Saturday, January 26, 2008

Winner announced! The actual number of Maximilian Sunflower seeds...

Last Saturday I asked: how many sunflower seeds did I get from

I also posted this rear view of the packet.

Then I went to a farm auction. It was a cold, sleeting morning and when I got home I was too cold to do anything more ambitious than count those seeds.

Here I am, caught by Zed in the process of counting.

Here are the counted seeds, in piles of 10. (Lower right is a pile of chaff.)

Those are awfully small piles. Deceptively small...

... and therefore the actual number of seeds, I was amazed to discover, was: 293. MORE than advertised!

How could I have been so wrong? I certainly would never win a jellybean counting contest.

Speaking of which, if you think you're good at this kind of thing, you can Monday-morning quarterback at the 10 cent designer flicker page where this picture appeared. The contest is long over, but all the guesses (many) are still posted, along with the answer.

James Surowiecki posits, in his book The Wisdom of Crowds, that "under the right circumstances, collective intelligence (The Wisdom of Crowds) is greater than the individual intelligence, no matter how brilliant or informed the individual is."

There was a Jellybean Challenge on his website but the answer is not posted.

So now, if you have a lot of time on your hands or are procrastinating at a very high level, you can go back and average all the answers given in the previous contest and see if Surowiecki's hypothesis is worth beans (bupkis, which I always thought meant beans but actually - according to Wikipedia - is a Yiddish word from Slavic roots, kozebupkes, meaning 'goat droppings').

Winner: please email me your snail-mail address to receive your free cd!! Thanks, all!

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At 11:39 AM, Blogger Alma said...

Congrats to the winner!

Melinama, I tried out your raisin nut coffeecake yesteday. It is delicious! My 5-year old especially loved it because their were many ingredients for him to pour in. However, I didn't realize until I took a bite that you probably meant ground cloves... oops... well, my family understands that I always do something to goof up a recipe, and they all loved it. Thanks for sharing it!

At 1:41 PM, Anonymous Hypatia said...

Sorry to be a bit thick about this... but who *did* win? I might be the winner, but I don't want to be presumptuous. :)

At 2:21 PM, Blogger melinama said...

Hypatia, yes you won, so send me your snail mail address! Thanks!

At 9:15 AM, Anonymous sylvia said...

Congrats Hypatia!

At 7:25 AM, Anonymous Christmas Girl said...

Oh no you actually counted the seeds!! and even admitted to it as well. Its actually the sort of thinf I might do but then lie about it.


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