Sunday, 21 September 2014

University Open Days

NSB has been going to various University Open Days recently, with No1 Son and has been interested in many of the talks that the various departments are offering. Indeed, NSB wonders whether there might be some mileage in Universities offering similar events to the local communities, or explicitly inviting them along to the Open Days.

To give just one example, here is some of the stuff that NSB picked up at a talk about a Computing course...

A great 2012 infographic from Intel showing what happens in an Internet Minute, including the facts that there are 2million Google searches, over 1.3million YouTube videos watched and $83,000 in Amazon sales. And that in 2012 there were as many networked devices on earth as people - with the number of connected devices projected to double by 2015 !

Some famous names in computing, including Doom developer and programming wizz John Carmack. As can be seen in his Wiki article, Carmack has been responsible for many technical innovations in game programming, although the only one that NSB understands, even in principle, is Adaptive Tile Refresh.

That there is such a thing as the Association for Computing Machinery, whose accreditation of computing courses is, presumably, a good sign.

How long is a packet of Spaghetti?

A couple of days ago, possibly as a result of cooking a packet of SuperNoodles, a question popped up in NSB's head :

How long is a packet of Spaghetti?

This is to say, if you put all the uncooked strands end to end, how long a line of would they make? Intrigued, NSB bought a packet of SmartPrice spaghetti and had a bash at finding out the answer to this question.

A packet of Spaghetti

As can be seen, there is some variability in the lengths of the strands, so to get an average length, NSB took 20 stands and measured their lengths with this rather groovy ruler :

A Green's Mill Ruler - accept no substitute

The lengths varied from 245mm to 263mm, with the mean being 256mm.

NSB was also interested in the width of the strands. This was measured by placing 100 strands next to each other, measuring their collective width and then working out the width of one strand - 1.75mm.

Soooo, we know the length of one average strand, but how many are their in a packet? Turns out that it only takes a few minutes to count them and, in this packet, there were 581 strands.

581 strands

Which suggests that a Packet of Spaghetti is 148.6 metres long

Alternatively, it could be used to cover a floor area of 51cm x 51cm (0.26m2)