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# Amazing Equivalence Calculator

A must-have for documentary writers
 (+40, -1) [vote for, against]

The number one rule of great documentary writing is (apparently) to include lots of "amazing equivalences". For example, in a documentary about corn: "Americans eat 650 tons of corn every year - that's enough to fill the Grand Canyon 5 times." Viewers will pay more attention if you wow them with factoids like this before getting on to your message.

Now, The Amazing Equivalence Calculator lets *you* choose your preferred units of measurement, and restates any dimensions you specify into hundreds of mind-boggling statistics.

Doing a documentary on dogs? Try this for a no-miss introduction. Type in your estimates of the dimensions of an average dog poop, and the number of poops that you think a dog makes per day. Then click "Save...", click "Relate To...", and click "Geographical Wonders". Immediately, the computer will provide mesmerizing facts like:

"The poop made by dogs each day would stretch to the moon and back 3600 times."
"A dog in America poops every 1/5 of a second."
"The dog poop produced every century weighs more than the water in the Mediterranean Sea."

The computer database will be preprogrammed with knowledge of all kinds of global time scales, geographical facts and distances, and probabilities. It will also store up individual users' input so that others may borrow from it.

So, if you independently compute that the probability of a killer asteroid striking in the next 50 years is 0.000000000005, you can spice up that statement by using the Equivalence Calculator: "The chance of a killer asteroid striking in the next 10 years is less than the probability that a dog jumping off the Empire State Building will poop on its way down."

 — phundug, Jan 24 2005

Conversion tool (mildly off topic) http://convertit.co...ement/Converter.ASP
1 pipe = 2 hogshead, but I don't see a listing for dog poop. [Worldgineer, Jan 24 2005]

Estimation Skills Estimation_20Skills
This idea is related to "Estimation Skills". The ability to quickly convert a measurement into a rough but familiar equivalent is a valuable skill in understanding information. [hippo, Jan 25 2005]

Where Semantics Meets Pragmatics http://ling.uni-kon...SemPrag03.Progr.pdf
[reensure, Jan 25 2005]

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 "A dog in America poops every 1/5 of a second." Perhaps predictably, the pound has had trouble finding a home for this sad creature.

[Fundog], I assume you're making a documentary about dog poop? All you need is the internet, a dog, a scale, and a calculator.
 — Worldgineer, Jan 24 2005

[+] It's quite revealing that the frequency of dogs pooping is the same as how often an annotation is added to the halfbakery.
 — sophocles, Jan 24 2005

The UNIX "units" command might help. It does unit conversion. We'll need to standardize the dog poop as a unit of volume. 10^15 pooches would be a petapooch. 10^9 British former prime ministers would be a gigamaggie. [+]
 — luxlucet, Jan 24 2005

 Whatever .... now, what do you have to make me stop laughing?

Something, I hope, provided by less chance than I find on my own
 — reensure, Jan 25 2005

+1
 — po, Jan 25 2005

This invention could very well inspire new systems of measure. Did you know I walked 1/400000 of a lunar stretch today? Before the invention of the Amazing Equivalence Calculator that would have been one measily kilometer.
 — cuckoointherye, Jan 25 2005

[luxlucet] more like a gigawitch
 — rambling_sid, Jan 25 2005

An Olympic-sized swimming pool of croissants for you.
 — hippo, Jan 25 2005

How would that convert the size of the Universe? (~13.7 billion lightyears)
 — Inyuki, Jan 25 2005

The Japanese do this by comparing EVERYTHING to Koshien Stadium in Kobe (there is a hugely popular high school baseball tournament there every year). For example, "~13.7 billion light years" would be absolutely meaningless to all but a few scientists in Japan, but say "about 50,000 septillion Koshien Stadiums, give or take a few hot dog stands" and most of the population will have a pretty good idea of the size you are talking about.
 — ConsulFlaminicus, Jan 25 2005

[rambling_sid], the gigamaggie is actually a reference to an old university cheer (Texas A&M "Aggies"). They yell "gig'em, Aggies!"
 — luxlucet, Jan 25 2005

 //The Japanese do this by comparing EVERYTHING to Koshien Stadium in Kobe//

is Koshien stadium therefore vital to the Japanese mind process? ie if Koshien stadium did not exist would they then be unable to perform any kind of equivalence calculation? End of a nation?
 — hazey0, Jan 25 2005

Yeah hazey, destroying the stadium would be like dropping two atom bombs.
 — cuckoointherye, Jan 25 2005

A pragmatic response to underinformative sentences should be quicker than a logical response. page 14 Scalar Implicature <link>
 — reensure, Jan 25 2005

hazey, come now, are you really so naive to suggest that a nation is defined by its system of measure?
 — cuckoointherye, Jan 26 2005

pi seconds is roughly a nano-century.
 — AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 16 2005

+
 — DrBob, Mar 16 2005

A bit like those statements that mention every breath of air that you take contains some atoms that were breathed by <insert famous person>?
Reminds me of a Python sketch: "DId you know, if pound-for-pound, an elephant could jump as high as a flea, it would get out of a lot more trouble"
 — Ling, Mar 16 2005

 I'm still laughing about the dog that poops 5 times a second.

Where is the croissant button on my keyboard. (has that been invented yet?)
 — macncheesy, Mar 16 2005

One croissant, equivalent to 1/fishbone?
 — zen_tom, Mar 16 2005

(+)
 — 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Oct 11 2009

I want a croissant button on my keyboard, dammit!
 — pocmloc, Oct 11 2009

Wolfram|Alpha kinda does this.
 — notexactly, Dec 06 2019

<eagerly goes to look at W A for croissant button code or instructions>
 — pocmloc, Dec 06 2019

The "for" vote link has the access key F, which you can see in the page's HTML source code. (And "against" has G, because "annotate" has A.) On Windows at least, that means you can press alt-F to bun an idea. On macOS, I think it's supposed to be control-option(alt)-F, though that's never worked for me for some reason. Anyway, if you want just one key rather than two or three, just set up a macro key or something, using your keyboard (if it has such a feature), AutoHotkey, etc.
 — notexactly, Dec 08 2019

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