Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Jellybean Numerosity and Pumpkin Weight Guess Calibration website

Learn to count jellybeans and guess pumpkin weights so you can win those contests!
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Sometimes a store has a huge pumpkin or a jug full of jellybeans outside it, and invites you to guess the weight or the number of beans to win a prize.

But chances are, you've never seen a pumpkin like that before or ever tried to estimate the number of [teeny objects] in a [huge container], so you are sadly unprepared.

There should be a website where you can go to practice these ridiculous skills. It would show you photo after photo taken from real-life contests that actually happened, and tell you the actual answer.

At the end, the computer will plot your guesses and the actual answers, so you can see if you are consistently too low or too high. This way you will learn what factor you should multiply your intial estimate by to arrive at a better guess.

Nontraditional strategies, such as looking at other people's guesses (if available) and applying knowledge of whether the typical person underestimates or overestimates in specific types of contests, are also discussed.

phundug, Nov 13 2007

some help on counting jellybeans here http://diggy.wordpr...n-counting-contest/
[xandram, Nov 13 2007]

Estimation Skills Estimation_20Skills
[hippo, Nov 14 2007]

[link]






       The best idea I've seen here in weeks. [+]
imaginality, Nov 13 2007
  

       decades! but shouldn't there be a hyphen?
po, Nov 13 2007
  

       Agreed![+] Now, if only this was baked. I could win thousands of jellybean-counting contests. No idea why I would, but who cares? Someone does.
Shadow Phoenix, Nov 13 2007
  

       Excellent! I forsee [phundug] turning into some sort of nomadic weirdo, travelling the world armed only with his 3G mobile phone (for web access), earning his living from winning jellybean/pumpkin estimation contests.
hippo, Nov 14 2007
  

       Funny.   

       I know mass goes up with volume, which is very deceptive - when those pumpkins get really big, they tend to take on a "squashed" look, which can throw estimates off.   

       Useful things to consider for pumpkin estimation: weather over the growing site, the grower's history, the variety of pumpkin, etc.   

       [phundug] has a new mission: surveying all the brands of jellybeans to determine average bean weight and average bean volume. Also a useful measure to have on hand: typical stacking efficiency of said beans. Then with a known volume, you could have a pretty strong idea of how much of that space was wasted.
elhigh, Nov 14 2007
  

       [elhigh] People were actuallt calculating that on a regular basis, which is why a lot of the contests now use an iregular mix of candy, or include internal space fillers (visible, but not calculable from the outside) to make it more difficult.
MechE, Nov 14 2007
  

       Or for a more mechanical solution, cat scan connected to a laptop that automatically counts the amount of separate masses in the jar... but this is probably the wrong place to put this...
xxobot, Nov 15 2007
  

       I think he would get banned form a lot of Church raffles/charity days... He will probably end up on Church Watch Codename :BeanStalker
S-note, Nov 15 2007
  

       The best use of Bayes' Theorem since Claude Shannon.
4whom, Nov 16 2007
  

       Codename: Pumpkin Fritter (verb)
4whom, Nov 16 2007
  
      
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