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Poll Results

All Previous Polls: 51-100

Poll 51: What is thy wish?

Total votes: 1255

An infinite number of wishes: 522 (41.6%)  
Happiness: 270 (21.5%)
A tuna sandwich: 228 (18.2%)
Wealth: 92 (7.3%)
World peace: 91 (7.3%)
Power: 50 (4.0%)
Fame: 2 (0.2%)


Poll 52: 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Nf6 4 ?

Total votes: 1014

WTF?: 476 (46.9%)  
O-O: 117 (11.5%)
Ng5: 88 (8.7%)
Nc3: 45 (4.4%)
d4: 41 (4.0%)
d3: 35 (3.5%)
Na3: 21 (2.1%)
Nxe5: 21 (2.1%)
Qe2: 16 (1.6%)
Bd5: 15 (1.5%)
Bxf7: 13 (1.3%)
a3: 9 (0.9%)
g4: 9 (0.9%)
Bb3: 9 (0.9%)
Bd3: 9 (0.9%)
b4: 8 (0.8%)
Be6: 8 (0.8%)
c3: 7 (0.7%)
b3: 7 (0.7%)
Ba6: 7 (0.7%)
h3: 7 (0.7%)
Bb5: 6 (0.6%)
Ba1: 6 (0.6%)
Nd4: 5 (0.5%)
Rf1: 5 (0.5%)
Be2: 4 (0.4%)
Ke2: 4 (0.4%)
h4: 4 (0.4%)
Rg1: 3 (0.3%)
Kf1: 3 (0.3%)
g3: 2 (0.2%)
Ng1: 2 (0.2%)
a4: 2 (0.2%)

For the roughly half of you who didn't understand the question, it was chess notation, showing the development of a game up to the position shown here, and asking what move you would play next as white.

I'm no chess expert, but as far as I can gather from the web, this position is known as the Two Knights Defence (by black, presumably) and is not an uncommon opening sequence. According to chessgames.com, the most common next moves by white, in order of popularity, are:

  • d3, advancing the queen's pawn one square, to reinforce the attacked king's pawn.
  • Ng5, advancing the knight to threaten an attack on f7 and forking the black queen and rook.
  • d4, advancing the queen's pawn to attack the black king's pawn.
  • Nc3, using the other knight to defend the advanced pawn.
  • O-O, castling the king and running like a coward.
  • Qe2, using the queen in yet another defence of the threatened pawn.
  • c3, a bizarre pawn advance which I don't really understand at all.
Interestingly though, castling appears to be the best move, resulting in an eventual win for white in 48% of recorded chess games. So it looks like the readers who understood the question are reasonably well informed about how to play chess.

I should also point out that the option Ba1 was a typo on my part, as it's an illegal move. It should have been Bf1. So if you voted for that one, you should feel suitably ashamed!


Poll 53: Why did you do it?

Total votes: 1276

Sheer hedonistic pleasure: 294 (23.0%)
You mean I shouldn't have?: 254 (19.9%)
It needed doing. I'm glad I did it: 248 (19.4%)
Because it was there: 129 (10.1%)
I'm not talking until I see a lawyer: 115 (9.0%)  
I'm innocent I tell you!: 90 (7.1%)
I don't recall: 89 (7.0%)
I was acting under orders: 57 (4.5%)


Poll 54: What new theme would you like to see?

Total votes: 1638

Imperial Rome: 274 (16.7%)
Steampunk: 257 (15.7%)
All of the above!: 248 (15.1%)
Film Noir: 201 (12.3%)
Post-Apocalypse: 156 (9.5%)
Gothic Horror: 155 (9.5%)
Cyberpunk: 116 (7.1%)
Modern Conspiracy: 110 (6.7%)
None, you have enough: 74 (4.5%)
Anthropomorphic Animals: 47 (2.9%)  

This poll collected votes faster than any previous poll. It also prompted a lot of attempts at ballot-stuffing. It seems many of you have very strong opinions about this one. Imperial Rome and Steampunk led all the way, and were neck and neck, swapping the lead multiple times. In the end, it looks like Rome has prevailed.

This poll, by the way, is not a promise that I will actually do any of these themes. It may guide my future plans though.


Poll 55: So, what do you do?

Total votes: 1407

Work for a company: 578 (41.1%)
Tertiary/university undergrad: 300 (21.3%)  
Secondary/high school: 130 (9.2%)
Work for the government: 124 (8.8%)
Unemployed, alas: 93 (6.6%)
Graduate study: 88 (6.3%)
Self-employed: 71 (5.0%)
Primary/elementary school: 14 (1.0%)
Retired! Woo!: 9 (0.6%)


Poll 56: What do you want to do?

