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1:19pm on Friday, 27th March, 2009:

22 Days in August


So, there are plans to build a "Heritage and Conservation Centre" in Great Horkesley. This is the next village along to ours, and indeed we lived there for 10 years or so ourselves. Even though this new tourist trap would mean lots of jobs for locals, the residents of Great Horkesley are not universally in favour of it, primarily (it would appear) because they live in Great Horkesley and that's where it's going to be put.

Anyway, there's a new planning proposal for the site being considered, which was duly reported in the Essex County Standard as follows:

What? Where did that figure come from?!

Helpfully, the ECS tells us:

That must be pretty damned good prediction software they have, there...

Looking at the figures, though, there's something a little awry. 77,632 visitors in a month that has 31 days means roughly 75/3 hundred visitors per day. Sure enough, when you work it out you get just over 2,504 visitors per day, not 3,505. To get 3,505 per day, August would have to have just over 22 days.

It's fairly obvious what happened here: the writer divided 77,632 by 31 and rounded up the fractional part of the answer (0.25806) then wrote down the wrong thousand part by accident — 3 instead of 2. Nevertheless, it's but the work of an instant to figure that it couldn't possibly be 3,505 because it's going to be closer to 2,500.

This is why teachers always tell children to check that their answers make sense.

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Copyright © 2009 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).