Smokin!November 24, 2006 9:20 PM   Subscribe

According to this site
• More than 700 Trillion BEEDIES or BIRI are smoked annually
• Indians smoke more than one trillion bidis every year.
• An experienced worker can roll 2,000 a day.
posted by joelf (63 comments total)

India has about 1 billion people in it. If every man, woman and child, smoke 1 trillion a year That’s 1000 smokes per person a year, or 2.7 a day. It takes 1 person 1 day to make 2000 bidis. So if they smoke 2.7 billion a day it would take 1.3 million workers rolling 2000 a day just to meet demand in their own country.

But it gets weirder. The world demand is 700 trillion a year. If he population of the earth is 7 billion people everyone would have to smoke 100 thousand a year or 1.9 trillion per day. So if the world smokes 1.9 trillion a day it would take 1 billion people rolling 2000 a day to keep up with the demand of everyone on the planet smoking their 274 daily bidis.
posted by joelf at 9:20 PM on November 24, 2006

Your arithmetic is the stuff of legends, joelf.
posted by Kwantsar at 9:23 PM on November 24, 2006 [1 favorite]

So... if the statistics are clearly erroneous... and you point them out yourself, as an indicator of the site's lack of credibility... then why post this [single] link?
posted by duende at 9:26 PM on November 24, 2006

this is a really bad post.
posted by jimmy at 9:26 PM on November 24, 2006

uh, joelf... is there any other reason besides, um, bad math that you've made this FPP? I'm just genuinely curious.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:27 PM on November 24, 2006

And a bidi is simply an extraflavored cigarette?
posted by undule at 9:27 PM on November 24, 2006

Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop smoking 700 Trillion BEEDIES.
posted by ColdChef at 9:32 PM on November 24, 2006 [6 favorites]

is there any other reason besides, um, bad math that you've made this FPP? I'm just genuinely curious.

not really! I was googling around fot giant numbers and found that page. I thought it was funny enough to share.
posted by joelf at 9:32 PM on November 24, 2006

India has about 1 billion people in it. If every man, woman and child, smoke 1 trillion a year That’s 1000 smokes per person a year, or 2.7 a day

Wow, that's some crazy-ass math. 1 trillion = 1000, and there are only 700 people in India! (and 700 = 1 billion).

I believe that is the craziest ass math I have ever seen in my life. I think you've been putting the wrong stuff in your Beedies.

If you're wondering, the real math works out to 700,000 smokes per person per year, or about 2000 a day. The number smoked and the number rolled must be the same, and so the number of smokes rolled per day per person is equal to the number smoked per day, divided by N where N is the portion of the population who works rolling smokes. (so if have the population rolled smokes, N would be 0.5, and each person would have to roll 4,000 a day).
posted by delmoi at 9:32 PM on November 24, 2006

at this moment more than 700 trillion mefi users are reminiscing about the animated gif.
posted by facetious at 9:34 PM on November 24, 2006

Only 274 bidis a day?

Pussies. I go through 274 lighters a day.
posted by BeerFilter at 9:34 PM on November 24, 2006

Maybe... just MAYBE they meant 700 million instead of 700 trillion?

Such mistakes are common when the US system of numbering is somewhat different than the British system (thousands of millions vs. billions). If the author was educated in India, as seems likely, then he may have gotten confused trying to "convert" to US numbering.

... or maybe it's just a typo...

Either way, get a grip, man.
posted by orbis23 at 9:35 PM on November 24, 2006

This is find a site to point at and laugh day (apparently).
posted by IronLizard at 9:35 PM on November 24, 2006

the real math works out to 700,000 smokes per person per year, or about 2000 a day. The number smoked and the number rolled must be the same, and so the number of smokes rolled per day per person is equal to the number smoked per day, divided by N where N is the portion of the population who works rolling smokes. (so if have the population rolled smokes, N would be 0.5, and each person would have to roll 4,000 a day).

