Friday, June 22, 2007

The Bothan as unit of measure

We're all familiar with the phrase "Many Bothans died to bring us this information," but it has just occurred to me that with some empirical testing we can use this as a metric unit of measure (Bth) to determine the danger of any particular activity.

Operating under the assumption that the Bothan spies in the aforementioned quote were good at their jobs (they did succeed, after all, albeit posthumously), and that said job (being a spy) carries with it a good amount of danger, we can reasonably posit that 1 Bothan equals a 100% chance of any single individual within a group dying in the performance of any duty at which he is properly trained. Based on the numbers from the National Safety Council, we can derive Bothan magnitude for several scenarios:
  • Motor Vehicle Accident: 1 in 84, or 120 centiBothans.
  • Firearm Assault (assuming you aren't in the military or the police): 31.85 centiBothans.
  • Pedestrian Accident: Approximately 16 centiBothans.
  • Drowning: 99 milliBothans.
  • Fire or Smoke Inhalation: Slightly less than 90 milliBothans.
  • Hot Weather: 7.28 milliBothans.
  • Struck by Lightning: 1.25 microBothans.
From this, we can infer other values:
  • Patrolling in Iraq: 1 Bothan (taken as an average).
  • Stealing the plans for the Death Star: at least 1 decaBothan (sadly, we do not know precisely how many Bothans died in this endeavor; however, Mon Mothma's use of the word "many" seems to indicate that it was on the order of tens; if there had been less than ten, it seems likely she would have used the word "several" instead. Noncanonical sources state that this was actually a 2.4 decaBothan operation.)
  • Spartans Fighting the Battle of Thermopylae: 2.99 hectoBothans (according to the movie).
And so forth. I freely admit that I am not a mathematician, and there may be errors in either my calculations or my logic; therefore I submit my findings for peer review, in accordance with the standards of the scientific method.

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