**I promised a contest** for one of my Google Wave invites, and here it is:

**What number am I thinking of right now? **

Yup, that’s it. Get it right, you win.

I’ll run this contest until, oh, 8pm eastern today.

In the event no one gets it, I’ll pick the number closest to it. If more than one person picks the number I’ll pick the first one to pick it.

To assure you that I will not just pick a number out of the air, I have entrusted Justine Larbalestier with the number for verification purposes. YOU CANNOT BRIBE HER. I already gave her one of my other GWave invites.

Note also that while I will process the winning e-mail for notification immediately, I make no promises on how long it will take to process (they are technically “nominations”). That’s up to Google.

Now: Tell me the number!

2?

42

forty-two

Pi.

19

Congratulations to whoever ends up winning as I’m pretty sure it won’t be me. ;)

42? The life universe and everything ;)

42, because it’s the answer to everything.

37

33.

Pi – 3.14159265 etc.

42

Pi

8675309 ?

Can we vote more than once?

1

10 to the 100th power!

87

1,134!

29

41

That is the number.

75

OK, wow. there were zero comments and in the time it took me to type “42” I ended 11th in line.

48

666 innit? :)

Why did I click the subscribe button?!?

943!

I’m going with the my old ‘guess the number’ standby, fourteen (14).

8675309

My guess is 17.

3.14159…

I have to go with 42. Even if I’m wrong, it seems so appropriate.

42

I don’t even know what Google Wave is (cuz i haven’t googled it) but I know that I want it.

You are thinking of the #7.

I bet it’s one of those imaginary numbers, like eleventeen or thirty-twelve.

Someone guessed Pi before me, therefore I change my guess to Phi (1.61803399).

842.1

Why are so many of you assuming it’s between 1 and 100? :p

37

1

23.

(yes, I read too much Wilson)

666

Euler’s number

43!

37

24

What the hey. I pick 52.

Yes, I know that’s ten too many.

Well, why not…

pi/π

That’s a number, right?

Eleventy seven.

42

11

143

Oh, heck – for some reason the comments didn’t come up when I looked (before I posted) and I see someone else has 42. May I switch to 55? (My age as of yesterday…)

1701

@shawn

I swear your response wasn’t there when I started to post. I would say something about great minds, but I’m not sure that being stuck on 80s rock makes us great.

42! (Does the ! help?) I’m hoping so. Can’t wait to run my car on AAA batteries! Plus my cat looks flat.

32

Dare I say it? Googol.

9,771

3.

To clarify, the specific euler’s number I was thinking of is (pulling from Wikipedia)…

2.71828â€‰18284â€‰59045â€‰23536…

(Sorry for the irrelevant comment.)

342!

1 Googol. (i.e. 10^100)

104

4610

98,138

Number nine, number nine

69, dude! (*air-guitar*)

42 :)

57

A Googol

i.e. 10^100

10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

11

Seven. Oh please let it be seven.

9!

5

Zero

e (2.718…)

4.4 million (age, in years, of Ardipithecus ramidus, or “Ardi”)

16,432

67

Square root of -1?

OK, I’ll bite…

1984

Zero

a googol

7 =D

Damn, between opening the page and finding somewhere that had a googol written down (so I could copy paste it in) 67 comments got posted including someone else who picked 10^100, guess that makes me not the winner :)

Avogadro’s Number: 6.0221415 Ã— 10 ^ -23

e

47

311 (the number of pages in the copy of OMW sitting on my desk right now)

negative 4.

103

I’d guess your Daughter Athena’s age.

or

more then 2….

6382

e (2.71828183…)

13

45308

88 (as in 88mph).

16843 random guess :)

@sarah #52 — you’re right, it wasn’t there at first. I had to go “Back in Time” Huey Lewis style to post before you.

Yeah, we’re a bit lame I guess… ;)

462

i

5318008

One billion (1,000,000,000)

13

I’m going to guess…

one googol.

Ok, if it is a actually a Googol, I am going to be pissed off for missing by less than a minute!

2701

The product of two primes 37 and the digit reversal of it: 73. That is, 37*73=2701; Made so famous in N.S.’s Cryptonomicon.

47. Go Pomona!

500

-51

00000000

A googolplex!

10^(10^100)

(What, too obvious? Sigh.)

38. No idea why.

Eleven.

75

333! (not the factorial…)

Sqrt(-1)!

! Indicates emphasis, not factorial, by the way.

I’m beginning to think there might be more than 4 or 5 us following Scalzi… Glad I didn’t check the follow-up comments box!

