Monday, December 1, 2008

Buy enough sugar to reach from Earth to the farthest star of the Big Dipper

For the price of the Iraq War, we could've bought enough confectioners' sugar to reach from Earth to Alpha Ursae Majoris (also called Dubhe), the farthest star of the Big Dipper.

A grain of confectioners' sugar, called icing sugar in the UK, is around 24 micrometers in each direction. Sucrose has a density of 1.587 grams per cubic centimeter, so the mass of a grain of powdered sugar is 21.9 nanograms. Dubhe, the star that stands at the end of the Big Dipper's scoop, is 124 light years or 1173 trillion kilometers away. Reaching Dubhe would require 48.9 billion trillion grains of confectioners' sugar. Since 25 pounds, or 11.34 kg, of Domino 10x confectioners' sugar can be bought for $27.48, buying enough sugar to reach the farthest star of the Big Dipper would cost $2.59 trillion, or $410 billion less than Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes' estimate of $3 trillion for the total cost of the Iraq War.

Thanks you all for reading War or Car. This will be the final post at this site. From now on, my political blogging will be at Donkeylicious with Nicholas Beaudrot. Let's work together to make sure our leaders make wiser decisions in the years to come.