# How long is a string?

•

apparently it's 12....

and I can drink 19.54 i in^6 beers... (http://www07.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=how+much+beer+can+i+drink)

• I don't know what your problem is.  "aabcccaaabaa" is a string, and it's 12 characters long.  You want a better answer?  Ask a better question.

• @kingmike said:

http://www08.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=how+long+is+a+string%3F

apparently it's 12....

and I can drink 19.54 i in^6 beers... (http://www07.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=how+much+beer+can+i+drink)

If you had used big words and proper grammar, you wouldn't have had to make do with imaginary beer:

Unfortunately for me, the obvious next manipulation to attempt failed:

I wasn't able to make it give me an answer in trees cubed per woodchuck^4.

Then I tried "how much beer could a beercan can if a beercan could can beer?", and it crashed.

• 12 is the answer and it is the right one, you just don't understand the question.  Let me break it down for you:

how long?

"is a string?"

Count them, it is 12 characters in "is a string?" and you asked how long.

If you said how long is a dog? then answer would have been 9.

• @KattMan said:

12 is the answer and it is the right one, you just don't understand the question.  Let me break it down for you:

how long?

"is a string?"

Count them, it is 12 characters in "is a string?" and you asked how long.

If you said how long is a dog? then answer would have been 9.

Actually...

http://www08.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=how+long+is+a+dog

...it assumes you're talking about a gray wolf and says it's between 2.9 and 5.4 feet long. So.... yeah.

• Also, NaN=36.9965

Finally! I'd been wondering what all those NaN temperature displays and NaN% sales meant.

• @joemck said:

Also, NaN=36.9965

Finally! I'd been wondering what all those NaN temperature displays and NaN% sales meant.

Actually, it equals 124 people per year. Obviously.

• I found myself unable to resist this one after reading this thread...

Clearly, its database lacks pornography. Bad Wolfram.

• Nan mortality rate...

...

...

so deep...

• I'm trying to workout both what this answer means and how Wolfram arrived at it...
http://www08.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=who+is+the+capital+of+Chicago%3F

• @BlueKnot said:

I'm trying to workout both what this answer means and how Wolfram arrived at it...
http://www08.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=who+is+the+capital+of+Chicago%3F
That's okay, I'm still trying to figure out what the question means and why the hell you asked it.  Seriously, people, do you really think it's funny that it doesn't understand nonsense?

• @BlueKnot said:

I'm trying to workout both what this answer means and how Wolfram arrived at it...
http://www08.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=who+is+the+capital+of+Chicago%3F

"C" is the capital of "Chicago".  Who's on first.

• @BlueKnot said:

I'm trying to workout both what this answer means and how Wolfram arrived at it...
http://www08.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=who+is+the+capital+of+Chicago%3F

That's actually very easy: it identified "capital" and "Chicago" as the significant topics in the sentence. Since none of the other words in the sentence can be used to relate any of the topics named "capital" to any of the topics named "Chicago", it discards them as meaningless. It then selects a "capital" topic and a "Chicago" topic of the same type (in this case, periodicals) and does a side-by-side comparison.

You can see this in action if you change your question to http://www08.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=who+is+the+capital+of+Illinois%3F

• @Carnildo said:

@BlueKnot said:
I'm trying to workout both what this answer means and how Wolfram arrived at it...
http://www08.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=who+is+the+capital+of+Chicago%3F

That's actually very easy: it identified "capital" and "Chicago" as the significant topics in the sentence. Since none of the other words in the sentence can be used to relate any of the topics named "capital" to any of the topics named "Chicago", it discards them as meaningless. It then selects a "capital" topic and a "Chicago" topic of the same type (in this case, periodicals) and does a side-by-side comparison.

You can see this in action if you change your question to http://www08.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=who+is+the+capital+of+Illinois%3F

So the fact that it still fails at a question that makes sense "what is the capital of Chicago?" and returns the same results means that.... its still garbage?

• @NorseLaQuet said:

@Carnildo said:

@BlueKnot said:
I'm trying to workout both what this answer means and how Wolfram arrived at it...
http://www08.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=who+is+the+capital+of+Chicago%3F

That's actually very easy: it identified "capital" and "Chicago" as the significant topics in the sentence. Since none of the other words in the sentence can be used to relate any of the topics named "capital" to any of the topics named "Chicago", it discards them as meaningless. It then selects a "capital" topic and a "Chicago" topic of the same type (in this case, periodicals) and does a side-by-side comparison.

You can see this in action if you change your question to http://www08.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=who+is+the+capital+of+Illinois%3F

So the fact that it still fails at a question that makes sense "what is the capital of Chicago?" and returns the same results means that.... its still garbage?