If my calculations are correct, the answer is:

834

Oh, oh, it’s 168! It is, isn’t it?

Sixty-four.

Negative infinity minus one.

@ 114: I did and I immediately regretted my decision.

37?

100109

10, because that’s how old Athena is.

try that again…

i

Rational? Integer? Negative or positive?

8

(please,please,please,please,please pick me!)

38

And I’m an idiot. Avogadro’s number, correctly noted: 6.022 x 10 ^ 23. Minus sign FAIL.

1337

Maybe. Well… only if you’re a huge geek. In which case we both kinda lose.

11,477.

20, because that is as high as you can count. And even that requires taking off socks.

Zero :)

7

661 because Google is the beast and 666 is too obvious.

1999

1927

1701

73

The number i (as in i squared = -1)

42

24601 – For all the

Les Miserablesfans out there!3. It’s a magic number.

47?

247

472

711

Who needs the Kwik-E-Mart?

172

815

36

10

6.02 x 10^23

871

Sorry, initially sent it by e-mail.

Google Wave in Binary is 0100011101101111011011110110011101101100011001010010000001010111011000010111011001100101.

That’s the number you’re thinking of.

3791

69?

2 minus 3 = negative fun.

1001

0?

137. The cosmic number..ooooOOOOOooh!

299,792,458 (the speed of light).

-42

2000?

867-5309

43

71

(If you must know why, research the late George Carlin for the answer)

100

23

40

:>

1344

I’m going to guess i. Or j if you’re an EE.

63 (only because it’s my favorite number)

e to the pi minus pi

17.

1. Thanks for the invite!

Everybody else, go home. We have a winner. *cough*

The Feigenbaum constant. Always one of my favourites. 4.6692016091029….

i. As in the Sq Rt of -1.

40

going with 0.

296

number 7

1337

0

even though it isn’t technically a number

1652

517

10

1218

24601

one.

2009

10109

27

I’m going to go with googolplex. One with one hundred zeros behind it. Probably not the answer, but it had to be mentioned in the thread someplace.

21

-100

1970 since that was the year I was presented to this world.

525

0xDEADBEEF

Your phone number.

woops, I was’t copying, I swear… okay, disregard my “42”.

make it… um… (searches above) (damn, someone took the golden ratio!)

53 (just popped into my head)

42 – The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything

238

144

3.14159265

26, under the “it’s too unremarkable to have been guessed already” theory.

@ Irene Delse (108) – You beat me to it! Curses, foiled again!

1968

11

I know I’m wrong, but I really really really want an invite so I’m trying anyway.

0x476F6F676C652057617656

Google Wave in hex bytes.

2005

97.

PI since I’m feeling very circular today.

3.14159 26535 89793 23846 26433 83279 50288 41971 69399 37510

âˆž

42

Twelfty.

1492

Bacon. What did I win again?

1138

golden ratio=1.6180339887…

45

1123581321

75

– 273,15

79

73

32,767

I bet you are not thinking it but Planck’s constant:

6.626068 Ã— 10-34 m2 kg / s

12

Avogadro’s Number, 6.02×10^23

278.

1.803 x 10^12

Schadenfreude Pi

3.1415-nein!

1

10452

Weird. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a thread here accumulate responses as fast as this one is.

227, which is how many responses are up so far.

Numberwang.

372

312

2310

3

782

769

6

The number of novels you’ve had out so far

-Joe

3

11

7

42

It looks like most of the unique and interesting choices are taken, so I’ll go with 34. Don’t think I’ve seen that one yet.

13,000

112

0

12345

3.14?

27

@195 – Kris – Nice!

500513

Doh! You guys are fast..

1024

Rabid

525,600

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes…

99

11

As in 11 years of Whatever.

https://whatever.scalzi.com/2009/09/13/11-years/

46645, the SMS code for GOOGL

You = silly.

24601.

01000111011011110110111101100111011011000110010100100000010101110110000101110110

01100101

51069

1,396,008

Ha, teach me not to search first. Well, there are only so many… Huh…

infinity? (“What, zero’s a percent.”)googol

The Golden Ratio, 1.618

How about 49?

7,168

9283

52

4,736

Well, since e, phi, and Planck’s constant are already taken:

12345

8,202,008

I feel like we’re playing the Price is Right.

16574146 ( derived by pressing randomly on number pad)

-11

A longshot, but how about googolplex?

green.

1423

777

417

1,284,413

7,240

—

Seven thousand, two hundred and forty.

I think it is a GOOGOLPLEX, or ten to the power of a googol.