Total votes: 961

Backstab a party member: 205 (21.3%)  
Prepare a spell: 179 (18.6%)
Hide in shadows: 148 (15.4%)
Check for traps: 147 (15.3%)
Ready a weapon: 109 (11.3%)
Listen at the door: 75 (7.8%)
Break down the door: 59 (6.1%)
Drink a potion: 39 (4.1%)

Boy, you're a devious bunch.


Poll 57: How often should Cliffhangers strips appear?

Total votes: 1198

At random intervals like the other themes: 609 (50.8%)
Every 3 days, like they do now: 228 (19.0%)
Every 4 or 5 days is enough, but keep it regular: 226 (18.9%)  
Much less frequently than now: 98 (8.2%)
More frequently than now: 37 (3.1%)

I'd already made my mind up on returning Cliffhangers to random timing, but I thought I'd run this poll to see what people thought about the idea. And it looks like most of you will be pleased with it.

To those who may be disappointed, well... I am sorry. But as you can see, no matter what I do, I can't please everyone. I would have gone to random timing no matter what the outcome of this poll because I felt it was the right thing to do, as far as my creative process is going.

I still have some strips at the regular spacing in my buffer, so the change will take effect... at random. :-)


Poll 58: What poll result do you tend to choose?

Total votes: 1336

The most succinct and least garrulous, eschewing redundancy: 863 (64.6%)  
One that's about average: 275 (20.6%)
Wordiest: 83 (6.2%)
A fairly long one: 67 (5.0%)
One a littler shorter than average: 48 (3.6%)


Poll 59: What time is it where you are right now?

Total votes: 1498

09:00 - 10:00: 110 (7.3%)  
08:00 - 09:00: 97 (6.5%)
14:00 - 15:00: 90 (6.0%)
11:00 - 12:00: 87 (5.8%)
15:00 - 16:00: 87 (5.8%)
10:00 - 11:00: 86 (5.7%)
12:00 - 13:00: 85 (5.7%)
21:00 - 22:00: 82 (5.5%)
13:00 - 14:00: 79 (5.3%)
16:00 - 17:00: 76 (5.1%)
18:00 - 19:00: 72 (4.8%)
20:00 - 21:00: 72 (4.8%)
17:00 - 18:00: 66 (4.4%)
22:00 - 23:00: 60 (4.0%)
19:00 - 20:00: 59 (3.9%)
07:00 - 08:00: 56 (3.7%)
23:00 - 00:00: 50 (3.3%)
00:00 - 01:00: 37 (2.5%)
01:00 - 02:00: 31 (2.1%)
06:00 - 07:00: 30 (2.0%)
04:00 - 05:00: 28 (1.9%)
05:00 - 06:00: 23 (1.5%)
03:00 - 04:00: 18 (1.2%)
02:00 - 03:00: 17 (1.1%)

Looks like most readers check up in the mornings or at lunch time, with relatively few in the evenings.


Poll 60: Have you ever used the search facility?

Total votes: 1205

You have a search facility?: 946 (78.5%)  
I tried it once: 90 (7.5%)
Occasionally: 83 (6.9%)
I have no use for it: 72 (6.0%)
Often! I really like it!: 14 (1.2%)

You know, I think I'm probably the person who uses the search function the most. I use it whenever I'm making strips, to check what things have happened previously and what strip that event occurred in, and so on. I find it invaluable. But then, I'm probably the only person for whom knowing the past history of the entire comic is actually important.


Poll 61: Controversial poll question!

Total votes: 1394

Balanced response weighing pros and cons that angers both sides: 563 (40.4%)  
You're a Nazi for even asking that question!: 234 (16.8%)
Conciliatory response that everyone will ignore amidst the flaming: 226 (16.2%)
Warning that this is a troll and for others not to respond: 126 (9.0%)
Non-committal response indicating I don't understand the issue: 108 (7.7%)
Strident response in favour!: 72 (5.2%)
Strident response in opposition!: 65 (4.7%)


Poll 62: Last game you played?

Total votes: 1399

Solitaire computer game (Tetris, Katamari Damacy): 327 (23.4%)
Tabletop roleplaying game (D&D, GURPS): 264 (18.9%)
Massively multiplayer online game (EverQuest, World of Warcraft): 151 (10.8%)  
Networked computer game (Doom, Quake): 99 (7.1%)
German-style board game (Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne): 96 (6.9%)
Non-traditional card game (Uno, Munchkin): 78 (5.6%)
Traditional card game (bridge, poker, rummy): 67 (4.8%)
Traditional board game (e.g. chess, go, mancala): 59 (4.2%)
Mass-market board game (Monopoly, Scrabble, Risk): 40 (2.9%)
Hobby board game (Diplomacy, Cosmic Encounter, wargames): 36 (2.6%)
Collectible card game (Magic: the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh): 35 (2.5%)
Miniatures game (Warhammer, historical miniatures): 34 (2.4%)
Arcade game (pinball, Dance Dance Revolution): 29 (2.1%)
Sport (tennis, football, pool, paintball): 24 (1.7%)
Live action roleplaying game: 22 (1.6%)
Party game (charades, Scattergories): 14 (1.0%)
Traditional child's game (hide and seek, tag): 10 (0.7%)
Pen and paper game (tic-tac-toe, hangman): 9 (0.6%)
Gambling game (roulette, craps, slot machine): 5 (0.4%)


Poll 63: Insult me!

