October 15th, 2013


A Major Award

Back in March 2012, my short story "Your First Real Rocket Ship" won Third Prize in the Friends of the Merril Short Story Contest (DW). In addition to being available on the Toronto Public Library website for 90 days, they also announced that an artist had been commissioned to produce a book with the winning stories -- limited to five numbered copies. One for each author, the Merril collection and the artist.

Over the weekend copy number 3 arrived at the P.O. Box and Mrs. Dr. Phil brought it by on Sunday. I took a couple of pictures with the Kindle Fire HD's camera, and through various machinations got them edited and FTP'd the pictures to my website via a remote Linux desktop.

The lovely handmade limited edition book, copy number 3. (Click on photo for larger)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

Title page and copy number. (Click on photo for larger)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

Table of Contents... (Click on photo for larger)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

... and my story. (Click on photo for larger)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)


Dr. Phil

Math Query

You can type anything into Google and it'll give you some sort of an answer.

I am working on a silly story and the protagonist needs to carry $1.6 million. So I plugged in "How much does one million dollars weigh?"

ANSWER 1: 220 lbs.
ANSWER 2: about a thousand pounds
ANSWER 3: 22.026 lbs.

Now obviously it will depend on denomination, but both 1 & 3 said they were using 100s. Clearly something's wrong here.

Both 1 & 3 credit a US banknote as one gram or 454 bills per pound. $1,000,000 / $100 = 10,000. 10,000 / 454 = 22.03. So, ANSWER 1 has a math error, ANSWER 2 might be true if we're dealing with "small unmarked bills" where a million singles would weigh 2203 lbs., and ANSWER 3, though suspicious with its 5 significant figures answer, is true.

1 & 2 came via ask.com while 3 came via Yahoo!

Now on to size. How silly would you look trying to lug a million dollars. So "How big is a million dollars?" This time I had no hesitation, as the first response was from The Straight Dope boards. The teeming millions couldn't let me down.

There's a link to a somewhat hilarious simulation, which is nothing less than I expect from people who read The Straight Dope.

Anyway, a nice silver 5" Zero Halliburton case would hold it all. As for $1,600,000, a decent large rolling suitcase would handle both the bulk and the 35 lbs. Or a very nice Zero Halliburton rolling suitcase for $840 on sale.*** Hell, anyone traveling on an airline with such a large bag knows it's easy to exceed 49 lbs. (grin)

That's how I spent part of my evening.

You're welcome.

Dr. Phil

*** -- You've got $1.6 million and you're gonna stint on the case because it's nearly a thousand bucks? There's a reason the bad guys in movies always hand over the expensive cases -- they're part of the disposable cost of business.