maple's.fortunes

there is no central destination




Do You Know How Big a Bus Is?

So, I almost got hit by a bus on Monday morning. That would have been fun. I was crossing the road at a crosswalk when it told me to cross and he must not have seen me. It was really close, like a couple feet between me and the bus. Fun times eh?

Well we’re on the subject of buses, did you know that there is a bus out there that can carry 300 people? Check this puppy out – Big Bus.

Also, did you know that there is such a thing as Queueing theory? If you didn’t here is a little explanation.

Queueing theory is the mathematical study of waiting lines (or queues). The theory enables mathematical analysis of several related processes, including arriving at the (back of the) queue, waiting in the queue (essentially a storage process), and being served by the server(s) at the front of the queue. The theory permits the derivation and calculation of several performance measures including the average waiting time in the queue or the system, the expected number waiting or receiving service and the probability of encountering the system in certain states, such as empty, full, having an available server or having to wait a certain time to be served. – Wikipedia

This reason I bring Queueing theory up is that it reminds me of bistromathics from Douglas Adam’s Life, the Universe and Everything.

Bistromathics itself is simply a revolutionary new way of understanding the behaviour of numbers. Just as Albert Einstein’s general relativity theory observed that space was not an absolute but depended on the observer’s movement in time, and that time was not an absolute, but depended on the observer’s movement in space, so it is now realized that numbers are not absolute, but depend on the observer’s movement in restaurants.

The first nonabsolute number is the number of people for whom the table is reserved. This will vary during the course of the first three telephone calls to the restaurant, and then bear no apparent relation to the number of people who actually turn up, or the number of people who subsequently join them after the show/match/party/gig, or to the number of people who leave when they see who else has shown up.

The second nonabsolute number is the given time of arrival, which is now known to be one of those most bizarre mathematical concepts, a recipriversexcluson, a number whose existence can only be defined as being anything other than itself. In other words, the given time of arrival is the one moment of time at which it is impossible that any member of the party will arrive. Recipriversexclusons now play a vital part in many branches of mathematics, including statistics and accountancy, and also form the basic equations used to engineer the Somebody Else’s Problem field.

The third and most mysterious piece of nonabsoluteness of all lies in the relationship between the number of items on the bill, the cost of each item, the number of people at the table and what they are each prepared to pay for. (The number of people who have actually brought any money is only a sub-phenomenon in this field.) – Life, the Universe and Everything

Interesting isn’t it?

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 7th, 2009 at 11:17 am and is filed under Entertainment, General, Science. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to “Do You Know How Big a Bus Is?”

  1. John Says:

    In programming class, we created a pizza cafe that used queues. There was an event queue and a waiting queue. All the numbers were random (some were uniform and others Poisson distribution). The program stopped accepting new arrivals at a certain time and eventually calculated how long it took the restaurant to process customers, how many people were seated, how much pizza was served, and what the profit from the day was.

  2. Jamie Says:

    Oooo, I hate queuing. Especially with two small children. I queued for 10 minutes or more at Fabricland the other day…grrrrr…
    Love Douglas Adams. Hilarious.
    Oh and I’m glad you didn’t get hit by a bus. Try to look both ways before crossing the street next time.

  3. Lahni Says:

    I also hate queueing. I accidentally went to the grocery store yesterday on 15% Tuesday. People come from all over southern AB to buy a month’s worth of groceries. It’s painful and I usually try to avoid it. Needless to say the queues were VERY long.
    I feel you on the bus thing. I almost got hit by a car once and it was a lot closer than a couple feet. I could feel the heat from the car on my legs it was that close. It was really scary!

  4. maple Says:

    Haha John, that is the kind of stuff that made me think of bistromathics. I bet that was fun.

    Yeah, queueing sucks. I’m glad I don’t live in Britain.

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