haystacks and pennies

Karl J. Runge (runge@crl.com)
Fri, 20 Jun 97 23:40 PDT


Hi everyone,

I've always enjoyed Justin's analogy of the needle in the haystack
roughly a mile in radius.

I wanted to point out, just in case someone wanted a different
way of looking at it in reporting to the media, etc, that it gets
more amazing if one goes to 2D.

E.g.:

Imagine pennies laid down touching eachother and covering all
of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. 72 quadrillion pennies
would be 20% more than this. (throw in 3-4 more Alaska's)

And we found the single correct penny! It was in Salt Lake City!

Going to 1D gets crazier, the pennies laid end to end would go around
Pluto's orbit 36 times. I prefer the North America analogy.

Karl