Crazy Stats I Learned Today

Historically Seattle is drier than Phoenix in July. (Source: Cliff Mas Weather Blog)

There are 1,200 train deaths in Europe annually. (Source Yahoo! News via the Associated Press)

It takes 60% of the U.S. bee population to pollinate California almonds and 80% of the world’s almonds come from California. (Source: Quartz)

Every 15 seconds the sun strikes the earth with enough energy to power the world for an entire day. Also, Moore’s Law appears to hold for solar cell prices. (Source: Scientific American Blog)

Oh, and 56 Up is now available on Netflix. (Source: My friend James)

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On Consistency

As I like to say, “Consistency is the most overrate virtue.” But two much smart men have said it better.

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.
-F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The Crack-Up” (1936)

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Self-Reliance”

What is Real in Silicon Valley?

iPoo, a social-networking app that connects people sitting on toilets, sounds like a joke, but it exists. More than 200,000 people have paid $1 apiece to download iPoo since it launched two years ago, say the app’s creators, enough to help put one of them through Harvard Business School. And tens of thousands use it every day, they say.

There is much more here. Including a description of itsthisforthat.com, which promises to help you find the perfect way to pitch your new internet business. The site offers a refreshable description of business pitches that are so crazy they just might be real. Among the more humorous ones I saw was this (funnier if you are an avid user of OpenTable):

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Gawd, That’s a Lot of Space Junk

Copyright Gizmag

Just how important is the problem of orbital debris? At present (2012), there are roughly one thousand operational satellites, half of which are in near-Earth space, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists Satellite Database. But in addition to about 40 derelict satellites, the U.S. Space Surveillance Network is tracking more than 22,000 pieces of debris, each of which is larger than about 4 inches (10 cm), the reliable detection limit of their radars and telescopes. Only two weeks ago the explosion of a Russian upper stage rocket added over 500 large pieces of debris to the problem.

Read the accompanying article here.