March 2007

Let’s say I killed 52 flies when I was in France, 11 years ago. What would have happened to those flies if I hadn’t been around? At 12 generations a year, let’s suppose that 132 generations would have been born, that half of the 52 flies were female, that half of all subsequent generations were female, and finally that each female laid 1,000 eggs.

The total number of female descendants is 26 x 500(132), and the total fly population is twice that number. There would therefore be around 9.550892 x 10(357) flies currently living. At 128 flies to the cubic inch, we get 3.25 x 10(16) per cubic mile, or 2.292 x 10(56) per cubic parsec, which means that all the flies would fit into a cube a little more than 3.45  x 10(100) parsecs on a side.  Our galaxy is 25-30 parsecs across…

Spiders are useful…

Shamelessly stolen from here (to where you should send complaints if the decimals have slipped…):


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