A blog dedicated to showing the world the beauty of Perth, Western Australia.....PERTH ARENA.

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Three grains short of a bowl of rice.....!


This clever and amusing art installation that we came across in the city as we were passing through the old General Post Office, was another entry in the Perth International Arts Festival. These pyramid shaped mounds of rice grains are part of an exhibition titled 'Of All the People in All the World' created by Stan's Cafe Theatre Co.based in Birmingham UK. The huge dune in centre represents 'the population of the world in 1700 (?). Just in case you are a wee bit concerned about wastage check out the details below.....
Some of the presentations were a little frivolous, like the comparison below re number of twitter followers between Kylie Minogue and Julia Gillard.....
...and some a bit more serious like the huge divide between those that have and those that have not by comparing the the number of refugees in the world with the number of millionaires.....
The number of people who marched for and against gay marriage in Paris last year.....
...and just in case anyone is interested, the number of billionaires in the world, not many left unmarried and even fewer of them in Australia..but the question is, do they have a sense of humour, billionaires can sometimes be a little 'stiff' oui!
I enjoyed it very much, some of the presentations just made me laugh, like the one below. There were too many to show them all but I think you get the picture. Seriously there's something of interest around every corner these days in Perth, not likely to bump into any billionaires though. Eh! their loss right! Hope you have a wonderful weekend keep warm, or cool whichever part of this wonderful world you live in, take care and stay safe. p.s. check out that parquet flooring, gorgeous!


40 comments:

  1. Jolly good ....with butter!
    Aloha

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  2. I LOVE this! Seeing the numbers represented by grains of rice is powerful!

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  3. I find this clever and funny! A good and easy way to compare things.
    Very interesting!
    Have a nice week-end, dear Grace!

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  4. yes great... I like the last one. And stories with rice always remind me the story os Sissa and King Melkib about Chess game...

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  5. Very well done Grace

    wish you a nice weekend.

    Greetings, Joop

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  6. I love this, too!!! Definitely clever and funny!! Terrific post for the day, Grace!! Hope your weekend is going well! Enjoy!

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  7. what a fun clever and educational exhibit

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  8. What a good idea, specially the last item in your photos! Reminds of this old Indian tale about rice and a chessboard... It goes like this:

    Hundreds and hundreds of years ago there was a King in India who loved to play games. But he had gotten bored of the games that were present at the time and wanted a new game that was much more challenging. He commissioned a poor mathematician who lived in his kingdom to come up with a new game. After months of struggling with all kinds of ideas the mathematician came up with the game of Chaturanga. The game had two armies each lead by a King who commanded the army to defeat the other by capturing the enemy King. It was played on a simple 8x8 square board. The King loved this game so much that he offered to give the poor mathematician anything he wished for. "I would like one grain of rice for the first square of the board, two grains for the second, four grains for the third and so on doubled for each of the 64 squares of the game board" said the mathematician. "Is that all?" asked the King, "Why don't you ask for gold or silver coins instead of rice grains". "The rice should be sufficient for me." replied the mathematician. The King ordered his staff to lay down the grains of rice and soon learned that all the wealth in his kingdom would not be enough to buy the amount of rice needed on the 64th square. In fact the whole kingdoms supply of rice was exhausted before the 30th square was reached. "You have provided me with such a great game and yet I cannot fulfill your simple wish. You are indeed a genius." said the King and offered to make the mathematician his top most advisor instead.

    After hearing that story I was obsessed with wanting to know exactly how many grains of rice would be needed on the 64th square and how much total rice would be needed for all 64 squares. Personal computers were not available then (this is around 1978) and so I set out to find the answer using my dads' TI calculator. I think the calculator had about ten digits on it; and that was considered top of the line then. Within a minute or two of starting the calculator hit its limit. But I really wanted to know the answer, so I kept going and did the calculations by hand. After spending most of my Sunday morning doing arithmetic I finally had the answers:

    9,223,372,036,854,775,808 on the 64th square and
    18,446,744,073,709,551,615 total for the whole board

    That's about 18 billion billion. So if a bag of rice contained a billion grains, you would need 18 billion such bags. But actually a real bag of rice weighing 100 pounds has less than 3 million grains.

