Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Ya think the election will be this close?

It has always amused me that the US election date is the same as that of Australia's greatest horse race. Here's the official photo finish from this year's Melbourne Cup; Viewed nosed Bauer out by about one cm on a 3200m track. That's about 3 parts in a million. For comparison to the American horse race, if 100 million people vote today, that would be a 300 ballot difference. In science, it is extremely difficult to measure most things to that precision.

The observant among you will note that in this picture, the black horse has nosed out the one with gray hair. Interpretation of that point is left as an exercise to the reader.

Science resumes tomorrow.


Silver Fox said...

It's an omen, for sure. ;)
But are you telling me you aren't that good with your Brunton and tape traverses?

C W Magee said...

Let's just say that I spent all last year trying to find decades-old drill holes whose locations were recorded using that method.

Adamooo said...

Right question, wrong race: Looks like Franken/Coleman in Minnesota was decided by fewer than one thousand votes in nearly 3 million (with 15% going to the spoiler Independence Party candidate, though I don't know how those supposedly break between the two larger parties). Automatic recount rules are in force for a win by less than a half-percent, so we won't have a result for at least a couple of months (unless Franken concedes).