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How many ants are on earth?

How many ants are on earth? – Want to know how many of the ants are on the earth?

So did Dr. Michael Strange, who, in 1976, set about trying to estimate this number.

He dedicated his life’s work to finding the answer of the ants, a discovery that brought him much attention prior to its publication.

How many ants are on earth?

Michael Strange first became obsessed with ants when he was 14 after he received his first magnifying glass for Christmas. No summer evening was ever the same for Michael, nor the ants, as he would happily spend every opportunity blasting them to pieces with the scale-force of several nuclear bombs (US ones, not North Korean).

Many years passed and Michael completed his first paper on ants – The Destruction Of Ants Using A Magnifying Glass – which earned him a Masters Degree from Stanford and a few other fake Internet degrees as well. He also received a pat on the back from his father who didn’t really understand what had happened.

One PhD paper later and Dr. Strange believed he knew everything there was to know about ants, except for one thing: how many of them are on earth?

The rest of his life was dedicated to answering this big question; this probleme-grande; this query-massimo.

Dr. Strange understood that counting every ant seen on the earth was not a realistic proposal; though it did take funding rejections from numerous universities for him to truly understand this.

Eventually he came up with a revolutionary, but seen before, sampling method. This involved observing a set number of ants, noting their characteristics and then up-sampling the ratios to match the earth’s numbers. Otherwise known as counting the ants.

Strange initially planned to observe the ants for three months, but stopped short after one. The evidence was so overwhelming that he had to rush the paper’s publication.

The science world gathered round, excited to hear of the great Dr. Michael Strange’s learnings. The build up was intense. In the few days prior to the paper’s release, Time Magazine ran an exposé in which it hinted Strange could go down as the world’s sexiest scientist. Everybody was excited.

What followed, however, was one of the world’s greatest recorded let downs. Although Strange had done the work and had indeed confirmed how many of the ants were on earth, the public were astonished at how the answer had been staring at them all along; El Publico felt very, very stupid indeed.

Ants on earth

Even when ants climb on things, the height means they still aren’t technically leaving earth.

So, how many ants are on earth?

The number of ants on the earth at any one time is equal to all of them.

During his data collection, Dr. Strange had noticed that ants can’t fly and ants can’t jump. They are bound to the earth, meaning that they are all on the earth, always.

The world’s public quickly lost interest in the non-Nobel prize winner, who lived out the rest of his life in relative obscurity. In 1999, he received the posthumous award ‘Dead Scientist of the Year’ from Loaded Magazine.

By The Wolly Don on March 17, 2013 | A, H | A comment?
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Multiresolution adaptive and progressive gradient-based color-image segmentation

Multiresolution adaptive and progressive gradient-based color-image segmentation – put simply, is the name of the first colour office printer at CERN.

When the nuclear research facility took delivery of its first colour printer in 1991, they held an office raffle to determine what the printer would be named on the network.

Multiresolution adaptive and progressive gradient-based color-image segmentation, or multiresolution adaptive and progressive segmentation for short, was the winning name.

Multiresolution adaptive and progressive gradient-based color-image segmentation (Acronym: MAPGBCIS)

The year is 1991 and an excited bunch of scientists working in particle research at CERN have just taken delivery of their first colour printer.

A bunch of them are gathered round the box, eager to get their hands on the bubble wrap and go truly bonkers with it.

After the plastic protection wrap was expended, the scientists began the laborious, not to mention boring, task of setting up and installing the printer on the institute’s network.

A small tussle had earlier broken out over the plastic film, but that was nothing over the fight that occurred when it came to naming the printer on the network.

One French scientist, Professor Francois Le Twitre, wanted to name it after his workhorse of a wife Cherise; English physics legend Dr. Barry Bulschwane wanted to name it after his great great great great great great great uncle Sir Isaac Newton (thwarted by the printer naming conditions not allowing double-vowels); an unnamed Swedish employee also suggested Ikea (Swedish for “I like packaging”) as a name, but this was quickly frowned upon due to the potential of legal action from the then emerging furniture store.

After much squabbling amongst the scientists, the office manager, who went by the name of Kylie Butcher, stepped in and told them all there shall be a raffle to name the new-fangled colour printing machine. All staff were invited to take part, provided they paid the 5₣ entrance fee.

The raffle proved extremely popular, with more scientists taking part than the average attendance at Friday drinks.

Hector Higgs, a janitor at the research facility, won the raffle by unanimous ticket-draw out of a beret.

His chosen name “Adaptive and progressive gradient-based color-image segmentation” was accepted by the system, although Ms Butcher opted to add “Multiresolution” to the name after reading the manual and finding herself enthralled by the capabilities of the mark one colour dot matrix.

CERN used the raffle proceeds to purchase a second office printer. Both pieces of equipment have been publicly credited for their role in the centre’s major discoveries.

Today, CERN owns and operates more than 3 colour laser printers, all capable of printing on A4 and A3 paper, colour-copying and scan-emailing.

Have you ever held an office raffle? How did it go? Tell us your story below!

By The Wolly Don on July 7, 2012 | M | A comment?
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