Total votes: 1457

You liked Highlander 2!: 563 (38.6%)
Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries!: 435 (29.9%)  
What? No!: 158 (10.8%)
Thou art a slubberdegullionly jackanape!: 107 (7.3%)
Your parents were never formally introduced!: 106 (7.3%)
Your camels have fleas!: 40 (2.7%)
You smell funny!: 29 (2.0%)
You're ugly!: 12 (0.8%)
You're stupid!: 7 (0.5%)

Well, I guess I asked for that.


Poll 64: If you have two apples, do you have one apple?

Total votes: 1701

Of course. One apple, and another one.: 764 (44.9%)
I'm 1.14159 apples short of a pi: 244 (14.3%)
That's in cider information: 241 (14.2%)
segmentation fault - core dumped: 106 (6.2%)
That's Apple(TM) to you! Prepare to be sued.: 102 (6.0%)
I'm feeling great malus over all these puns: 74 (4.4%)
Ask Paris: 65 (3.8%)
No, I have a pair.: 55 (3.2%)
Er, no. You said I have two, how can I have one?: 50 (2.9%)  

Hmmm. I didn't expect such a mundane answer to come out so overwhelmingly in the lead.

And for anyone who doesn't know, Malus is the genus name of apple species, while Paris refers to Paris of Troy. Paris was attending the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, to which the gods of Mount Olympus had been invited. Unfortunately, whoever drew up the guest list neglected to send an invitation to Eris, the Goddess of Strife. She took this badly and gatecrashed the party, tossing amongst the crowd a golden apple inscribed "for the most beautiful" (only in Ancient Greek, of course). The goddesses Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite immediately began a catfight as to which of them deserved the apple. To settle matters, they asked the mighty Zeus to judge which of them should be deemed the most beautiful. Knowing a rock and a hard place when he saw it, Zeus delegated the choice to poor Paris, thus evading the tragedy that was to follow.

Not content with relying on their godly beauty, each goddess attempted to bribe poor Paris into judging her the most beautiful. Hera offered Paris great power and rule over all Asia, Athena offered wisdom and immense skill in battle, while Aphrodite offered the love of the most beautiful mortal woman in the world, Helen of Sparta, wife to King Menelaus. Paris chose Aphrodite, thus proving once and for all that he really needed the wisdom Athena was offering. He then went off to abduct Helen, triggering the Trojan War as her face launched a thousand ships.

So if ever you find yourself in a difficult situation over a choice involving apples, remember we'll always have Paris.


Poll 65: Sawàt-dii khráp.

Total votes: 1064

Sawàt-dii khâ.: 264 (24.8%)
Er, yes, with rice please.: 255 (24.0%)
DO... YOU... SPEAK... ENGLISH?!: 210 (19.7%)
Hey, if English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me.: 168 (15.8%)  
Sawàt-dii khráp.: 167 (15.7%)

Yes, I'm back from my trip to Thailand, where I used this phrase a lot to greet people. The correct response is either Sawàt-dii khráp (if you are male) or Sawàt-dii khâ (if you are female).

So from these results I conclude that most of my readers are female. Or don't know Thai.


Poll 66: Favourite digit of pi?

Total votes: 1463

3: 467 (31.9%)  
9: 192 (13.1%)
0: 167 (11.4%)
4: 166 (11.3%)
7: 132 (9.0%)
5: 84 (5.7%)
1: 80 (5.5%)
6: 61 (4.2%)
8: 60 (4.1%)
2: 54 (3.7%)


Poll 67: Which character would you most like to be?

Total votes: 1468

Death of Insanely Overpowered Fireballs: 300 (20.4%)  
Head Death: 227 (15.5%)
Draak: 168 (11.4%)
Kyros: 105 (7.2%)
Will Shakespeare: 85 (5.8%)
Steve: 68 (4.6%)
Monty Jones: 66 (4.5%)
Ginny Smith: 66 (4.5%)
James Stud: 40 (2.7%)
Alvissa: 39 (2.7%)
Mercutio: 33 (2.2%)
Nigerian Finance Minister: 29 (2.0%)
Mordekai: 29 (2.0%)
Erwin: 27 (1.8%)
Paris: 27 (1.8%)
Ophelia: 24 (1.6%)
Spanners: 24 (1.6%)
Lambert: 22 (1.5%)
Professor North Dakota Jones: 22 (1.5%)
Minnesota Jones: 18 (1.2%)
Sallah: 16 (1.1%)
Colonel Haken: 13 (0.9%)
Terry: 10 (0.7%)
Iki Piki: 9 (0.6%)
Serron: 2 (0.1%)


Poll 68: Are you answering this poll with a 'No'?

