Friday, August 16, 2013

Odds (Infinite Monkeys)



                Odds are that you have ridden the bus with someone named Hitler. 1 in 10,125,806 people in the US have the surname “Hitler.”[1] Odds are that that Hitler was a burger cook at some point in his life. 1 in 10 people began their working lives at McDonald’s.[2] Odds are that you ate a burger this week.  Americans eat 13,000,000,000 burgers per year[3] which is 412 burgers per second.[4]

                42,884.61 (rounding down) couples get married each week.[5] Couples with children have a slightly lower divorce rate than childless couples.[6] 1 in 3 of you reading this now think that I am going to make a reference to naming a baby “Hitler,”[7] but that’s not where I am going with this. Every year, 3,953,590 children are born in the US.[8] Every year, 32 men get to start at quarterback on opening day for an NFL team.[9] 2,067,727.57 of the children born each year are boys.[10] Your child has a 0.0015 (rounding down) chance of starting at QB on opening day, dads.  But if he does, that will probably happen after you are dead. A person who is zero years old has only a 0.006990 probability of dying this year, while a person who is 44 has a 0.003117 probability of not living another year.  A person who is 119 years old has a probability of 0.89347 of dying before blowing out the candles on their next birthday cake.[11]

                More than 1,000,000,000 pounds of wax are used in making candles each year[12] , which is 1 pound of wax for every 7.170955543 people alive as this is written.[13] That’s more than enough to cover the 119 candles you’d need if you got to the point where you have only an 11% chance of ever needing 120. But 1.8 of the people taking up space in this world die each second[14],  or, put another way, a person dies more or less every time you, an average American, drive 12 inches.[15]  I’m using “drive” only in the loosest sense of the word, as studies done by leading authors of this essay as they sat in traffic this morning showed that 100% of the people who decided they absolutely had to turn left right now and therefore caused leading authors of this essay to slam on their brakes and stop dead, those ‘drivers’ blocking leading authors of this essay from getting to work just so they (the ‘drivers’) could probably go to the convenience store to get a doughnut because they are fat jerks, are fat jerks who also do not know how to drive.

                Science being sometimes subjective.

                There are 4.5 letters in the average English language word.[16].  This essay has 714 words, but 4,141 characters, so the words in this essay are approximately 77% (rounding down) longer than average. The human eye only reads about 2/3 of the word before recognizing it and moving on.[17] 78% of statistics on the Internet are wrong.[18] Odds are against it that only the correct facts in this essay were read by an NFL quarterback as he ate a hamburger in the McDonald’s restaurant where he once worked. But don’t rule it out.[19]






[1] 31 people in the US have Hitler as a surname. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_people_have_the_surname_Hitler. There are 313,900,000 people in the U.S. as this is written. (Source: GOOGLE.)
[4] There are 31,536,000 seconds in a year. Not counting the leap second, which is inserted into the year periodically, the last time being June 30, 2012 at 23:59:60 UTC (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leap_second)
[7] I made that statistic up but it’s probably close.
[9] Come on, it’s simple math.
[13] That number goes up by more than 3 people per second. http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/. It’s about 7 people higher than when you started reading this footnote.
[15] The average American drives 13,476 miles per year, http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/onh00/bar8.htm, which is 0.0004 miles per second. 0.0004 miles is 2.112 feet.
[17] This sounds about right. Remember that thing where people misspelled every word but you could read it? I’m extrapolating. Also, that joke where “fish” is spelled “ghoti.” That’s weird.
[19] Odds are also that you thought I was going to reference Hitler again in that last paragraph. But I didn’t.

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