1 Googolplex

or…

10^10^100.

n = c / pi ^ 2 + i (10^100) / 42 ^ e

I think that pretty well covers all the pop culture constants, doesn’t it?

Yeah, yeah, I know – pi isn’t squared, it’s round.

723

DANG IT! By the time I wrote that, it went from no googolplexes to several before my post… Man this is filling up fast!

8

444!

742

341

77 why not.

though I was tempted to throw in a Fibonacci sequence (good thing I didn’t, had to use google to find the spelling.

Three people have already guessed Valjean’s first prison number. (He did have a second one, but it only appears in the book, and I doubt Scalzi is that much of a Les Miz geek.)

No one has guessed the temperature at which paper catches fire (Fahrenheit or Celsius) — and we’re in the middle of Banned Books week, geesh.

I’m not guessing either of those numbers, as I said in the other thread, I already have been nominated. I’m just saying I’m disappointed.

911

NOOOOO!!! john, john please let me delete the comment. y’see I’m a m…. yeah a member of the ultra secret Fibonacci group.

and they’ll take my secret decoder ring away.

I’m gonna go with 8680, Bob.

152

Blue. No! Red!

9.10

e

Because you’re on your way to VP XIII soon, I’m going to guess 13.

75, the age John Perry joins the army.

A googol?

2,386!

176,348,993.625

47

Aw, hell, never mind–two people in front of me picked 13! That’s what I get for NOT searching first…

Man Pi, e, Zero and 42 got taken quickly. I’m going to go with i (square root of negitive 1)

867-5309

1 googol

= 10100

= 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

65

235

5.39124(27) x 10^-44

482

429.. that’s the random number that Roboform generated for me.

1000

97,542,988.56

100109

i(square root of negative one)

32768

73

7

318

Ä§

How has no one guessed 256 yet?

256

40

666!

412

has anyone guessed a wheaton yet?

357

Scalzi transliterated into Hebrew and assigned a numerical value according to the principals of gematria.

3985

K

Goggle or Google

1969

5717

712

9.52 x 10^(-4)

731

c (299,792,458 m/s, or so says Google).

86

-6

3.14

The square root of -1

Graham’s Number. This number is so big that it can’t be written in standard scientific notation. You can’t even write down the number of digits it has in scientific notation. Heck, you can’t write down the number that states the number of digits of the number that states the number of digits of Graham’s Number in scientific notation.

As a side note, Graham’s Number is the upper bound in a particular combinatorial proof. The current lower bound is 11 (recently improved from 6, which isn’t really that much of an improvement if you think about it).

973

451 (to keep TransDutch happy)

330

The number you’re thinking about then or now? Or… now? What about later; after you’ve read this? 3!!! Just then you thought of the number 3. Okay, yes, I did force you to think 3… damn I did it again, sorry. I’ll stop making you think of 3, from now on I’ll only focus on the number 41. You’re thinking about the number 41. Ah ha! I was right, you are thinking of 41 just then. Even now, you’re thinking of 41. After this clearly distracting sentence you think of the number 41! 41, 41, 41. Okay, now you’re reflecting on how I made you think of the number 3, but like I said we’re done with the 3, so stop thinking about it… I’m confused now. I know, I clearly made you think of the number 3 and the number 41, but what will you ultimately think of? Hell, it could be the number 159 and I’ll lose because it wasn’t 159 and some other number like 77. No, I’ve decided; you thought of 41. However, to increase my chances I foresee you thought of 3, 41, 3 (again), 77, 159, and then 41 within the last 90 seconds.

Did I win?

8,675,309!

50

1001

83

4863

10.

err make that 1001.1. Didn’t realize someone already have 1001.

Assuming A=1, B=2, C=3, etc. Bacon spells out 2+1+3+15+14=35.

…so: 35!

56!

9-4-1998 date Google was incorporated

3

12764

792

As uttered by Bill S. Preston, Esquire and Ted Theodore Logan; “69 dude!”.

But I’ll disqualify myself John as I am already on the Gwave.

647.5, since no one else has guessed that yet.

1001

-1678

1

1984

6

206

1.

One is the loneliest number.

I’ll go with 159. (I see that #342 has already mentioned it, but for some reason it seems to be the last number my son recognizes before he gets to “google” and “googleplex”)

767

54!

738

24

7

42007

Pi

11

e

44

Because it’s a perfectly fine number.

i

I can’t believe Matt B posted my number first, “152”. Who the Hell picks 152 except for me? OK, Matt B, my number is now 153. Suck on that!