Total votes: 932

Yes: 553 (59.3%)
No: 379 (40.7%)
[<choose>: 322 (34.5%)]  
[Maybe: 8 (0.8%)]

There were a lot of people choosing "<choose>" for this one, so I included them in the results. And a non-insignificant number of people hacked in the answer "maybe".

Juha-Matti Tapio - whose first language is not English - wrote:

Did you mean:
a) Are you going to answer this poll with the answer 'No'?
or
b) Are you going to answer this poll which includes the word 'No'?

I.e. what part of the sentence does that 'with' point to?
I had meant (a), and the possible interpretation (b) in fact never occurred to me. But if you interpret the question in that way, then it is indeed possible ot answer it without producing a logical paradox. (Why yes, I will answer this "poll with a 'No'".) I have to admit, that's very cool.
Poll 69: Paul McCartney:

Total votes: 1238

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!: 708 (57.2%)
28IF: 213 (17.2%)
Paul who?: 166 (13.4%)
He was in a band?: 86 (6.9%)
He was in a band before Wings?: 65 (5.3%)  


Poll 70: If Monty Jones had a sister, what would her name be?

Total votes: 1840

Susan: 308 (16.7%)
Wyoming: 232 (12.6%)
Missouri: 211 (11.5%)
Winnipeg: 209 (11.4%)
Saskatchewan: 182 (9.9%)  
South Dakota: 160 (8.7%)
Alberta: 153 (8.3%)
Helena: 140 (7.6%)
Columbia: 113 (6.1%)
Ponderosa: 75 (4.1%)
Yellowstone: 39 (2.1%)
Billings: 18 (1.0%)

A couple of people suggested Virginia, and I got a vote each for Delaware and New York. My own logic is that if the generations of Joneses go from east to west, siblings must run north and south, so the most obvious choice (staying within the USA) is Wyoming. Although it seems Susan is more popular. I'm surprised Helena didn't get more votes, being an actual female name, and the capital of Montana.


Poll 71: Favourite natural fractal?

Total votes: 1377

The Universe: 339 (24.6%)
Lightning: 260 (18.9%)
Snowflakes: 159 (11.5%)
Coastline of Britain: 155 (11.3%)  
Fern leaves: 113 (8.2%)
Broccoli: 90 (6.5%)
Mountain landscapes: 81 (5.9%)
Clouds: 63 (4.6%)
Coral: 43 (3.1%)
River tributaries: 42 (3.1%)
Sponges: 32 (2.3%)


Poll 72: Would you buy IWC stuff?

Total votes: 1293

Probably, if it was decent/useful/funny.: 300 (23.2%)
Probably not, it'd have to be really good.: 225 (17.4%)
Maybe, if it was good quality and cheap.: 207 (16.0%)
No, I'm a monk with no worldly possessions.: 180 (13.9%)  
No, I don't buy merchandise junk.: 131 (10.1%)
Yes! Yes! Yes! I want it now!: 107 (8.3%)
Yes, but don't use CafePress. They suck.: 89 (6.9%)
No, I have enough funny mugs and T-shirts.: 37 (2.9%)
Yes, use CafePress! They rock!: 17 (1.3%)

Wow, people really don't like CafePress. There are more than ten times as many of you who are monks than who like CafePress.

Oh, and this was really just an exercise in curiosity. I'm not intending to start selling stuff any time soon, although I do reserve it as an option for the future. If I do, I almost certainly wouldn't use CafePress.


Poll 73: Favourite type of poll?

Total votes: 1242

Random surreal ones: 259 (20.9%)
Geeky science questions: 240 (19.3%)
A choice of different pun responses: 228 (18.4%)  
Logical paradoxes/puzzles: 150 (12.1%)
Ones with multiple good answers: 137 (11.0%)
Ones about characters in the comic: 110 (8.9%)
Ones with no good answer: 66 (5.3%)
Favourite type of something polls: 52 (4.2%)


Poll 74: Geeky science question!

Total votes: 1839

Tesla coils!: 323 (17.6%)
Nanotechnology!: 284 (15.4%)
Cold fusion!: 255 (13.9%)
Theremins!: 189 (10.3%)
Self-replicating robots!: 172 (9.4%)
Lego Mindstorms(TM)!: 164 (8.9%)  
Flying cars!: 142 (7.7%)
Lasers!: 92 (5.0%)
Broadcast power!: 84 (4.6%)
Superconductivity!: 80 (4.4%)
GPS systems!: 54 (2.9%)


Poll 75: So what did you think?