That's very good, delmoi. And now, let's open your spelling book!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:40 PM on November 24, 2006

I don't think the math on the wacky stats is wrong...
a trillion divided by 1000 is a billion ... according to google
posted by joelf at 9:41 PM on November 24, 2006

If you are smoking a bidi in a train from Delhi to Mumbai, and your friend is smoking a bidi in a train from Mumbai to Delhi, and both train engineers and all the conductors are smoking bidis ...
posted by dhartung at 9:43 PM on November 24, 2006

The math is fine. The writing is a little crazy, and strangely organized, but the math works.

"If every man, woman and child, smoke 1 trillion a year That’s 1000 smokes per person a year, or 2.7 a day"

Read as: "According to the statistics, Indians smoke 1 trillion a year. If every man, woman, and child in India was a smoker, that comes out to 1000 per person per year, or 2.7 smokes for each person per day.
posted by Nothing at 9:44 PM on November 24, 2006

Such mistakes are common when the US system of numbering is somewhat different than the British system

Such mistakes are common during an herbal high.
posted by scheptech at 9:45 PM on November 24, 2006

The writing is a little crazy, and strangely organized

That charm's just part of me
posted by joelf at 9:51 PM on November 24, 2006

Oh for the love of Darkness, just tell me how me how many cigars I need to smoke. I mean, I'm bad at math, I always have been. But if you need to get your statistics, I'm more than willing to help.

So what is it, a billion, a trillion, what? I'm assuming, of course that someone else is paying for this right? Because if you are looking to keep me in smokes for research, it just doesn't seem fair that I should have to pay.

I'm just sayin' is all.
posted by quin at 10:01 PM on November 24, 2006

Such mistakes are common when the US system of numbering is somewhat different than the British system

And yeah, really? By now we, as an English speaking community, can't come together and come up with a name for a number that isn't exponentially different from another name for a different number? Or the same number. Or whatever? As I've indicated. I'm bad at math, but I tell you what, given the choice between a British million and an American billion, I'm always going to take the billion.

And the vice-versa is the same, I would be more than happy to take the first British billion offered to me.

Seriously, I'm broke. Someone offer me some money.
posted by quin at 10:08 PM on November 24, 2006

America consumes almost 380 billion cigarettes per year, so the 1 trillion per year for India is either way, way, way low or Indians show much more restraint than americans.

In the US, about 45 million smokers smoked those 380 billion cigarettes, which works out to about 8500 per smoker per year, which is about a pack a day (20 per pack), which is probably pretty reasonable.

It is not known how many bidis are smoked in america, but they contain more nicotine, tar, and CO than regular cigarettes. They are certainly not "less harmful" than other forms of tobacco.
posted by Ynoxas at 10:10 PM on November 24, 2006 [1 favorite]

wow you people are bad at math. The real number is that every Indian smokes approximately 500 million bidies per day, and over 45 billion are rolled every day by 500 million workers, who also smoke an additional 400 billion bidies per year.
posted by cell divide at 10:17 PM on November 24, 2006

DJ bidi!
posted by cortex at 10:18 PM on November 24, 2006 [1 favorite]

They are certainly not "less harmful" than other forms of tobacco.

Yeah, I'd think not, cause they're really pretty harsh tasting. Used to smoke 'em sometimes back in my teenage, cause I thought they could maybe get you a little high (a little sick is mre like it) and for the exoticism of smoking some little spliff-looking thing from mysterious India.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:19 PM on November 24, 2006

Bidi Bidi Bidi.
posted by turducken at 10:30 PM on November 24, 2006 [1 favorite]

That's a lotta cancer.
posted by Eideteker at 10:56 PM on November 24, 2006

Bidi Bidi Bidi.

What's up, Duck?
posted by loquacious at 10:57 PM on November 24, 2006

D Buck
posted by Chuckles at 11:30 PM on November 24, 2006

What I understood was:

a million is 1000 x 1000
a billion is 1000 x million
a trillion is 1000 x billion

is this different in England?
posted by joelf at 11:56 PM on November 24, 2006

As I understood it growing up in England:

a million = 1000*1000
a billion = 1000000 * 1000000
a trillion = 1000000 * 1000000 * 1000000

I think we just use the american system now, though.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 12:22 AM on November 25, 2006

Two things... what the hell is a bidi and you do know, that Puff, was not a dragon. No magic. None.

