The 296th most popular

The 296th most popular

As regular readers know, I sometimes like to do something…somewhat random to try to discover new things.

Well, today is October 23 (where I am), which is the 296th day of the year (since it isn’t a leap year*).

So, I thought I’d pull out the 296th most popular thing in different Kindle store lists, just to see what it is.

That sounds normal to you, right? Right? Oh, well. ;)

The 296th Most Popular Book

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
by Mindy Kaling
4.3 out of 5 stars, 1,044 reviews

Mindy Kaling is a popular actor, writer, producer…well, you probably already know. :)

The 296th Most Popular Magazine

The Priest
3.5 out of 5 stars, 2 reviews

Despite having managed a brick-and-mortar bookstore in the past, I didn’t know about this one. Seems to be sort of a professional magazine for Catholic priests.

The 296th Most Popular Blog

Perez Hilton gossip blog
5 out of 5 stars, 1 review

No surprise to me that this blog exists, but only one review?

The 296th Most Popular Kindle Single

All My Love, Samples Later: My Mother, My Father, and Our Family That Almost Was. A Story of Life and War. (Kindle Single)
by Craig Vetter
4.6 out of 5 stars, 14 reviews

Sounds interesting! Vetter lost a parent in World War II, as a toddler. Decades later, the author researched a journal and letters, to find out more about the lost one.

The 296th Most Popular Kindle Fire HDX Compatible App

Bingo Mania
3.5 out of 5 stars, 91 reviews

There is, not illogically, not always a direct correlation between best reviewed and best selling. There are going to be many apps with higher ratings that are lower in the sales rankings right now. This one is free, by the way.

The 296th Most Popular Audiobook

A Tale of Two Cities read by Simon Vance
4.2 out of 5 stars, 1330 reviews (but I believe that will include reviews of the novel itself, not just this version)

Well, that was sort of interesting…yes, there were times in a brick-and-mortar bookstore I would just sort of wander around and see where I ended up. ;)

A bit on methodology: I’m sometimes asked how you can quickly advance through search results at Amazon. Well, first, you search. Then, go the next page. Once you’ve done that, the URL (Uniform or Universal Resource Locator) at the top of the screen will have a reference to a page number. You can change that page number to whatever you want, hit enter, and you’ll jump to that page (search results are typically limited to 400 pages). Here’s an example of one of those URLs:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=lp_6118587011_pg_5?rh=n%3A133140011%2Cn%3A%21133141011%2Cn%3A6118587011&page=2&ie=UTF8&qid=1382577384

It’s the part that says, “&page=2″.

I also didn’t do some things, like newspapers…because there weren’t 296 of them.

Bonus deal: this may be too late for some of you, but one of One of today’s Kindle Daily Deals is any of three Star Trek: Destiny novels by David Mack for $1.99 each. I particularly am mentioning this because text-to-speech access is not blocked on these…hopefully, that’s a sign for other Simon & Schuster Star Trek books.

* Speaking of leap years, I don’t think I’ve told this story on the blog before, and it does say something about me and my family (and some of you like to know about that). My side of the family has a lot of intellectuals in it…academics, a Nobel Prize winner (Melvin Calvin…”Uncle Mel” to me, growing up), that kind of thing. My Significant Other’s family is very smart, but hasn’t typically been professional academics…or quite so geeky. ;) Once, when our kid was about eight, my SO was driving, and I was in the passenger seat in the front. Our kid was in the back. Our kid says, “You know, if every time we changed the time for Daylight Savings time we moved forward, every three leap years we wouldn’t need one.” My SO looked over at me, very confused. I quickly got the point. If we moved forward one hour twice a year, we would gain 24 hours in twelve years. Leap years occur every four years and add a day (to keep the calendar year  synchronized  with the astronomical year, since the Earth’s circuit around the sun isn’t exactly 365 days). So, if we moved forward two hours every year, we would make up for that day every three leap years. I said to our kid, “Did somebody tell you that?” Our kid said, sort of laconically, “No…I was just thinking…” :)

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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10 Responses to “The 296th most popular”

  1. cardinalrobbins Says:

    This was really great, Bufo, and extremely interesting! Such a neat idea to go and correlate the day of the year and the position of things on different lists. Loved the anecdote about your child; such an intelligent one to think of something scientific on the fly like that. You should be very proud, as well as your S.O!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, cardinalrobbins!

      Oh, I’m so pleased you liked it! :) It was such a quirky thing, I’m never quite sure how those will go over.

      Yep: my SO and I say that we are doing our part for the species, because our kid is an improvement over either one of us. ;)

  2. Edward Boyhan Says:

    Along the lines of your kid’s DST, one day I was “just thinking”, and said to myself what if we arbitrarily redefined the speed of light to be exactly 300,000 kilometers/second, and redefined the duration of the second to make that so, what would that do to annual calendar synchronization? I forget the actual details (and don’t feel like redoing the calculations — it’s 1AM here), but as I recall I think you’d be off by about 15 minutes/day. So I came up with the notion of “whoopee time” — every day at midnight you’d in effect turn the clocks off for the requisite 15 minutes — kind of like the extra time played in soccer matches after official time runs out.

    Every day we’d all get an extra 15 minutes to “catch up” — could probably adjust the “whoopee time” interval to take care of leap years as well :grin.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Edward!

      That’s not too different conceptually from what they used to do in Rome, as I would explain to my Excel classes when having to calculate dates. I’m going to explain it the same way…and not at all guarantee that it is historically accurate. ;)

      There used to be ten months of 36 days each. Then, there would be five “party days” at the end of the year, which didn’t count as part of a month (that’s like your “whoopee time”). If you think about the names of the months, you can see how it was ten: October = 8th month (like the eight for “octopus”); November = Ninth month; December (like “decimal”) = 10th month. That would make our formulae so much easier! What messed that up? Julius Caesar. Julius said, “I want my own month where people just walk around and say, ‘Julius is cool’.” That’s July. They took days from other months, especially February because, you know, it’s a cold month and not that popular. ;) Who followed Julius Caesar? Augustus Caesar. Augustus said, “Julius got his own month…I want my own month.” That’s August. Not too long after that, despite this obviously practical style of leadership, the Empire collapsed…
      ;)

      What I did when I was in high school was propose decimal time. I think it was ten months in a year, ten days in a month, 100 hours in a day, 100 minutes in an hour, and 100 seconds in a minute (I did away with weeks). I’ll do the quick calculation…the new seconds would be about .31 of our current seconds, I think. Yes, just like our kid’s suggestion, it might mean it would be noon in the middle of the night sometimes, but it would make calculations a lot easier. ;)

  3. Edward Boyhan Says:

    Oh, and physicists and metrologists everywhere would probably sing my praises — especially physics college students :grin

  4. tellthetruth1 Says:

    Must be the best day for Amazon lovers in my country who want to try out the new HDX. Just seen it advertised this morning!

  5. Harold Says:

    To add to Edward’s brilliant idea: On an old George Burns and Gracie Allen show George asked Gracie what time it was, she opened a drawer, pulled out the clock, plugged it in, and told George the time from the clock. He asked her why she kept the clock in a drawer and she replied, “You told me we should try to save electricity.” The thought that went through my head at the time was a quote from my sixth grade teacher, “You can’t kill time without injuring eternity.” He repeated it often when someone in class was goofing off.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Harold!

      Brilliant show! It was a great combination of both writing and delivery.

      It’s an interesting quotation from your teacher, but I would point out that you can’t kill time…it is immortal. ;)

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