Daily Archives: August 5, 2011

Sideband #29: The Danger of Bread

Here’s another little favorite from my collection.

It’s a satire designed to illustrate the rather large difference between correlation and causation. But unlike the dihydrogen monoxide hoax, you’ll probably have a hard time getting many signatures on a petition to ban bread!

Still, it’s funny and it seems to make sense… because it deals strictly with facts. Again: correlation is not (necessarily) causation. Sometimes it’s not even close.

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Sideband #28: 2 ^ 64, ‘K!

I’d planned to do this later, probably for Sideband #64, but in honor of my parents 64th wedding anniversary (2 parents, 64 years, okay!) this numerical rumination gets queue-bumped to now.

Just recently I wrote about 64-bit numbers and how 64 bits allows you to count to the (small, compared to where we’re going) number:

264 = 18,446,744,073,709,551,616

That’s 18 exabytes (or 18 giga-gigabyes). Just to put it into perspective, if we were counting seconds, it amounts to 584,942,417,355 years; more than 500 billion years! (That’s the American, short-scale billion.)

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