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Matmail:

If each person in the world were a drop of water, how large the swimming pool? If the water level is rising, how big the garden hose? Paint me a word picture.

-- Doctrbones, San Diego

We've sent the elves back to the lab again to determine the volume of "a drop." We've been sending in pizzas and Jolt for three days straight, so I expect an answer soon. In the meantime, we'll check with the U.S. Census Bureau and see what the latest head count is. Not all population clocks match, but they're estimates anyway. According to the Census Bureau, around quarter of nine tonight, Thursday, September 23, there will be 6,014,100,527 of us in the big global mosh pit. Every day, 210,064 more of us dive in than climb out, so the pool had better be one of those stretchy plastic kinds.

Here it is. The elves just slipped it out under the door. By their calculations, using a calibrated medicine dropper and a Slurpee cup, they figure 80 drops to the teaspoon, 480 drops to the fluid ounce, 58,240 drops to the gallon. A gallon equals 231 cubic inches. If I'm reading correctly through the pepperoni stains, that means by Thursday the pool will hold 103,264 gallons of tiny wet people. That's 13,804 cubic feet of miniature humanity. There's a note here that says the elves have decided to hang out in the Jacuzzi instead. Oh, well, more elbow room for the rest of us.

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