So, there you have it. The exact amount of money in Scrooge's vault is: too much.
There are some things that man just isn't supposed to know, such as "Is there a God?" or "What is our purpose in this universe?" or "How many people did each of the cast members of Friends sleep with on the show?" But, we do know the answer to that last question, along with many, many, many other similarly inane mysteries, thanks to obsessive fans who spend more time thinking about pop culture than the people who were paid to create it. So, let us once again celebrate the hard work and undiagnosed mental disorders that allowed these heroes to answer "important" questions, such as ...
Scrooge McDuck is known as "the richest duck in the world," which ... doesn't sound that impressive, actually, since most ducks' personal wealth is limited to some bread and cholera. Still, it's pretty clear that Donald's most miserable uncle is rich even by human standards, considering he's got enough gold coins to fill a giant vault and swim in it.
"Compound interest is for communists!"
Have you ever wondered exactly how rich Scrooge is, though? If so, don't worry: Science is officially on the case. After Billfold writer Matt Powers wrote a parody article calculating Scrooge's wealth and arrived at the impressive number of more than $210 billion (that's about five Charles Kochs), science news website LiveScience decided to check the math. What they found is that Powers had vastly, vastly undershot it. Using story details from the Scrooge McDuck comics and the official blueprints for Scrooge's money bin, LiveScience determined that the vault must contain approximately 171,450 cubic feet of gold ...
Not pictured in the blueprints: a room for Huey, Louie,
and Dewey, who apparently sleep in the closet.
... which translates to 3,302,088,419 ounces. Since gold is selling at $1,127.34 per ounce as of this writing, according to our calculations (read: Google's) that means Scrooge has $3.7 trillion dollars. Or: enough to buy some fucking pants. Come on, man.
But, wait, there's more. Way more, in fact. LiveScience reached their number by assuming that the 127-foot vault is half full, but that's clearly not the case. As seen in the drawing above (among many others), Scrooge's gold pile is about 90 feet tall -- and, as djublonskopf at Observation Deck calculated, all of the gold in the world would only fill the vault up to 57 feet. That means Scrooge McDuck has more gold than exists on the planet. He has gold from alien worlds and is presumably holding back scientific progress because no one can use gold in transistors or computers and such.
Which explains why most of Duckburg looks like a medieval village.
So, there you have it. The exact amount of money in Scrooge's vault is: too much.
New Line Cinema
The Lord of the Rings is a literary masterpiece about walking, friendship, walking, the corrupting influence of power, walking, and persevering against overwhelming odds ... by walking. Frodo and pals are supposed to bring The One Ring to Mount Doom where it can be destroyed, and they mostly get there on their naked, hairy, and disgusting feet.
New Line Cinema
Gandalf is a diiiiiiiiiick.
Still, it's a little hard to picture the distances covered in the story, since all of it happens in some made-up land full of wacky creatures with outlandish accents (New Zealand). Luckily, the fantastical world of Middle Earth has been recorded in greater cartographical fidelity than most central African countries, allowing an enterprising Imgur user called mattsawizard to translate Frodo's journey into real-life terms. The initial trip between Frodo's home in Hobbiton and The Prancing Pony inn, for instance, was 120 miles -- the same as walking from Boston to Bridgeport, Connecticut (51 hours).
Boston also has a "Prancing Pony," but it's an S&M club for bronies.
While mattsawizard didn't explain his methodology, he clearly used the scale provided in Tolkien's map of Middle Earth (and a copy of MS Paint). According to his calculations, the total distance traveled by Frodo from Hobbiton to Mount Doom was 1,350 miles, which is about the same as walking from Los Angeles to Austin, Texas (444 hours).
And really, if you had to put Mount Doom somewhere, Texas seems the most appropriate.
Note, however, that mattsawizard didn't take into account all the backtracking and roundabout paths the characters had to take. In order to do that, you would have to be a nerd of truly colossal proportions ... like, you know, the ones at LotRProject.com. They went as far as to create an interactive day-by-day chart tracking Frodo's every movement for the entire duration of the story, including the times when he just sat on his ass all day.
"Sam goes to the bathroom (83 hours)."
The grand total? 1,800 freaking miles (the same as Pittsburgh to Alberta, Canada), covered over the course of 185 days. Damn, Sam could kick through steel with the calves he must've developed after that hike.
Running gags in sitcoms begin to add up over time: How many jobs did Andy have in Parks And Recreation? Will Kramer ever invent something that works? How much casual racism can 2 Broke Girls get away with? However, there are few questions with such astronomically unexpected answers as the one we have always wondered about The Golden Girls. Specifically, how many guys have these gals played pelvic patty cake with?
Reminder: This show started 31 years ago, when Betty White was merely considered "old" and not a "Highlander."
Erin Donnelly at Refinery29 took one for the team and did the math. The grand total? At least 263 men, with Blanche (Rue McClanahan) leading the pack at 165 partners: more than all three of her friends put together and more than twice as much as noted man-whore Jerry Seinfeld. She's followed by Dorothy (Bea Arthur) with 43, Rose (White) with 30, and Sophia (Estelle Getty) with 25 -- although the writer has somewhat naively assumed that the latter was lying about sleeping with the likes of Mussolini, Churchill, and Picasso.
Again, we must stress that 263 guys is the lowest possible figure since it doesn't include female partners, orgies, or any of the handjobs Rose may have given to the 56 boyfriends she had her senior year in high school.
