Civil and Environmental Engineering

The blog of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Surrey

Engineers tell Lord Sugar “You’re fired!”

Lord Alan Sugar (picture taken from Wikimedia)

Having followed The Apprentice for quite a while I felt highly disappointed a couple of weeks ago when Lord Sugar fired senior software design engineer Glenn on the basis that engineers make bad businessman. Lord Sugar mentioned “I have never yet come across an engineer that can turn his hand to business”. If I had the opportunity I would like to invite Lord Sugar to Madrid to watch together a football game in the Bernabeu stadium, home ground of Real Madrid football team. Perhaps whilst watching the game I could explain to him that 10 year ago Real Madrid had a deficit of 270m€ and were struggling financially. Lord Sugar would be surprised to know that it was the entrepreneurial vision of a civil engineer called Florentino Perez who managed to turn around the situation. Currently Real Madrid is the wealthiest football club in the world with a revenue this year of around 400m€ even though they have spent fortunes on buying megastar players such as Zidane and Ronaldo most recently for the small amount of 90m€.

Two yolks in an egg – beating the statistics!

First of all, let me take the opportunity to welcome you to the CCE blog as it seems to be me writing this very first blog!

I recently learned that it is rare to have two yolks in an egg (see picture), though we would have seen this some time in our daily lives and just ignored. The probability of happening this is about 1 in 1000. This is even rarer when you break a number of eggs and continuously find these having two yolks. If we believe these statistics, one needs to break about 29000 eggs to find 29 double–yolked eggs, and the chances are extremely slim to find such double–yolked eggs in a row.

Double-yolked eggs (picture taken from Wikimedia)

There is recent news which can be read here or here with a title like ‘British woman cracks open 29 double–yolked eggs in a row’. She bought a tray of 30 eggs from Asda. Out of these 30 eggs, she found 29 of them (except the last one) having double–yolked, making a new world record after beating the previous best of six double–yolked eggs in a row.

This merely seems to be a co–incidence beating the previous statistics, but also leave questions to think about such instances. These eggs would have been picked randomly among several others while packaging and these all happens to be the same type – an interesting instance for probability analysis and open discussions/comments!

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