posted by cedar at 12:30 AM on November 25, 2006

Aaah, carefree lunch breaks smoking beedies behind the sports shed...
posted by Jimbob at 12:37 AM on November 25, 2006

According to Wikipedia, "the gold standard for factual knowledge", 800 billion beedis are smoked each year in India.
posted by bhouston at 12:38 AM on November 25, 2006

Are there that many dried grape leaves?
posted by sourwookie at 12:46 AM on November 25, 2006

A co-worker of mine brought me back a pack of bidis from India, and another co-worker insisted that the proper way to smoke them was lit end inside the mouth, inhaling deeply through the unfiltered, unlit portion outside one's lips.
My question: She was trying to kill me, right?
posted by maryh at 3:33 AM on November 25, 2006

quin, I left a dollar under the doormat. A US dollar, not one of those British ones.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:33 AM on November 25, 2006

maryh, did she have you take a mouthful of Lavoris first? No? Then she was only trying to maim you.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:36 AM on November 25, 2006

Kirth Gerson- I can only pray that when The End comes for me, it's blazingly and mintily fresh. But sadly, I see this as a friendly maiming, not a death smoke.
posted by maryh at 3:46 AM on November 25, 2006

*cough*
posted by jonmc at 4:48 AM on November 25, 2006

More than 700 Trillion BEEDIES or BIRI are smoked annually. Indians smoke more than one trillion bidis every year.

India's got, what, one billion people? One sixth earth's total? And they're responsible for 1 out of the 700 trillion annually? What--bidi smoking's now an Indian capital crime?

Such a stark reminder of the blessings of freedom, what a shame. As I wiped a tear from my face, I looked down only to see that I was smoking 99,000 bidis. Goose-bump moment.
posted by toma at 4:49 AM on November 25, 2006

you people don't have time to type out all this ... get to smoking and get your quota taken care of!
posted by pyramid termite at 5:11 AM on November 25, 2006

joelf: stop using your brian so evidently ! You'll make dumb people uncomfortable and make them think about things such as , umh, rights and divisions while they only understand addition and subtraction !
posted by elpapacito at 5:40 AM on November 25, 2006

bidibidibidi...
posted by jonmc at 5:47 AM on November 25, 2006

I think we just use the american system now, though.

Yeah, we officially use the échelle courte (short scale, where 109, or a thousand millions, is a billion) nowadays, though only since 1974, which means colloquially many people use the échelle longue (long scale, where 1012, or a million millions, is a billion). The poncey French terms are down to that country converting from the long scale to the short in the 19th Century, which America copied, before switching back to, and continuing to use, the long scale, which America didn't copy.

In India things are muddled further, though, because as well as using the 'old British' system colloquially and the 'new British' system officially, there's a completely separate Indian scale, which doesn't have a word for a trillion in the short scale sense of the word, though arab means a (short scale) billion, which means it wouldn't mean the same as a billion to your average Indian, though it might mean a billion in an official Indian government document.

Confused? Don't get me started on the use of the milliard, obsolete in the UK, but still in use in Europe and Scandinavia where the long scale is used officially (a milliard is a thousand millions, ie. the same as a billion in the short scale sense, or an arab in the Indian system).

In short: the French are to blame. Or the Americans, for copying the French. Or the British and her English-speaking former colonies are to blame, for officially copying the Americans copying the French, but colloquially retaining the original (and current) French usage.

The solution: no one should ever use the word 'billion' ever again.
posted by jack_mo at 5:59 AM on November 25, 2006 [4 favorites]

delmoi writes "I believe that is the craziest ass math I have ever seen in my life. I think you've been putting the wrong stuff in your Beedies."

I believe he has been putting the right stuff in his bidis.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:08 AM on November 25, 2006

Square One: Fat Boys - One Billion Is Big (youtube)
posted by furtive at 6:18 AM on November 25, 2006

If all the Indian women in the world were laid end to end, that would be smokin'!
posted by pracowity at 6:27 AM on November 25, 2006

*lights up*
posted by craven_morhead at 7:10 AM on November 25, 2006

No one has really commented on it, but Ynoxas' comment is truly astounding to me. I had no idea the numbers were anything like that big!
posted by The Bellman at 7:24 AM on November 25, 2006

Let's put it into Indian terms: A Lakh is one hundred thousand and a crore is ten million, so 700 trillion would be 70,000,000 crore bidis, right?