    This story about the King is most likely not true. But it is true that there was an ancient Indian game called Chaturanga and it is believed that modern Chess evolved from it. However some scholars argue that China is the true birthplace of Chess. So we may never know the real answer.

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  9. Excellent, I loved it. The Prince Harry one is classic.
    I do love the flooring... would you mind going back one quiet day and slipping the whole floor into your over sized handbag for shipment to me?

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  10. Haha, last one is priceless! I love this exhibit and how lucky you are in Perth to experience it all:) It's amazing how visuals like this convey so much, very powerful indeed.

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  11. Interesting idea, nice find, Grace!

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  12. This is so cool. Very interesting Grace.

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  13. What a funny idea! I tend to think of humans as ants, now I'll think of them as grains of rice!

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  14. Haha!!! Laughed out loud when I saw this one!!! An interesting concept!

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  15. Oh my, brilliant! Good fun. Thanks, Grace. You have a good weekend too.

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  16. An innovative way to present some dry statistics. Leave the toddlers at home though.

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  17. I had several thoughts about all of this. But first, I love your header photo and your new profile shot!

    However, I must ask if you know who counted the grains of rice? How do we know there are 1.5 billion + grains of rice in a pile? I'm trying to be nice, but rice is rice and I know if it should get damp it becomes sticky and boy, try to count the grains then! How do we know that didn't happen and that the pile should be twice its current size?

    I asked an Australian guru about this. He is very, very smart and in tune with all the spiritual stuffs. He was sitting on the ground with his back against a tree in which sat a cute little koala bear. The guru looked down, then up, then side to side. He hummed a tune I could not identify. His eyes closed and his head drooped. He clapped his hands, then growled. Then he repeated all of these things but at a faster pace.

    Suddenly, he jumped up and looked me straight in the eye, which was very scary 'cause he only had one eye, and said, "Aha! Ice is nice but rice is granier!"

    He got up, ran for the beach and that's the last I saw of him. Every once in awhile, though, people claim he appears as an apparition over the rice fields of Vietnam.

    This is true. I swear it. Maybe.

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  18. That's a lot of rice!

    Now, if it were chocolate....

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  19. That Lowell...he is a hoot. Anyway quite interesting.

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  20. seriously have they counted each grain...
    Great post :) had a chuckle at Harry.
    Enjoy your weekend and here in Sydney it is a case of keep dry, again!

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  21. Interesting! Must have been fun! That's a lot of rice! Have a great and cool weekend!

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  22. Hey, you have a new glamorous profile shot, hiding behind that camera. Very nice.

    I'm not sure how I feel about being represented by a grain of rice.

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  23. Hahaha, GO Prince Harry!!! But what happened to all the leftover rice?!?!?!

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  24. OMG, I would love to see this in person. It is very eye opening indeed. As for those billionaires, they usually have no taste in mates what so ever. They might make good financial decisions but, their romantic ambitions leave a lot to be desired.

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  25. Wow that's fantastic. What a great concept and so interesting!
    Duncan In Kuantan

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  26. Interesting comparison using rice,and you prepared a great article today. I also like the "interior room"where it's now the exhibition!
    I miss so much to visit museums and cultural life. In Luxembourg I used to visit several exhibitions but in the place that I'm living now ( little little town) there isn't much to see and go around. So...maybe it's time to travel again! :)
    Léia

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  27. What an interesting set of photos. Rather amusing too, especially the Kylie v Julia. Needless to say, I can guess which one was the PM's.

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  28. Wow that's fantastic, i love it!

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  29. you find the most interesting things to share with us. thank you.

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  30. A great show! You make me feel that I have to get out and about more - maybe when it is summer here!

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  31. How thoughtful a way to explain time and life. Like ! Please have a good Sunday.

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  32. Looks like a clever art installation. I'm sure right when my eyes would be rolling over part of it, another part would make me laugh. Stay cool and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

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  33. Some of them got me laughing out loud. I think it's perfect to help people visualize some of those huge numbers, but no way am I going to count out a billion grains of rice.

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  34. This is a terrific exhibit. Glad you posted with photos as I'll never get to see it in person. Brings things into perspective indeed.

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  35. I have to join Lowell, and ask if they were counted, or did somebody 'cheat' and just weigh them?

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