How Many Calories Are In a 500-Page Book?

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How many calories are in a 500-page paperback book?Tyler Newcomb:

My goal in this answer is to make Dave Consiglio proud! We’ll see how that goes…

Let’s crunch some numbers, shall we?

First of all, I want to preface this by saying that a 500-page paperback book can be many different sizes.

  • What is the density of the paper?
  • What size are the pages?
  • Is it recycled paper?
  • Is it coated in something to make it water resistant?
  • How thick are the pages?
  • What is the paper made of? Is it wood? Eucalyptus? Papyrus?

With that being said, let’s get into some number crunching!

FIRST THINGS FIRST

First of all, let’s find the mass of the book, and for simplicity’s sake we will assume that the book is blank paper with 500 identical pages.

The average size of a book is 6 inches by 9 inches, which is about 15 by 23 centimeters for our purposes. Again, I’m rounding to make things easier on all of us. By this measurement we get an area of about 345 centimeters.

For paper thickness, I am going to use 0.08 millimeters, or 0.008 centimeters. This gets us a volume (V = l x w x h) or 2.76 cm3 per piece of paper.

When we multiply this by 500, for the number of pieces, we get a total volume of 1380 cubic centimeters, which is a nice, round number to use for volume.

CALCULATING MASS

Next, we will use the volume and the density to calculate mass.

The density of paper is about 1.2 grams per cubic centimeter. The formula for mass is density = mass/volume, which reworks to be mass = density x volume.

By plugging in numbers, we get mass = 1.2g/cm3 x 1380 cm3. When we solve this, we get a mass of 1656 grams.

WHAT WE KNOW

We know that the mass of our book is about 1660 grams, and our density is 1.2g/cm3. From now on, we will only need our mass.

The specific heat of paper is 1.34J/g, and since we have 1660 grams of mass of paper, we can multiply the two, to get 2225 joules.

One joule is equal to 0.000239006 food calories (or kilocalories), which is what I assume you are interested in. Therefore, we can multiply our value in joules by 0.000239006 to get our energy in calories.

The result is that a 500-page paperback book has about 0.53 calories.

That’s it. A book has a little more than half a food calorie. For the record: I spent much more energy answering this question than I would have gotten from a book.

This post originally appeared on Quora. Click here to view.

Are Any of the Scientific Instruments Left on the Moon By the Apollo Astronauts Still Functional?

Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong left the first footprint on the Moon on July 20, 1969.
Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong left the first footprint on the Moon on July 20, 1969.
Heritage Space/Heritage Images/Getty Images

C Stuart Hardwick:

The retroreflectors left as part of the Apollo Lunar Ranging Experiment are still fully functional, though their reflective efficiency has diminished over the years.

This deterioration is actually now delivering valuable data. The deterioration has multiple causes including micrometeorite impacts and dust deposition on the reflector surface, and chemical degradation of the mirror surface on the underside—among other things.

As technology has advanced, ground station sensitivity has been repeatedly upgraded faster than the reflectors have deteriorated. As a result, measurements have gotten better, not worse, and measurements of the degradation itself have, among other things, lent support to the idea that static electric charge gives the moon an ephemeral periodic near-surface pseudo-atmosphere of electrically levitating dust.

No other Apollo experiments on the moon remain functional. All the missions except the first included experiment packages powered by radiothermoelectric generators (RTGs), which operated until they were ordered to shut down on September 30, 1977. This was done to save money, but also because by then the RTGs could no longer power the transmitters or any instruments, and the control room used to maintain contact was needed for other purposes.

Because of fears that some problem might force Apollo 11 to abort back to orbit soon after landing, Apollo 11 deployed a simplified experiment package including a solar-powered seismometer which failed after 21 days.

This post originally appeared on Quora. Click here to view.

What Makes a Hotel Breakfast 'Continental'?

Hotels often offer a complimentary pastry and fruit breakfast.
Hotels often offer a complimentary pastry and fruit breakfast.
tashka2000/iStock via Getty Images

The continental breakfast, which is typically made up of pastries, fruit, and coffee, is often advertised by hotels as a free perk for guests. But why is it called continental, and why don’t patrons get some eggs and bacon along with it?

The term dates back to 19th century Britain, where residents referred to mainland Europe as “the continent.” Breakfast in this region was usually something light, whereas an English or American breakfast incorporated meat, beans, and other “heavy” menu options.

American hotels that wanted to appeal to European travelers began advertising “continental breakfasts” as a kind of flashing neon sign to indicate guests wouldn’t be limited to American breakfast fare that they found unappealing. The strategy was ideal for hotels, which saved money by offering some muffins, fruit, and coffee and calling it a day.

That affordability as well as convenience—pastries and fruit are shelf-stable, requiring no heat or refrigeration to maintain food safety—is a big reason continental breakfasts have endured. It’s also a carryover from the hybrid model of hotel pricing, where American hotels typically folded the cost of meals into one bill and European hotels billed for food separately. By offering a continental breakfast, guests got the best of both worlds. And while Americans were initially aghast at the lack of sausages and pancakes on offer, they’ve since come around to the appeal of a muffin and some orange juice to get their travel day started.

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