CSMonitor editors share their favorite people to follow on Twitter

3. The Web Team: “What If Numbers”


Ever wonder how many ounces of gold it would take to buy one ounce of 64GB MemorySD cards? What about the average U.S. adult alcohol consumption in 1825, measured in shots of 80-proof liquor per person per day?
If any of these questions interest you, you’re in luck. There’s an entire Twitter account dedicated to them.

"What if Numbers," a Twitter account created by xkcd author Randall Munroe, lists a series of facts regarding numbers, from the number of cigarettes consumed by someone on a given day in 1963 (12) to the glide ratio of a northern flying squirrel (1.98).

One of the best fun facts on this account, according to Online News editor Eoin O'Carroll (@eoinocarroll), is from Feb. 26: “20: Top speed, in miles per hour, of a roadrunner.”

The Twitter account is actually an extension of the Mr. Munroe's “What If” science blog. The blog runs an answer to a hypothetical question related to math or physics every Tuesday, such as “What if you somehow managed to make a stereo travel at twice the speed of sound, would it sound backwards to someone who was just casually sitting somewhere as it flies by?”

Since "What If Numbers" was created in late January, the account has gained more than 26,000 followers.

Mr. O'Carroll describes Munroe's blog as a source of "accurate yet darkly humorous answers" to the multitude of outlandish and intricate questions he receives.
Each tweet includes a number and then proceeds to explain what the number is. Another example is a tweet from Feb. 1: “107: Speed record in miles per hour for a bicycle going downhill on a volcano.”

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