped having milk and beer for breakfast.
posted by The Whelk at 8:14 AM on February 7, 2013


6.1: Average US adult alcohol consumption in the year 1825 in shots of 80-proof liquor per person per day

How is this possible? It would seem like the adult population would be mostly sloshed for most of the day. It would explain the Western's reliance on saloons though.


Rate of consumption over hours in the day is important

Measured in shots of 80-proof liquor, sure. But now take a 175 lb man and give him a beer every other hour in a 12 hour day. Not so sloshed, is he? That's the consumption level that stat reveals.

I distinctly remember reading some article about the breakfasts of presidents. Harry Truman had a shot of bourbon at breakfast. This was not unusual.

Tried it myself for a week. This program revealed a heretofore unknown proclivity towards naps at 10AM.
posted by aureliobuendia at 8:51 AM on February 7, 2013


Tried it myself for a week. This program revealed a heretofore unknown proclivity towards naps at 10AM.

Another august tradition this fine republic would be wise to adopt.
posted by The Whelk at 8:58 AM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


How is this possible? It would seem like the adult population would be mostly sloshed for most of the day

Never mind that, I'm just finishing up Among the Thugs and I cannot believe the alcohol consumption figures he cites. I get the people in question are British football hooligans back when it was cool and they're alcoholics, but the sheer physics of the liquid storage boggles the mind and the amount of alcohol would pickle a rhino. So practice matters.
posted by yerfatma at 9:58 AM on February 7, 2013


I remember reading F. Scott Fitzgearld's daily drinking intake when he was "recovering", thus writing a book and not drinking normally. I couldn't believe someone could put away that much liquid, let alone beer, and still be upright.
posted by The Whelk at 10:00 AM on February 7, 2013


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