Friday, May 25, 2007

350 million cards?

I had another one in my e-mail this morning. A small child with a terrible cancer, who hopes to set a world record by receiving 350 million get well cards.

350 million.

I see these things, and I wonder if anyone has thought through the logistics of the plan. Where, exactly, do you store 350 million cards? Not in scrapbooks...

Let's say, just for argument, that you can fit 1000 individual cards inside a cubic box 1 ft x 1 ft x 1 ft . Judging from the junk mail piled on my breakfast bar, that's a generous estimate.

You would need 350,000 of those boxes to store your cards.

The volume of those boxes would be a cube of the size (cube root of 350,000 ) on each side...or about 70 feet on a side.

Picture a room that is 10 x 10 x 10 feet (a small bedroom with a tall ceiling)

You would need 7 x 7 x 7 of those rooms...or 343 rooms.

Maybe we should turn to e-mail, instead.

Let's say 350 million people each send the boy an e-card.

If he opens one card every second, it will take him 350,000,000/60(seconds per minute)/60(minutes per hour) to look at all the cards, that is, about 97222 hours.

That's about 4050 days, or slightly over 11 years (around the clock, all day, every day).

Honestly, I bear no ill will toward the sick child, but what if, instead of sending a greeting card, each person were to donate $1.00 toward cancer research?

American Cancer Society


Kanoff said...


Matthew Sachs said...

Snopes has more information on this.

Julie said...

I thought you were going to the science department, not the math department ;-) Great calculations -- I'm not sure I'd have thought through all of that.

Nicole said...

Geez. Although I've heard about this mythical kid, I never thought it through like you have.

Your idea about sending $1 to ACS is a brilliant one though.

Save a a life.