Monthly Archives: June 2011

How big is Manta?

Sometimes when working on a big site for a long time, you get used to the big numbers. It’s easy to talk about hundreds of thousands of these and millions of those and lose perspective of just how many companies are on Manta. For fun today I decided to do some simple math to try and put the volume of companies I work with into perspective by providing references to more familiar items.


A Dell 5130cdn laser printer [1], touted as one of the fastest laser printers, would take over 2.5 years of nonstop printing to print out all 64 million companies. You’d need 2,836 of these printers running non stop to print them all out during an 8 hour working day.


Once printed I could lay them end to end and form a line about half way around the world [2], about 423 marathon [3] runs end to end. If you ran all those marathons back to back at the fastest pace ever run[4] you would be running for over 36 days without a break.


I could stack them flat to reach a height of about 20,000 feet, which is higher than the maximum altitude of most helicopters. The Boeing Apache AH-64 gunship has a maximum service ceiling of 21,000 feet[5]. Most skydivers bail out between 3,000-13,000 feet [6].

If we took the papers and stood them up end to end, instead of going half way around the globe, they’d go up just over 11,000 miles, almost twice the thickness of the Earth’s atmosphere[7]. The space shuttle and space station orbit the Earth between 100-300 miles, while GPS satellites orbit the Earth between 6,000-12,000 miles[8].

The ~24M companies in the US arranged this way would create a line of paper about 22,000 feet high, or 17,600 Empire State buildings[9] stacked ontop of each other.


If we laid all the paper out and taped it all together into a rectangle it would have an area approx 1.5 square miles which would cover 722 football fields[10].


I would need 128,000 reams of office paper needed to print every company which would weigh about 1,280 tons[11], equivalent to about 640 SUVs[12], or a pod of 116 world record male orcas[13].


These reams of paper would take up 13,851 cubic feet, so I would need 34 shipping containers[14] to hold them all.


If each company was a dollar bill and if we used a money counting machine typically used by banks[15], it would take almost 27 days to count them all, not including time to load and unload the machine.


If each piece of paper was held by one person, I would need almost all the people in California, New York and Virginia[16].


  1. Dell 5130cdn laser printer prints at 47 pages per minute, single sided
  2. The circumference of the earth at the equator is 24,901.55 miles
  3. A marathon is 26 miles and 385 yards
  4. Fastest marathon ever run is by Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya in 2:03:02
  5. The Boeing Apache AH-64 has a service ceiling of 21,000 feet
  6. Skydivers jump between 3,000-13,000 feet
  7. The Exosphere is the outer layer of the atmosphere at ranges up to 6,213 miles (10,000 km)
  8. Satellite orbit altitudes
  9. The Empire State Building is 1,250 feet high
  10. An American Football field is 120 yards by 53.3 yards
  11. Calculations were done using 20lb paper.
  12. Assuming the average weight of an SUV is 4,000 lbs.
  13. The largest known Killer Whale was a male that weighed around 22,000 lbs and was 32 feet long
  14. The volume of a twenty-foot cargo container is 1,360 cubic feet
  15. The Tay-Chian TC-5500 desktop note counter can process 1500 to 1800 notes per hour, I used an average of 1650 notes/hr for the calculation
  16. List of populations by State taken from April 2010 census data

Beer Thirty in Columbus OH

Since moving to the Columbus area, I’ve practically been a hermit, rarely venturing out. I live and work on the outskirts of Columbus, rarely needing to travel inside the I270 circular. There are a number of really great neighborhoods within the I270 ring, like Upper Arlington, Clintonville and the Short North, but to me and my limited travels, I jokingly call anything within I270 “downtown”. On the occasion that I have driven through “downtown” I’ve noticed a number of bars that would be quite interesting to visit:

Betty’s Bar
435 W Nationwide Boulevard

Phil & Young’s Tavern
1455 Harrisburg Pike

Amicon Grill
1168 Chambers Road

Claddagh Pubs Of Polaris, LLC
8745 Sancus Boulevard

Ok so the last one is not downtown, but I pass by it all the time and yet have never gone inside, which is really quite odd, since I used to frequent an Irish bar in London (a lot!) before moving here.

There are so many really cool bars and taverns in Columbus. I probably won’t get to sample them all, but I’d love to step into a few of them, sample their food and beverages and perhaps record my visit with a photo.

What other bars and taverns in Columbus should be on my list?

Memorial Day 2011

On Memorial Day, the Rotary club here in Westerville, along with volunteers from many other organizations planted 2,500 flags, into what is called the Field of Heroes. It pays tribute to the sacrifices given by the many people in harms way, in order to protect our rights and freedoms. I missed photo opportunities in previous years for various reasons, but was adamant that I was going to capture the field this year.

On Monday morning I arrived at the field around 5.40am which gave me just enough time to scout for some good locations before the beautiful sunrise hit. From the weather forecast I knew there were going to be some clouds in the sky so I hoping for some crepuscular rays (aka God Rays). Below is one of the images I captured and processed into an HDR image from 5 separate frames.

Field of Heroes - Memorial Day 2011

Thank you to the Yahoo Editor who chose this image to appear in the Memorial Day gallery on Flickr alongside other wonderful images.