When you think about it it's not so amazing. A bidi's smokable (if you can even get it lit) for about 15 seconds, whereupon it usually disintegrates.

this is a really bad post. Yeah, what it needed was a UTube Link, eh?
posted by DenOfSizer at 7:38 AM on November 25, 2006

Seriously, though, that's how I stopped smoking. By switching from Raleighs to bidis. You just couldn't smoke too many of those noxious little things a day to keep your nicotine habit buzzing along.
posted by kozad at 9:33 AM on November 25, 2006

Système International d’Unités

But then again, the "officials" publicly state, The SI is not static but evolves to match the world's increasingly demanding requirements for measurement.

grrrr

Now don't get me started on calories, Calorie, and Joules.
posted by porpoise at 9:48 AM on November 25, 2006

Good god, how do they know how big their hard drives are now then? And how much pr0n can you fit on a milliard?
posted by Talanvor at 12:41 PM on November 25, 2006

I smell something burning.
posted by fixedgear at 2:12 PM on November 25, 2006

furtive writes "Square One: Fat Boys - One Billion Is Big (youtube)"

Oh my God I used to love that show as a kid.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:11 PM on November 25, 2006

Rather than a billion -- I suggest a gazillion Bidis might be apropos.
posted by RubberHen at 6:40 PM on November 25, 2006

Good god, how do they know how big their hard drives are now then? And how much pr0n can you fit on a milliard?

Talanvor, you mean on a milliardbyte harddrive? Not much. but I'm sure you can get a decent one for a kilorupee or two.
posted by Laotic at 1:48 AM on November 26, 2006

Metafilter needs some kind of meta-calculator or something, that checks the math in your post and does something horrible to you if it's as whacked-out and inconsistent as joelf's.
posted by tehloki at 2:51 AM on November 26, 2006

sliderule.jpg

Actually, you don't even need one of those. Just memorize a few simple numbers. You should already know the multiplication table through 12. You probably already know reciprocals through 1/10, except 1/7 and maybe 1/6 (0.142857 and 0.1666). The powers of 2 from -4 through 16 are also useful, but you probably don't know them unless you're a programmer.

You can avoid division by learning to do prime factorizations quickly. Multiples of 2 and 5 are easy to recognize. Multiples of 3 are also easy to recognize since the digital sum will be a multiple of 3 (eg 513 is a multiple of 3 since 5+1+3=9). Pulling out the 2s, 3s, and 5s will make most large numbers tractable. Uncooperative numbers can be adjusted +-1: 143=12*12, 133=11*11 (or 4*3*11 if you're a programmer).

Once you start thinking in terms of logarithms and factorizations you'll find mental arithmetic much easier.

(On preview, the above is useless if you can't get the order of magnitude right. For fuck's sake, people.)
posted by ryanrs at 12:13 AM on November 27, 2006

You probably already know reciprocals through 1/10

I don't even know what a reciprocal is.
posted by jack_mo at 4:28 AM on November 27, 2006

1/^ LOL

It's also a feature of grammar. But I think ryanrs means the first kind. A reciprocal/multiplicative inverse is how many things divide into one (or if you divide one thing into that many equal parts, how big each will be proportional to the original object). Often, with tipping, I find it easier to divide by six (1/6 = .166... ~ 17%, and then just round down) than multiply by .15 (technically, I multiply by 15 and divide by 100, but I have been tainted by slide rule training, where you just do the multiplication and worry about the decimals after). Basically, he's saying if you know a few tricks and are willing to approximate, you can do most math in seconds rather than minutes (practice helps). I used to pride myself when I worked in retail on being able to figure the change faster than the register (additive inverses, in that case), at least from a twenty.

THE MORE THAN YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ===*^
posted by Eideteker at 6:21 AM on November 27, 2006

If all the Indian women in the world were laid end to end, that would be smokin'!

Should they all use the same bidet to clean up with afterwards?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:18 PM on November 27, 2006

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