Sunday, 25 January 2015

Of ferrets and moles

Need a lot more ferrets

Have you ever been wakened by a dark thought, perhaps precipitated by a florid dream? I had one such occasion the other night. I was so disturbed that I left my bed in search of pen and paper. Once found, I scribbled furiously. In my experience our best thoughts come in the dead of night, but unless recorded instantly they dissipate like a phantasm/fart in the cold light of day and can never be brought to the conscious mind, again. Anyway, next day when I checked my mid night musings, I was astonished to read: 'Arse, big fat, ARSE. Should have stayed in bed. I digress.

This is a thought I had today, in the daylight. How much would a mole of ferrets actually weigh? For those without a science background I, by necessity, must introduce a preamble. The molar concept is simple. Every element has a molecular weight expressed as a number. For instance, hydrogen's molecular weight is 1 and  plutonium's is 239. Now comes the interesting bit. Consider the molecular weight of any element expressed as a gram- the number of atoms contained therein is the same, regardless. This number is a constant called Avogadro's number. The number is: 602,214,129,000,000,000,000,000. Therefore, extrapolating onward and upward, a mole of ferrets would consist of this number of ferrets. Seems like a lot of ferrets. Next we need to know the average weight of the average ferret. After much research and drinking I have come to the arbitrary conclusion that the average ferret weighs 2kg. Actually, my ferret 'Shagger' is a shade heavier; the result of an over indulgent owner. Therefore to calculate the weight of a mole of ferrets, we just have to plug our number into the following equation: 602,214,129,000,000,000,000,000 x 2,000 gms equals 1,256 x 1022 kg.

This would result in a layer of ferrets 300km in depth. Everything would be crushed and life on earth would cease, except for ferrets of course, and especially those lucky ferrets in the top layer.

Can't help but notice that my posts of late are getting a bit 'ferrety'. Must make a huge effort to desist and, of course, take my medication.

I wonder how much a mole of moles weigh?     

This not a ferret


  1. Not being of the mathematical chemical or physicicistieee (pardon the last word but I couldn't for the life of me think what the word was as I knew it wasn't physical, that would have just confused everyone) persuasion, I started reading above and thought HUH surely one mole would = less than half a ferret, because moles are tiny wee things and ferrets whilst also on the smallish side are I would surmise larger than a mole.
    I carried on reading all this going through my head rapidly as I read and in fact the ting moment happened before I reached the end of my internal musings.
    Being really bad a maths I then started to worry about that big number, mathematical dyspraxia means you start panicking about the numbers long before you work out what they mean, it's a bit like being confronted with a charging Rhino with no way out.
    I then decided taking a breath was a good idea as I had started to go blue by this point and at this self same moment I realised with what can only be described as a rush of relief, that there would be no test to fail and actually you were making your calculation wonderfully simple.
    So I went back to the beginning and started anew.
    I found this a very interesting hypothesis and wondered would the same formula (or formuli) work for Fesnying's of Ferrets? I ask because perhaps groups of ferrets would be less deep and if stacked carefully may lead to less crush factor?

  2. OH and Ps you can never do too many ferrety posts they are awesome ... I thank you. *bow*

    1. As you have probably noticed, Kath I've toned down the 'ferrety thing' of late. Has been hard. I suspect there will be an out pouring of all things ferrety, real soon. I really can't help myself. I love ferrets with a passion born of madness.

  3. Ferrets good. Moles bad.

    Had a little bastard in me back garden once. Tried everything. Mole smokes, windmills, buried bottles, exhaust fumes, drowning. Even tried a 12 bore (I kid you not).

    In the end a mate of mine poisoned the little bastard with strychnine. Shame about next doors cat and the dog over the road, but it got rid of the mole...