# How tall is that UFO?

You know I wander around the intertubes, right? Who doesn’t? Anyway, I saw this collection of strange google Earth images. Yeah, it is kind of dumb, but this one made me think: That article said the image was from TechEBlog, so there is that. I have no idea what this thing is, but it is…

# Size of 91,000 documents

Here is a quick one. One of the big news stories recently was this regarding WikiLeaks and the release of the Afghan War Diary. There could be tons of things to discuss regarding this – but I am not going to do that. The first thing that struck my mind was “over 91,000 documents”. That…

# An estimation problem for math teachers

You thought I was going to talk about a problem that math teachers could use, didn’t you? Well, maybe math teachers can use this. (note: when I say “teachers” I really mean “learning facilitators”) It all started when I read this valedictorian speech from Erica Goldson. Here is part of it: “I am now accomplishing…

# How fast is the Beacon of Gondor?

The Lord of the Rings trilogy came on TV again recently. My wife and I can’t help but to watch this even though we have it on DVD. Anyway, I was thinking about the part where Gondor sends a signal to Rohan asking them for military aid. Since this was before the invention of email,…

# How many bullets did the commando shoot?

Somewhere on the internet, I came across this Cracked.com article on movie myths about guns. The article wasn’t too bad, but I really liked this video they included from Arnold’s movie Commando. The myth for this particular clip was that guns never run out of ammo in the movies. Right away, I thought: I wonder…

# Oil Spill Estimation

I was going to just leave the oil spill in the gulf topic alone. Not because it isn’t important, obviously it is. Rather, I wasn’t going to do anything because I didn’t really have anything to add to the topic. After a couple of readers requested it, I think I do have something to add.…

# Pi: how many digits do you need?

The most basic explanation of Pi is that it is the ratio of the circumference to the diameter for a circle. That seems simple enough, but it turns out that Pi is an irrational number – so you can’t just write it down. Oh, I know that you are an uber-geek and you could recite…

# Estimation Contest at Diary of Numbers

I know many readers like the fermi questions (like how much would it cost to review all youtube submissions). Well, you are in luck – Diary of Numbers is having an estimation contest. Here is the question: Mario has appeared in over 200 video games as Nintendo’s main mascot. He has starred in TV shows,…

# How many people to review youtube videos?

There was a Buzz Out Loud episode in the not-to-distant past where the discussion of youtube came up. I can’t remember the exact details, but the main point was that it would be impossible for google (the owners of youtube) to review all of the videos that were submitted. And here is my calculation. How…

# RP 4: More on the movie Up! (or Upper)

So, analysis of the movie Up is pretty popular in the blogosphere. Figure I might as well surf the popularity wave. So, I have a couple more questions. The most important thing to estimate is the mass of the house. I am going to completely ignore the buoyancy of the house. I figure this will…