Total votes: 1759

I haven't seen it yet.: 616 (35.0%)
Better than I hoped. George has redeemed himself.: 290 (16.5%)  
Good, but it doesn't make up for the last two.: 199 (11.3%)
A fitting finale to a great series.: 148 (8.4%)
Ehh, it was okay, I guess.: 139 (7.9%)
I refuse to see it.: 117 (6.7%)
Still too much Jar Jar.: 89 (5.1%)
What the heck are you talking about?: 74 (4.2%)
It sucked.: 48 (2.7%)
Good, but it doesn't make up for the last three.: 39 (2.2%)


Poll 76: Pizza?

Total votes: 1357

Deep dish Chicago style: 354 (26.1%)
Vera Napoli style: thin, crispy margherita: 293 (21.6%)
Home made is the best: 262 (19.3%)
That insane stuffed crust with cheese, bacon: 200 (14.7%)
Supreme with every topping, more, more, more!: 164 (12.1%)  
Dessert style: apples, cinnamon, or banana: 53 (3.9%)
Cheeseless, gluten free: 17 (1.3%)
Japanese style: potato, mayonnaise, squid ink: 14 (1.0%)


Poll 77: So what option did I leave out this time?

Total votes: 1434

All of the above: 266 (18.5%)
<choose>: 235 (16.4%)
The Allosaurus: 206 (14.4%)
Other: 196 (13.7%)
The US Supreme Court says "vegetable": 166 (11.6%)  
David Niven: 79 (5.5%)
Living for over 900 years: 75 (5.2%)
Genetic engineering: 63 (4.4%)
I don't like pizza: 46 (3.2%)
"sinch": 40 (2.8%)
Bf1: 32 (2.2%)
Virginia Jones: 30 (2.1%)


Poll 78: What adjective do you want to describe yourself when you age?

Total votes: 1449

Eccentric: 490 (33.8%)
Crazy old: 183 (12.6%)
Curmudgeonly: 141 (9.7%)
Venerable: 129 (8.9%)
Dirty old: 126 (8.7%)
Spry: 121 (8.4%)
Wizened: 110 (7.6%)
Well-preserved: 61 (4.2%)  
Bitter: 54 (3.7%)
Senile: 19 (1.3%)
Doddering: 15 (1.0%)


Poll 79: Why don't you answer the poll?

Total votes: 1215

What poll?: 571 (47.0%)
Polls are tools of the Devil: 188 (15.5%)
Polls are poor measures of public opinion: 181 (14.9%)  
I mean to, but never get around to it: 151 (12.4%)
<choose>: 95 (7.8%)
I'm philosophically opposed to them: 73 (6.0%)
I don't have time for polls!: 20 (1.6%)
I don't care about polls: 18 (1.5%)
I hate polls: 13 (1.1%)
I don't speak Polish: 3 (0.2%)

Yes, this adds up to more than 100%. I added in <choose> and "I don't speak Polish", which a significant number of people chose. I'm disappointed I didn't think of that last one myself.


Poll 80: Is Paris really dead?

Total votes: 1511

We ain't seen a body yet!: 696 (46.1%)
Yes, but she'll probably be cloned or something: 328 (21.7%)
Well, eaten by aliens... seems pretty dead to me: 189 (12.5%)  
Yep! Dead! Gone! Los Muertos!: 136 (9.0%)
No way, you'd never kill off a regular character: 126 (8.3%)
There's still a slim chance of saving her: 36 (2.4%)


Poll 81: In what field would you most like to be famous?

Total votes: 1395

Science: 415 (29.7%)
Literature: 290 (20.8%)
Exploration: 109 (7.8%)
Music: 97 (7.0%)
Crime: 89 (6.4%)
Politics: 86 (6.2%)
Tragic news item: 69 (4.9%)  
Acting: 62 (4.4%)
Film production: 62 (4.4%)
Visual arts: 59 (4.2%)
Sport: 23 (1.6%)
Journalism: 21 (1.5%)
TV/radio hosting: 13 (0.9%)


Poll 82: Just think about it.

Total votes: 1529

Okay, now what?: 426 (27.9%)
Hmmm, you're right, I hadn't considered that: 316 (20.7%)  
Na na na! Not listening!: 308 (20.1%)
I respectfully disagree: 289 (18.9%)
No, why should I?: 124 (8.1%)
You're wrong!: 66 (4.3%)


Poll 83: Favourite type of poll?

Total votes: 1529

Eleven foot poll: 272 (17.8%)
Magnetic monopoll: 255 (16.7%)  
Ten foot poll: 203 (13.3%)
Poll dancing: 195 (12.8%)
Pollish sausage: 145 (9.5%)
Poll-axe: 98 (6.4%)
Interpoll: 84 (5.5%)
Pollcat: 67 (4.4%)
North poll: 62 (4.1%)
Web poll: 36 (2.4%)
Opinion poll: 33 (2.2%)
Poll vault: 22 (1.4%)
Barge poll: 17 (1.1%)
Telephone poll: 12 (0.8%)
Straw poll: 10 (0.7%)
Poll Hereford: 9 (0.6%)
Poll tax: 9 (0.6%)


Poll 84: Most primitive way you've ever read e-mail?

