7,000,000 Whoppers or a 30 Foot Cube of Butter

Not long after I posted my questions about how much food had to be eaten to power the 28 million hours that have been logged playing Halo 2 on XBox live, Bart got back to me with an answer:

Bart says:
"6,160 sticks of butter or 7,000 Whopper sandwichs from burger king. Thanks for putting me in your blog! --Bart"

I didn't think the human body was quite that efficient. Powering 3000 years of game play off 6000 sticks of butter just didn't seem right. But, maybe it was, why else would those machines in The Matrix use us as batteries.

I decided to ask Bart if he was correct.
I wrote:
"I found a site that says you burn 114 calories per hour while sitting and writing, card playing, etc. And 4.99 calories per gram of butter. So, I got 1,410,259 pounds of butter required for the 28,000,000 hours of game play. Surely that's more than 6000 sticks. You sure that's right? --TMIV"

Bart's reply:
" Don't forget about the calories to kilocalories conversion.

I think that those web sites that say how fast you burn calories are talking about real calories (I'm not sure; I could be wrong about thispart), whereas food is measured in Calories (capital C) which are really kilocalories.

I was using about 176 calories per hour, which is a bit inflated since it was actually the number for sitting down and playing with a kid. I figured that you would burn more calories playing videogames than just sitting and playing cards because you're moving around a lot and using a lot of muscles in your arms ('fast twitch' muscle which burns morecalories than 'slow twitch' endurance type muscle, re: July 2004 Scientific American.)

For butter I was using a quote from a story that I read last week onFoxNews.com. They were talking about the new 1400 calorie burger at Carl's Jr. and one nutritionist was saying you'd be better off eating a stick of butter because it only has 800 calories and less fat.

28 x 10e6 hours x (176 calories/ 1 hour) x (1 kilocalorie/1000 calories) x (1 stick of butter/800 calories) = 6160 sticks of butter (roughly a cube of butter 3 feet on a side)

Using your value of 114 calories per hour, you'd get 3990 sticks of butter. All this really goes to show that I'm probably just as anal as you thought.

To try to make up for that, here is a cute and relevant story: http://www.iwaynet.net/~ggwiz/f/beerdiet.htm

Then about 10 minutes later I got this email:
"You know what? I just looked this up on the net and it looks like exercise is measured in kilocalories just like food, so I divided by 1000 one too many times. Make that 7,000,000 Whoppers or a 30 foot cube of butter. --Bart"

So, there you go! Playing XBox Live for 28 million hours would require 7,000,000 Whoppers or a 30 foot cube of butter as a power source for the humans. Hmmm... now how much power did the XBoxes and the TV's, modems, routers and servers take up???

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