Quantify the unquantifiable

First of all, Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays to all my dear readers.

I thank you all for taking the time to read my blog entries despite your packed schedules.

Few things give me both cognitive discomfort and immense pleasure as tackling a Fermi question. I often find myself immersed in any one of them for hours on end.

Here are 12 such mind-benders for your amusement. Happy 2020 everyone.

In any given year, is there at least 1 second when there is neither a single human birth nor a single human death?

How many words in 2 different languages from 2 different peoples who have never met have the exact same sound & meaning?

In the last 10 years, how many people have successfully pulled off an insurance scam of any sort? I need hardly tell you that you certainly aren’t obliged to raise your hand if you have…

What might be the last thought in the last human being’s mind?

Since 9/11, how many hijack attempts never happened because the hijacker or hijackers on board the aircraft simply decided against it for some reason?

In the last 20 years, how many times has The Grand Unified Theory been discovered in a dream and entirely forgotten as many dreams are when the person awakens?

In the last 10 years, how many people in Mumbai have dodged a bullet that whizzed past their ear but thought that it was a mosquito?

In the last 50 years, how many racists have had successful blood transfusions from people of a different race?

In the last 20 years, how many twins have lived their entire lives not ever knowing of their sibling’s existence?

How many cannonballs are at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean?

In the last 30 years, how many people have looked at an entire total solar eclipse with their naked eyes and not lost their eyesight as a result? For the exceptionally cheeky ones among you; let’s exclude the blind and those who’ve seen videos of the eclipses, shall we?

In the last 75 years, how many people have celebrated the coming of a new year at 11:59:59 pm in their local time zone on 31st December more than once?