513

negative infinity

1975

19

1234

365.25

47.

31

347

I was going to do 247, but someone else got that. Hudson, that wave was gonna be *mine*.

6.0221415 Ã— 1023

Bah, that’s supposed to be 6.0221415 x 10^23

876

Oooh! Oooh! 378!

19+69i

Because your complex 40 year old guy (and 1969 was taken).

91

153

59.

Don’t know why… just leapt into my head!

um… 512

Elventy-billion

one thousand and one

Seven-hundred-eighty-seven.

e ^ ( i * pi )

Since 42 is taken, I’ll double that guess, and make my guess 84.

Eleventy-one.

1987

516

33

“You are coming through in waves,”

from Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb is 6:54,

therefore, I’m going with 654.

PS I’m listening to it now . . .

17

2666

10-2-2009, on second thought, for the premiere of SG-U that our esteemed host might just have some small interest in…..

8. No reason, just 8.

Well since every mundane possibility has been guessed so far, I’ll go with Aleph-One: the cardinality of the set of all countable ordinal numbers. (This is opposed to the smaller infinity Aleph-Null the cardinality of the set of all natural numbers, which could be construed as taken by the earlier guess at “infinity.”)

meant, “every mundane possibility I had happened to think of”

Just in case, here’s my main email . . .

654

Thanks,

DWH

6765, the 20th number in the Fibonacci sequence.

87. No idea why.

I think it is 8,847,192 give or take 3.

55

i (the square root of -1)

42 was obviously your first choice, but that would be too easy, wouldn’t it?

On the other hand, if you wanted people to think it would be too easy, you’d pick it, just to throw us off.

On the other hand, we know how sneaky you are, and we’d think you’d NOT pick it because you might pick it just to throw us off.

On the other hand, I’m confusing myself with all these hands, so I’m just going to pick 967.

100,000 just like the amount of google invites they released :-)

415 guesses and no one has said “googol” yet?

Oh, wait, @305 guessed that. I pick the highest prime number, then.

Ooooo maybe 100,000, the number of people the new round of invites went to.

4012

43 seems random enough.

Also 420, the number I posted my last post and the time I posted!

1127

3720 (to 1!) :)

i (as in the square root of negative 1)

It totally makes sense because the number is in your head, which makes it imaginary…. yeah, totally makes sense… right?

My second guess (are we allowed 2? oh well) would be 8, because that’s how many invites you get and whatnot

91

92

186,000

1764

the number.

524678.

10,532

432.

42,000,000, ’cause no one else has guessed it yet.

#142.

Hopefully.

Aleph-Omega.

84.

-1

8675309

1998

Because nobody else is likely to pick it.

Kaitou Kid’s number… 1412

8,243,721.

Ernie’s favorite number.

37?

e^(pi*i)

Hey, 98.6

It’s good to be alive.

3.14159, ’cause who doesn’t like pi?

101

1987

2349872348979283742340093234820981230981

443.

What’s a Google Wave?

449 because that should be the comment number for this comment.

Or 452 :)

2525

8793

1013

(no reason)

google?

-192.8

1.

47.

Because that’s my jersey number. And a prime number. Makes it doubly cool.

Please send the invite to my mom, she’s interested in this new Wave-thingy. Oh wait, no, I already sent one to her after I sent one to you. See? You rank ABOVE my mother.

10022009

15,892

747

149 – the first 3 squares, the ratio of the sides of the Monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

667 – the neighbor of the beast

123456789

10012009

20091001

1001

How many guesses do we get again?

1024

108

120

The number on the Prisoner’s license plates: KAR120C

872

4,897 is totally the right number. Right?

549

186

2390

diameter of Pluto in km

Maybe… 79?

Uh oh, somebody not you already picked 79. How about 97?

2002.

Er, thought 93 but typed 97. So, I am guessing 93.

863, just because

8684

Uh…’D’

The fine structure constant. Perhaps the closest a simple number comes to being the answer to life the universe and everything.

It’s about 1/137:

7.297352570(5)Ã—10âˆ’3 is the best current estimate – it’s e^2cÎ¼0 / 2h (ie the charge on an electron squared time the speed of light, times the permittivity of free space divided by twice Planck’s constant)

infinity minus one

ok, 863 then

148

3754

Square root of negative infinity.

I’m gonna guess 1998, the year Athena was born. I didn’t have time to go through and read all the rest of the replies though so sorry if it’s a repeat (this page took FOREVER to load).

578

8. Suprisingly, I don’t think anyone else has guessed that yet, though searching for it is hard.

Or:

8 and a half. No reason.

