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March 2018



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Vampire Math

Cinema Fiction vs Physics Reality: Ghosts, Vampires and Zombies by C.J. Efthimiou, and S. Gandhi purportedly uses basic math to prove that Vampires can't exist.

The problem is that they assume that every time a vampire feeds it makes another vampire. Most vampire stories don't agree. Even Dracula could feed without killing his victims if he wanted too. And vampires are smart. The Vampires in "30 Day of Night" beheaded their victims to keep the vampire population down.

Reminds me of the time someone asked Cecil Adams "If I hadn't killed 52 flies as a child, how many descendants would they have had by now?" mathematically the answer was
"Having performed various subtle mathematical manipulations on my handy calculator, I may categorically state that your house would presently be infested by roughly 9.550892 x 10357 flies. At 128 flies to the cubic inch, we get 3.25 x 1016 per cubic mile, or 2.292 x 1056 per cubic parsec, which means that all the flies would fit into a cube a little more than 3.45 x10100 parsecs on a side. The galaxy in which we presently reside, for comparison, is 25-30 parsecs across. It's easy to scramble up your decimal points in calculations of this type and I may have lost track of a few billion parsecs here and there, but the implication in general is clear: With that selfless act long ago, you single-handedly saved the cosmos.

The lesson in all this, of course, is the futility of trying to predict the future by projecting a single factor. Most fly eggs, fortunately, don't survive till senior citizenhood, succumbing at some point to parasites, disease, predators, or starvation. Northern winters finish off whatever adult flies haven't been killed by something else, leaving only those in the larval and pupal stages to maintain the Muscidate race. The humbling truth is that, regardless of your efforts in the way of wholesale slaughter, at any given time there are about as many flies as the planet has room for, ecologically speaking. It's enough to drive you to racquetball."

This just goes to show that you should never ask a mathematician to solve a biology problem.


Hee hee! Thanks for sharing that.