Saturday, 8 October 2016

Higher Or Lower Quiz

Germs, volcanic lava and Lego!

This week the Charles Fudgemuffin blog features a higher or lower quiz covering a variety of random topics.  For each question see if you can guess which of the two choices is the highest, but bear in mind that some of the answers perhaps aren't quite what you would expect...

1) Bacteria at work

One of the most germ-free places in the house, apparently.
If you were to examine a square inch on a typical toilet seat and compare it with a square inch on a typical work desk, which would have the most germs?

a) Toilet seat
b) Work desk

Surprisingly, a toilet seat is vastly more hygienic than a workdesk.  A square inch would typically contain a mere 50 microbes on a toilet seat, compared with a massive 10 million microbes on a workdesk!

According to Dr Gerba, "It's (toilet seat) one of the cleanest things you'll run across in terms of micro-organisms.  It's our gold standard.  There are not many things cleaner than a toilet seat when it comes to germs."

That may be true, but I still wouldn't fancy doing my work on a toilet seat!

a) Toilet seat - 50 microbes
b) Work desk - 10 million microbes - Most germs

Disclaimer: Despite the low germ count, Charles Fudgemuffin does not recommend eating your dinner off your toilet seat!

2) Atoms or playing cards?

I didn't have a photo of an atom,
so here's a photo of some playing cards instead.
What is higher; the number of atoms in the entire Earth, or the number of ways to arrange a 52 pack of playing cards?

a) Atoms in planet Earth
b) Ways to arrange a 52 pack of playing cards

The number of atoms in the entire Earth is, as you'd expect, extremely high at approximately 90 quindecillion, or 90,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000 to write it out in full numerically.

However, rather surprisingly, the number of ways to arrange a 52 pack of playing cards is even higher at 80,658,175,170,943,800,000 quindecillion (8,066 vigintillion) or 80,658,175,170,943,800,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 to write it out in full numerically!

If you want to work it out for yourself, then you have 52 possibilities for the first card.  For every subsequent card there's one less possible combination, so the calculation is:

52 x 51 x 50 x 49 x 48 x 47 x 46 x 45 x 44 x 43 x 42 x 41 x 40 x 39 x 38 x 37 x 36 x 35 x 34 x 33 x 32 x 31 x 30 x 29 x 28 x 27 x 26 x 25 x 24 x 23 x 22 x 21 x 20 x 19 x 18 x 17 x 16 x 15 x 14 x 13 x 12 x 11 x 10 x 9 x 8 x 7 x 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 80,658,175,170,943,800,000 quindecillion

So as improbable as it sounds, there are actually more ways to arrange a 52 deck of playing cards than there are atoms in the Earth!

a) Atoms in planet Earth - 90 quindecillion
b) Ways to arrange a 52 pack of playing cards - 8,066 vigintillion - Highest

3) Feeling hot, hot hot...

Hot stuff!
What reaches the hottest temperature; the flame of a candle or volcanic lava?

a) Candle
b) Volcano lava

Surprisingly, a candle flame reaches temperatures which are hotter than volcanic lava!  The hottest part of a candle flame is found near the base to one side of the flame, where the temperature reaches 1,400C.  Whereas lava which has just erupted from a volcano will typically 'only' have a temperature between 700 to 1200C.

a) Candle - 1,400 C - Hottest
b) Volcano lava - 700 to 1200 C

Disclaimer: Charles Fudgemuffin does not recommend testing this question by touching candle flames or molten lava.  Charles recommends just taking his word for it!

4) Universal bodies

Our closest star.
What is higher; the number of stars in the observable universe, or the number of cells in the human body?

a) Stars in the observable universe
b) Cells in the human body

Obviously any calculation of the number of stars in the observable universe is just an estimation, but according to the observable universe contains approximately a septillion stars.  That's 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars!

Similarly, any calculation for the number of cells in the human body is also an approximation, but one study which went into substantial detail concluded that there are approximately 37,200,000,000,000 cells in the average human body.

That's a lot of cells, but still not as many cells as there are stars in the observable universe.

a) Stars in the universe - 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 - Highest
b) Cells in the human body - 37,200,000,000,000

5) Gold vs Lego

Lego has been a better investment than gold!
Finally, here's a toy related question to round things off.

Since the turn of the century, which has been the better investment and provided a better return for your money; Lego or gold?

a) Lego
b) Gold

Lego and gold have both proved to be solid assets since the turn of the century, but surprisingly it's Lego which has been the better investment, with sought after Lego sets showing an increase in value of 12% per year against an increase of 'only' 9.6% per year from gold.

a) Lego - 12% per year - Best investment
b) Gold - 9.6% per year

Disclaimer:  Charles Fudgemuffin is not a financial investment specialist so please don't regard this question as investment advice.  The value of any investments, or Lego, may go up as well as down, etc, etc...

You can find more 'higher or lower' dilemmas in the 'higher or lower' quizzes below:
Nature vs Technology: A 'Higher Or Lower' Quiz
Christmas 'Higher Or Lower' Quiz

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About The Author

The 'How To Save The World' books
by Charles Fudgemuffin
Charles Fudgemuffin is the author of the alien comedy 'How To Save The World' books which are available for Kindle from Amazon.  The first book in the series is available from the following link:
How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy

As with all Kindle books, you can also download a free sample of the first few chapters.

Please note, the 'How To Save The World' books contain material suitable for ages 18+ and are not recommended for prudes or squares.