Here in the peoples republic of Boulder, Colorado, there used to be a coffee house called Penny Lane. All the flakes and nuts hung out there to write bad poetry, sing lousy music, play chess and perhaps buy some coffee.
It was a great place!
Note: If you want to practice critical thinking skills, spend some time in a college town coffee shop. ;)
Ahh... Penny Lane the Beatles song, released in 1967. Great song. A nice history of it can be found here:
And, for all the Rolling Stones people who will complain about what band is better... FOAD.
In any event, while driving home the other night I listened to the radio and heard, you guessed it, Penny Lane! Well, I had a flash back to that morning on the way to school when I was listening to the radio, and guess what... Penny Lane was playing then as well!
Humm... I wonder how many times the Beatles version of Penny Lane has been played. Not just over the radio, but on personal CD, tapes, records, 8-tracks, reel to reel, and MP3's. How about on TV and other visual media? How many times was Penny Lane in our ears and in our eyes?
---- Start Fermi Problem ----
Estimate the total number of times Penny Lane has been played since it came out in Feb 1967.
How many minutes of time does this represent?
(Time for some physics)
How much energy was expended as sound to play Penny Lane?
If you were to raise the temperature of a body of water by 1 C using this "Total Penny Lane energy", what volume would this body of water be?
Post your solution in the comments if you wish. =)
---- End Fermi Problem ----
"Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes.
A four of fish and finger pies
In summer, meanwhile back..."