Total votes: 1227

Outlook Express: 255 (20.8%)
pine over SSH: 190 (15.5%)
Yahoo/gmail/etc over a graphical browser: 175 (14.3%)  
more /var/spool/mail/$username: 162 (13.2%)
mail(1): 114 (9.3%)
mailx over telnet: 96 (7.8%)
tcpdump port 25: 64 (5.2%)
vi: 61 (5.0%)
cat and the Scroll Lock key: 44 (3.6%)
elm: 38 (3.1%)
Yahoo/gmail/etc over lynx: 14 (1.1%)
Download to Thunderbird: 14 (1.1%)

Well, I'm forced to conclude that Outlook Express is the most primitive method of reading e-mail. :-) Several people wrote to say I forgot to include telnet to port 110. Yeah, I forgot. Whoops.


Poll 85: All right, what should the student's name be?

Total votes: 1216

Dwayne: 97 (8.0%)
Algernon: 94 (7.7%)
Ishmael: 93 (7.6%)
Xerxes: 92 (7.6%)
Jimmy: 66 (5.4%)
Norbert: 63 (5.2%)
Yancy: 56 (4.6%)
Zachary: 54 (4.4%)
Timothy: 50 (4.1%)
Stewart: 49 (4.0%)
Quincy: 45 (3.7%)
Percival: 45 (3.7%)
Lance: 44 (3.6%)
Byron: 39 (3.2%)
Egbert: 37 (3.0%)
Kenneth: 35 (2.9%)
Ulysses: 35 (2.9%)
Reginald: 33 (2.7%)
Hank: 31 (2.5%)
Giuseppe: 30 (2.5%)  
Vernon: 28 (2.3%)
Oliver: 28 (2.3%)
Frank: 25 (2.1%)
Maurice: 19 (1.6%)
Wilfred: 15 (1.2%)
Charles: 13 (1.1%)

Hmmm. I have to say I'm not keen on Dwayne. I vastly prefer any of the next three. I'll make some sort of decision at some later time.


Poll 86: 1, 2, ___?

Total votes: 1777

rule them all: 391 (22.0%)
4: 267 (15.0%)
buckle my shoe: 243 (13.7%)  
many: 224 (12.6%)
..., N: 214 (12.0%)
3: 118 (6.6%)
..., infinity: 91 (5.1%)
n: 88 (5.0%)
punch: 47 (2.6%)
10: 39 (2.2%)
...: 36 (2.0%)
5. "3, sir.": 12 (0.6%)
1: 11 (0.6%)
2: 8 (0.5%)

I got quite a few e-mails from people indicating they wanted to write in a vote for "5." "3, sir."

After the first 6 or 7, I got curious enough to Google, and discovered that this is a line from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I've never seen this movie, so naturally that particular response never even occurred to me.

And to stave off the inevitable rash of e-mails telling me, "Oh, you must see it!" allow me to reveal the following:

  • I don't particularly like Monty Python.
  • I really hate it when people tell me, "Oh, you must see it!" This has been built up over many years of people telling me the same thing about various movies, TV shows, and books, with the inevitable result that when I do see/read it, I am totally underwhelmed and wonder what all the fuss was about.

Poll 87: How many Deaths are there?

Total votes: 1345

Infinity plus one: 462 (34.3%)
Gajillions!: 274 (20.4%)
Aleph-aleph-aleph-...: 126 (9.4%)
Aleph-null: 120 (8.9%)
Millions: 84 (6.2%)
A couple dozen maybe?: 74 (5.5%)  
Aleph-one: 74 (5.5%)
Thousands: 64 (4.8%)
A hundred or so: 40 (3.0%)
Aleph-aleph-null: 27 (2.0%)

I had a few interesting e-mails about this. People noted the following:

  • We know there are at least 11 Deaths, since that many assignments have been named and known to be current simultaneously.
  • We know all the Deaths are on strike.
  • We know there are a finite number of Deaths on the picket line.
  • However, we don't know if all the striking Deaths are on the picket line, therefore it's possible that there is only a finite subset of an infinite number of Deaths manning the line.
  • What else do we know about the Deaths? Well, they all have names. The names are composed of strings of alphanumeric characters.
  • We know the Head Death addresses the Deaths by the full name of their assignment.
  • Therefore, if the Head Death is to talk to each Death, he must take a finite amount of time to talk to each one.
  • Therefore, each Death's name must be a finite string, rather than a string like "Death of Ennui While Reciting The Digits Of e = 2.7182818459045..." that never terminates.
  • Therefore there must be at most a countably infinite* number of Deaths, rather than an uncountably infinite number.
  • i.e. There are at most aleph-null Deaths.
* If you don't know what "countably infinite" means, it means that there exists an injective function mapping the set to the natural numbers. That should clear things up for you.