Zero !

86. It burns in my mind’s eye.

171

07734

18. (just looking for simple things not taken yet)

No 1138 yet? Are we among geeks or what?

23,001

437

dayam! almost 500 posts in three hours. 494 as of my typing this so that’s my number. 494 Hope I don’t win. I don’t even know what Google Wave is. Heh.

123456789

256?

I submit the following nunbers. Being nerdy, I loaded the existing comments into a spreadsheet, filtered and sorted, and herby submit all the integers from 0 to 100 not already claimed.

(it is possible and likely I missed some integers with additional text in the comments enough to confuse my spreadsheet filter)

4

9

14

15

16

20

22

25

26

28

30

34

35

39

46

49

51

53

54

56

58

60

61

62

63

64

66

68

69

70

72

74

76

77

78

80

81

82

85

88

89

90

93

94

95

96

98

:-)

I’m gonna have to go with 81, even though comment 500 technically grabbed it.

432!

8i.

You know, just in case.

googolplex

58!

of course 9!!!

47,323

I’m going with 5. Unless you have an oddly shaped hand.

4326

51069

872 :)

11.2 Just because

infinity – 1

7456?

523.

446

-100

55

2112

3

987654321

522

445

7!

o, zero, ou…

72,563,981,754

My standard “random” number is 5,238

[My other guesses would have been

piande.Thanks!

421

117

Hey Mr. Scalzi:

Just out of curiosity, when you say “closest” is that closest arithmetically, or a

Price is Rightkind of closest, where it’s closest to intent, or closest without going over, or something like that?7945

2009

wait a minute; google

71

I wanted to pick 0, but someone has already, and feel it is important to mention that fact – harrumph! So I pick 649.

Ooh, I want to change my guess to 316006

I also submit 777

I’m not sure what google wave is, or I’d be looking up John, Athena, and the Mrs. birthdays and looking for months/days that haven’t been claimed yet.

:-)

01123581321

I’ll go with the Mersenne prime (2^43,112,609 âˆ’ 1). I’m not sure if this conflicts with @419, seeing as it’s the largest “known” prime number.

As a backup let’s say Avagadro’s number (approx 6.022â€‰141â€‰79 Ã— 10^23).

It’s gotta be 51999

1000000 + 1

242

1962.

3.14159265389793238462643383

(that’s all I have memorized….)(why, yes, I am a nerd)

858393

#0

Wait! Whats the rules around if someone already picked the number you picked?

Is it first post, first served or is it based on whoever guessed it with more feeling?

23

1954

The square root of 2.

1.414…

Cherries!! er, very small Rocks!! Bread!!

I’ll go with 664 (the neighbor of the Beast)

22 for sure.

I’m going with 212.

1998

I’ll go with the number google

How ’bout 1596062991? Or is the other way round – 978-1596062993?

53,595

Green

559

e^(i*pi)?

511

65456

What number are you thinking right now, right now when? Like, right now right now, or right now when you posted?

Because right now right now you’re thinking about bacon. And Bacon isn’t a number.

Dammit, now you’re thinking about your Hugo awards. Give it a rest.

9675309

Hmm… Should have read the comments first. Let’s go with 3125 or 5^5. I’ve always thought base 5 more natural than base 10, so I’m hoping you do the same.

525600

202

23.

18

Bacon isn’t a number, but Scalzi has a bacon number. John Scalzi works on Stargate Universe, which has actor Lou Diamond Phillips in it. He was in Striking Range with Glenn Morshower, who was in The River Wild with Kevin Bacon

Ergo, Scalzi has a bacon number of 3.

29

Negative 5

862

-1,894,841

8691 (twitter followers)

Time’s up and we have a winner.

Nooooooooooo. It’s still 7:59pm, right? I’ll just guess 18,753 for the heck of it.

721

Bugger. My clock is off.

all the cool numbers are taken, i pick bacon

67.5

2 million 500 thousand (tons of spinning metal, all alone in the night.)

413

4

Somewhere around -700?

I’m tempted to guess interesting numbers, like the largest known Mersenne prime, or just a run-of-the-mill imaginary number. But I don’t want to mess up my chances. Besides, I just did an in-page search for “Mersenne”, and it’s already taken. *sigh*

Why do I not read the rules

beforeposting?e.

2243

People, the contest is over now and has been for 12 hours.

1001001 (w a nod to Rush)

425698

Can I ask:

What was the number?

BELAY THAT!

I went a step forwards, and didn’t bother checking the *actual* blog!

Me = Fool.