Actually that question still doesn't make sense. There's more than one flaw in the original question. Chicago is not a state, so as such it does not have it's own capital. At least, not a recognized, legal one.

The capital of Illinois is Springfield, BTW.

(I would say actually the "capital" of Chicago is "C".)

• @Luke said:

http://www63.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=last+digit+of+pi

It was that episode of Star Trek where Captain Kirk exorcizes the evil energy entity from the ship's computer by commanding the computer to calculate the value of pi, which used up all the computer's memory. I was just a kid, but I thought - wow, math can be used to fight evil. But now I realize that was just a fantasy, a sham: the computer would have finished the job, and the Enterprise would have been lost. It's profoundly disillusioning.

•

Note that alternative reprezentation:

`e = e^z  for z = 1`
`  `

• @Luke said:

http://www63.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=last+digit+of+pi

I thought that was interesting. For some bizarre reason it couldn't make sense of the question as intended - I wonder why  - but it knows that "digit" is a unit of length, albeit a rarely used one, and "last" is a measure of volume (or, apparently, of mass), albeit a rarely used one. So it decided you wanted to do a unit conversion from pi digit-lasts to some more sane unit. It even tells you that the physical interpretation (of length^4) is as the second moment of area. I thought that was pretty impressive.

And if I ever *do* have a second moment of are expressed in digit-lasts, I'll know where to go to convert it.

• A team of Japanese researchers at a leading national university have upended the entire scientific world when it unexpectedly calculated the value of pi to 1.3511 trillion places, which is apparently the final digit in this number previously thought to be infinite.

"We don't understand," said visibly panicked project team member Makoto Kudo. "We were just trying to set a new world record for most digits calculated. We had no idea it would run out. Honestly!"

Researchers at Tokyo University, led by Professor Yasumasa Kanada, calculated the value for pi with a Hitachi supercomputer for over 500 hours in April. They were seeking to break their own world record. The Hitachi supercomputer is capable of 2 trillion calculations per second.

"We just wanted to get to 1.5 trillion places," said Kudo. "We intended no harm."

Pi is a number expressing the ratio of the circumference of a perfect circle to its diameter. As there are no perfect circles or spheres in nature (since matter is composed of atoms and is therefore not smooth) the continued extension of pi has long been seen as a harmless exercise of computer power. However, its symbolic value to the scientific world is profound.

"Probably no symbol in mathematics has evoked as much mystery, romanticism, misconception, and human interest as the number pi," said David Blatner, author of The Joy of Pi. "It is the ultimate limitless vista serving as inspiration to mathematicians the world over. With our world so rudely circumscribed, how are we to continue? What point is there in going on if even pi has a limit?"

Kanada's team has volunteered to continue building on pi by generating random numbers, but the mathematical community seems to feel it wouldn't be the same. Some refuse to accept the findings, although Kanada's team has run the calculation three times.

"We thoroughly condemn the slanderous allegation that pi has a limit," said Rolf Umbridge of the Ancient and Honorable Society of Pi Watchers. "We are so incensed by the very notion that we hereby officially censure the University of Tokyo. Dr. Kanada, you are dead to me, sir!"

Most, however, do not blame Kanada or his team, acknowledging that someone would have discovered that pi is finite sooner or later.

"Pi showed me the power of numbers," said UCLA graduate student in mathematics Alan Prentiss wistfully. "It was that episode of Star Trek where Captain Kirk exorcizes the evil energy entity from the ship's computer by commanding the computer to calculate the value of pi, which used up all the computer's memory. I was just a kid, but I thought - wow, math can be used to fight evil. But now I realize that was just a fantasy, a sham: the computer would have finished the job, and the Enterprise would have been lost. It's profoundly disillusioning."

• @bon3r said:

A team of Japanese researchers ...
After reading the first few sentences, I say this sounds like an Onion article.

• @bon3r said:

<Wall of text>

And now for something properly formatted: [url]http://watleyreview.com/2004/062904-3.html[/url].

• @bon3r said:

"It was that episode of Star Trek where Captain Kirk exorcizes the evil energy entity from the ship's computer by commanding the computer to calculate the value of pi, which used up all the computer's memory. I was just a kid, but I thought - wow, math can be used to fight evil. But now I realize that was just a fantasy, a sham: the computer would have finished the job, and the Enterprise would have been lost. It's profoundly disillusioning."
I recognize this sentence... Maybe because I already posted this like 3 days ago?

Nobody liked it back then, so why would they now :'(

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