Unfortunately, it seems that's about the best readers could do for a concrete proof. The number of Deaths is definitely somewhere from 11 to aleph-null. With that sort of precision, you can make a plumber's appointment.

Of course, I'm completely free to disregard this analysis and decide the number based on my own Swiss-cheese continuity and sense of what will get a laugh at the time. :-)


Poll 88: Who will win The Ashes?

Total votes: 1194

The Krikkit Empire: 547 (45.8%)
Aussie Aussie Aussie, oi oi oi!: 283 (23.7%)
Australia: 128 (10.7%)
England: 121 (10.1%)
Engerlund Engerlund Engerlund!: 115 (9.6%)  


Poll 89: How's your Italian?

Total votes: 1387

Che cosa?: 596 (43.0%)
Scarso: 498 (35.9%)
Sufficiente: 135 (9.7%)
Non troppo difettoso: 97 (7.0%)  
Molto buono: 61 (4.4%)

For those wanting translations, they are roughly, in order:

  • What?
  • Poor
  • Good enough
  • Not too bad
  • Very good

Poll 90: Best thing before sliced bread?

Total votes: 1413

Bread: 448 (31.7%)
A poke in the eye with a blunt stick: 266 (18.8%)  
Keith Richards: 193 (13.7%)
Hotcakes; they sold like hotcakes: 117 (8.3%)
Gold; it was good as gold: 101 (7.1%)
Money in the bank: 88 (6.2%)
A stitch in time: 66 (4.7%)
A gift horse: 56 (4.0%)
A bird in the hand: 41 (2.9%)
Chips; they were cheap as chips: 37 (2.6%)


Poll 91: What superpower do you most want?

Total votes: 1779

Wicked dance moves: 361 (20.3%)
l33t baking skillz: 223 (12.5%)
Keeping your desk clean: 222 (12.5%)
Controlling the kids: 206 (11.6%)
Perfect grammar: 202 (11.4%)
Imperviousness to chili: 165 (9.3%)
Impeccable dress sense: 155 (8.7%)
Hair that never musses: 114 (6.4%)
Perfect karaoke pitch: 111 (6.2%)
Getting chocolate stains out: 20 (1.1%)  


Poll 92: How do you treat these polls?

Total votes: 1493

Answer honestly and with thought: 465 (31.1%)
[Actual stuffed ballots]: 299 (20.0%)
Pick the smart-arse answer: 268 (18.0%)
With contempt: 187 (12.5%)
Agonise over the best answer: 130 (8.7%)
I don't answer them: 91 (6.1%)
Pick the most intelligent-looking answer: 75 (5.0%)  
Pick the self-referential answer: 68 (4.6%)
Stuff the ballot: 61 (4.1%)
Answer randomly: 51 (3.4%)
Lie my butt off: 36 (2.4%)
Pick the least obvious answer: 34 (2.3%)
Hack my own answer in: 27 (1.8%)

I normally remove stuffed ballots, but there were significantly more than normal this time, and since they clearly have something to do with the poll question I've included them. They don't count in the total votes however, which is why the percentages here add up to 120%.


Poll 93: Who would you least like to have as an enemy?

Total votes: 1571

Steve: 277 (17.6%)
Cthulhu: 256 (16.3%)
Jane Goodall: 231 (14.7%)
Nigerian Finance Minister: 129 (8.2%)
Head Death: 129 (8.2%)
The Allosaurus: 109 (6.9%)
Kyros: 101 (6.4%)
Death of Insanely Overpowered Fireballs: 69 (4.4%)  
Dr Ginny Smith: 68 (4.3%)
Draak: 44 (2.8%)
Hitler's Brain: 41 (2.6%)
Erwin: 24 (1.5%)
Mercutio: 19 (1.2%)
Aqualich: 17 (1.1%)
The Man in Black: 17 (1.1%)
Mordekai: 10 (0.6%)
Spanners: 10 (0.6%)
Long Tom Short: 7 (0.4%)
The Martians: 6 (0.4%)
Colonel Haken: 4 (0.3%)
Serron: 3 (0.2%)

Thanks to the three people who wrote me in as their response...


Poll 94: Okay, who would you least like to have as a friend?