Which, when you account for snow and sick days, means she had to be
doubling up on at least some of them.
To put those numbers in perspective, the average millennial is expected to sleep with eight partners in their lifetime, the average Gen Xer 10 partners, and the average baby boomer 11 partners. Although we expect those numbers to skyrocket the moment NASA makes first contact and then we all get our alien freak on, any number higher than 100 is pretty damn high for a woman born before the FDA approved the pill, let alone before FDR proposed the New Deal.
Nick Berry of DataGenetics put more time into developing the perfect Battleship strategy than the Bush administration put into the war in Iraq. He developed an algorithm that guarantees you a win in fewer than 70 shots. If this wasn't enough of a draw for the ladies, his website detailing the algorithm is downright frightening in the amount of detail presented.
Missing: a separate line detailing the player's virginity.
So, how do you play the perfect Battleship game? All you have to do is change the way you look at the board. Step one is realizing that you only need to shoot at half the squares on the board to hit any given ship, since even the tiniest one still take two spaces. As a result, your chances of "randomly" hitting ships go up considerably if you just stick to either "even" or "odd" squares the whole game:
At this stage, your biggest enemy is the urge to quit the game and play checkers.
Step two is the tried and through method of branching out once you hit a target:
Or, if you're in a hallway, running away from this lunatic babbling about Battleship.
Now that you've sunk a ship, visualize the ones still missing: Where could they possibly fit in the grid? Do these possible hiding spots overlap anywhere? If so, your chances of hitting something are way bigger in that area, so focus your firepower there.
Your little sister won't know what hit her.
The final step is just adding it all together: the (odd/even) squares you don't need to hit, the length and possible positions of remaining ships, and the locations where said positions overlap. Using this method, your friends will be convinced you have psychic powers, and you'll begin to wonder why nerds haven't always fought wars.
The Barrow Boy via Wikimedia Commons
Scrabble games can get highly competitive, especially when your opponent starts making up ridiculous words such as "irregardless" and double-especially when it turns out that abomination is actually in the dictionary. Ever wondered about the most possible points you can make in one turn? 200? 1,000? It can't be more than that, can it?
Way off, pal. Scrabulizer.com is a site that lets filthy cheate- ... er, players enter the current state of their game and be presented with all possible moves. One user, Arian Smit, set out to find the highest scoring Scrabble word possible, using downloaded word lists, the different dictionaries accepted by the game, and an enviable amount of free time. After some trial and error, he finally discovered the Contra Code of tile-based word games: You can get 2,044 points if you use DGQSZXI to make "sesquioxidizing" (the creation of a type of oxide, not the depraved sex act you're imagining) in the below configuration.
"'Overcompensated' is a very appropriate word for you, Doug."
"Jabberwocks," "Fritz," and "Highfaluting"? We've heard it's not a good idea to beat Yosemite Sam at Scrabble. He doesn't handle loss well.
Taylor Hatmaker via Wikimedia Commons
It was the single biggest urban legend in gaming: Atari's E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial game flopped so hard that not only did it precipitate the video game crash of 1983, but the company had to bury hundreds of thousands of copies in a landfill in New Mexico. It sounds like the sort of hyperbolic situation jokingly made up by ... well, us.
Plus, that grave is way too big for ET's corpse. You'll be there all night filling it in.
Even after news reports from that era were unearthed (mentioning E.T. as one of many Atari games supposedly buried), most were still understandably skeptic of the veracity of this story. Then, a Canadian production company looking to make a documentary about the buried games decided to get their hands dirty. Literally. After securing funding from Microsoft, the crew started taking ground samples from the Alamogordo, New Mexico, landfill, using newspaper dates to determine where the pixelated turds might be buried.
Once they settled on a place, the crew knew they had one chance to get it right -- the city had only given them permission to make a single giant hole in the ground in the pursuit of video game history. They dug 20 feet down with cameras rolling until they found some old Atari equipment, but that didn't prove anything: Throwing your Atari in the trash was the third most popular hobby of 1983, just behind Safety Dancing and cocaine. Then, it began: They found a complete boxed copy of E.T. -- and then another, and another.
Surprisingly, those Starbursts still don't expire until 2019.
The team hit the mother lode, recovering hundreds of copies of E.T. and other games that ended up selling for somewhere between $37,000 and $108,000 (reports conflict) on EBay, while simultaneously solving the second greatest mystery in video game history. Now, all that's left is to assemble an elite team of experts to find out what the hell happened to Half-Life 3.
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Yes, lots of pop culture mysteries have been answered by the truly dedicated. Like we know when Ice Cube's good day took place. And we know how much the bill was that New York sent to The Avengers. See those and more in 6 Mind-Blowing Pop Culture Questions Answered By Super Fans and 5 Insane Pop Culture Questions Answered By Super Fans.
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Did you know cats modeled their "meow" after the cries of human babies, just because they knew us humans care about that noise? Did you know dogs can read your mind (emotionally), and live in constant suspicion that you know where the good food is (you totally do)? In the next LIVE episode of the Cracked Podcast, host Jack O'Brien leads Cracked's team of pet-loving/fearing comedians through all the ways our dogs and cats are more powerful, creepy, and awesome than we ever could have imagined. Jack will be joined by Carmen Angelica, Dan O'Brien, Alex Schmidt, and Jake Weisman at the UCB Sunset Theatre on Wednesday, March 9, at 7 p.m. Purchase your tickets here!