Tonight's run was all about the mileage. I wanted an easy plod before a Long Sunday Run, and I was racking my brains thinking about where I could go for an hour.
I dug out the map, spotted some residential roads I'd not run before, Mapometer'ed a route on the laptop, put on my shoes and headed into the cold night air.
During my plod I considered how many variables there may be to get a similar mileage from my front step, and I thought back to fellow Janathoner Beanoutrunning's recent post "How many ways can you skin a cat?". Whilst I remembered a supposed origin of the phrase, I got to wondering how many ways there might actually be to skin a cat.
So on my return I Googled it.
"Ways to skin a cat" turned up 45,600,000 responses. This was quite a few more than I expected, but a cursory glance through the top responses failed to reveal the answer to my question. So I decided to broaden my understanding, and check whether this was a reasonable number.
I deleted "skin a cat", and typed "slice an onion". After all, I could think of at least five ways to do that.
Six million responses.
Probably a little on the high side, but maybe some of those websites had copied each other. Still, my fuzzy mathematical mind quickly deduced that according to Google, there are (hang on, x over y, carry the two, hold on a minute) seven and a half times more ways to skin a cat, than slice an onion. Okay, that's probably worthy of a saying.
Hold on though, that still doesn't give me anything definite. How about I test my process by Googling something that has only one way? I deleted "slice an onion" and inserted "Amarillo". Tony Christie never sung "Is this one of the ways to Amarillo".
How wrong I was. Over sixteen million ways to Amarillo. Texas clearly has some enviable transport links.
It doesn't stop there.
What about the classics? Ways to a woman's heart revealed two hundred million permutations, whereas a man's heart seems twice as accessible. Does that mean that men fall in love too easily - or does it mean that the spaces in the male ribcage are a little wider, and the pulmonary organ sits a little nearer to the skin?
Eventually, I deleted everything, leaving only "Ways to", and saw what Google threw me. I was terrified. At the top of the shortlist, Google prompted "Ways to destroy the earth", suggesting that this was the question on everybody's lips. Seventy four million links. I feared for the future.
In a final bid to redeem the internet, I replaced "destroy" with "save".
The good news? There are over three times as many ways to save the earth than destroy it; and over six times more ways to the human heart as there are to skin a cat.
It turns out we're all lovers, not cat-skinners.
Tonight's run: 8.1miles, 1:04hrs, zero planets saved or destroyed.
Janathon total: 121.3miles. All my stats and maps are on RunningFreeOnline here
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