Thursday, 24 April 2014

Working in Montréal today --Extreme sports and ham sandwiches

It will be working in Montréal today.

This morning I read the headline of the British Columbia woman facing U.S. hospital bills in the range of $500,000 for injuries suffered in an Arizona skydiving accident, that had landed safely at Vancouver airport Tuesday night.


I am glad that she landed safely.  There several thousand other travelers that also landed safely and that was not news either.

But!  The comments posted against the article were a bit off in my view.  They all centered around the activities of the woman's family and friends that were trying to raise funds to help her with her 1/2 million in U.S. medical bills.  The posters seemed to all believe that because she engaged in this risk sport, she should carry the burden of the medical bills herself.

Well.  Okay.  First of all she doesn't have the 1/2 million so go keep your nonsense to yourself.  Secondly, I wondered exactly how dangerous skydiving is statistically.

First I compared to driving.  Now these are real rough unverifiable numbers.  I quickly search the web for what statistics I could find during the Air Canada pre-flight baggage toss competition.

In Canada and the US there occurs about 8 deaths for each 1,000,000,000 km driven.  There are .008 deaths per 10,000 skydives.  Do the quick math, figure most jumps are from 10,000 feet..

.008 deaths per 10,000 jump or 8 deaths per 10,000,000 jumps, x 10,000 feet / 5280 (feet in mile) x 1.6 (km in mile) = 8 deaths per 30,000,000 km fallen.

Divide the km driven by the km fallen, and it put forth that falling with a parachute is 33 times more dangerous than driving.  

Huh, how about that?

Still some more time, how about comparing skydiving and driving to eating a ham sandwich?

We about 28 kg per person of pork per year in Canada.  Again, a non-verified web statistic.  Further, an average pig yields 135 lbs of meat, 24 lbs of which are (is?) ham.  So the ham to generic pork ratio is about .177 to 1.

So..  28 kg x .177 is 4.248 kg of ham per person per year, I think there are about 35 million of us, so that would be 148,680,000 kg of ham eaten in Canada per year. Or 327,096,000 lbs.

I wasn't sure how much ham is used for sandwiched vs all other uses, but from my own experience, I figure 1/2 is a good number to use. So 163,548,000 lbs of sandwich meat.  About 1/4 lbs per sandwich yields 40,887,000 ham sandwiches in Canada per year.

[ Sorry folks, that was clearly a logic error as the flight attendant was pouring me a cup of coffee, I should have multiplied the lbs by 4 instead of dividing. -- The correct count of sandwiches is 654,192,000 ]

I know, that is merely 1.16 [ corrected:  18.69 ] ham sandwiches per Canadian per year, but hey, that's what the numbers say.

Now then, how many deaths from ham sandwiches?

Folks, I am sorry that I took you all of the way here, but I just could not find any numbers on sandwich deaths, let alone ham sandwich deaths. In fact the only death from a ham sandwich that I am ever vaguely aware of in the last 40 years is Cass Elliot, that's right, Mama Cass, Ellen Naomi Cohen.  From the Mamas & Papas fame.

Mama Cass died July 29 1974 reportedly from choking on a ham sandwich.

What have we learned?

That eating a ham sandwich is probably 128,000 [ still probably a real high number ] times safer that falling out of an airplane. Or maybe I forgot to carry a 1. Huh.

Have a great day, wear your seatbelt, chew before swallowing.


  1. In hate math

  2. Math is our friend Pete! having said that, I corrected a mistake in the sandwich calculations.

  3. If you think you are so smart, then how much mustard do you need? Eh? What about that? Condiments r us, if do not think so.