Total votes: 1781

Kyros: 283 (15.9%)
Steve: 265 (14.9%)
Hitler's Brain: 243 (13.6%)
Nigerian Finance Minister: 118 (6.6%)
Cthulhu: 117 (6.6%)
Will Shakespeare: 100 (5.6%)
Death of Insanely Overpowered Fireballs: 70 (3.9%)  
Jane Goodall: 68 (3.8%)
The Allosaurus: 61 (3.4%)
Dr Ginny Smith: 54 (3.0%)
Colonel Haken: 42 (2.4%)
The Man in Black: 41 (2.3%)
Head Death: 40 (2.2%)
Mordekai: 39 (2.2%)
Aqualich: 30 (1.7%)
Lambert: 27 (1.5%)
Draak: 26 (1.5%)
Serron: 23 (1.3%)
Erwin: 21 (1.2%)
The Martians: 19 (1.1%)
Ophelia: 19 (1.1%)
Alvissa: 17 (1.0%)
Mercutio: 15 (0.8%)
Long Tom Short: 13 (0.7%)
Iki Piki: 9 (0.5%)
Monty Jones: 8 (0.4%)
Spanners: 7 (0.4%)
Minnesota Jones: 3 (0.2%)
Prof. North Dakota Jones: 3 (0.2%)


Poll 95: Favourite mathematical theorem/axiom/etc?

Total votes: 1615

Pythagoras' Theorem: 374 (23.2%)
Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem: 289 (17.9%)  
Ham Sandwich Theorem: 253 (15.7%)
Fermat's Last Theorem: 189 (11.7%)
Euler's Identity: 118 (7.3%)
Hairy Ball Theorem: 101 (6.3%)
Axiom of Choice: 97 (6.0%)
Banach-Tarski Paradox: 47 (2.9%)
Well-Ordering Principle: 46 (2.8%)
Zorn's Lemma: 45 (2.8%)
Poincaré Conjecture: 25 (1.5%)
Bolzano-Weierstrass Theorem: 23 (1.4%)
Borel-Cantelli Lemma: 8 (0.5%)


Poll 96: Question?

Total votes: 1440

Mu: 302 (21.0%)
Answer: 296 (20.6%)
Counter-question: 189 (13.1%)
Nod of agreement without really listening: 154 (10.7%)  
Evasive comment: 104 (7.2%)
Denial that that's a valid question: 99 (6.9%)
Accusation of inherent bias: 95 (6.6%)
Noncommittal acknowledgement: 93 (6.5%)
Delaying tactic: 75 (5.2%)
Promise to get back to me later: 33 (2.3%)


Poll 97: Vilest vegetable?

Total votes: 1428

Brussels Sprouts: 364 (25.5%)
Eggplant/Aubergine: 208 (14.6%)  
Okra: 202 (14.1%)
Asparagus: 141 (9.9%)
Zucchini/Courgette: 91 (6.4%)
Broccoli: 84 (5.9%)
Cauliflower: 83 (5.8%)
Spinach: 64 (4.5%)
Cabbage: 53 (3.7%)
Onion: 49 (3.4%)
Peas: 41 (2.9%)
Beans: 27 (1.9%)
Carrot: 21 (1.5%)


Poll 98: A is different ___ B.

Total votes: 1643

"from" or "than"; definitely not "to": 625 (38.0%)
"from"; no other word even makes sense there: 349 (21.2%)  
"from", "than", or "to" are all fine: 325 (19.8%)
"from" or "to"; definitely not "than": 173 (10.5%)
"than"; no other word even makes sense there: 108 (6.6%)
"to"; no other word even makes sense there: 50 (3.0%)
"than" or "to"; definitely not "from": 13 (0.8%)

I liked the write-in response "but in a way that celebrates its diversity and values its equality in regards to".


Poll 99: The meaning of life? (42 is not an option)

Total votes: 1496

There is none: 275 (18.4%)
Pursuing happiness: 185 (12.4%)
Questing for knowledge: 124 (8.3%)
Finding love: 122 (8.2%)
Avoiding death: 121 (8.1%)
A spiritual journey: 114 (7.6%)
Bettering humanity: 114 (7.6%)
Feeding and procreating: 100 (6.7%)  
Colonising the universe: 93 (6.2%)
Seeking enlightenment: 75 (5.0%)
Leaving a legacy: 58 (3.9%)
Creating great works: 40 (2.7%)
Survival of the fittest: 33 (2.2%)
Stewardship of the planet: 30 (2.0%)
Dominion over nature: 14 (0.9%)


Poll 100: It's poll number 100!

Total votes: 1771

Not geeky enough. Wait until 128.: 479 (27.0%)
Death of Insanely Overpowered Fireballs: 285 (16.1%)  
You didn't include the answer I wanted: 224 (12.6%)
Banana: 157 (8.9%)
Paul is dead: 118 (6.7%)
Uh... where's the question?: 81 (4.6%)
Is this one of those logic puzzles?: 78 (4.4%)
Good lord, is it that many already?: 73 (4.1%)
Woohoo! I'm so excited!: 66 (3.7%)
Oooo-kaaayyy...: 64 (3.6%)
Yeah, so?: 60 (3.4%)
It's the first answer!: 28 (1.6%)
It's the fifth answer!: 27 (1.5%)
Answer 15: 19 (1.1%)
It's the ninth answer!: 12 (0.7%)


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