## January 2012

### 24 posts

It is 59 degrees outside here in Champaign. It’s not supposed to be this warm in January! Especially when you compare it to the weather from last year:

The next time you go stargazing, bring the power of computation along with the Wolfram Planets Reference App and Wolfram Stars Reference App for iOS. Both apps provide access to real-time data and the computational power of Wolfram|Alpha in order to perform advanced calculations and provide data on the planets and stars.

Exploring all of the planets in our solar system is easy with the Wolfram Planets Reference App. Using real-time data on the eight major planets, as well as dwarf planets and minor planets, the app can: compute a planet’s orbital properties, including orbital period and distance from the Earth and Sun; provide physical properties like radius, rotation period, and number of moons; and show information about a planet’s atmosphere, including atmospheric pressure, average temperature, and major constituents.

It’s impossible to count all of the stars, but with the Wolfram Stars Reference App, you’ll have access to real-time data on over 100,000 of them. For easy browsing, stars are sorted into groups such as the Northern or Southern Sky stars; brightest stars; nearest stars; and giant, supergiant, and main sequence stars. The app also allows you to enter any star name to get information and to examine and compare properties for each star, such as its magnitude, spectral class, temperature, mass, lifetime, and distance from Earth.

Learn more on our blog.

## December 2011

### 9 posts

We’ve taken the strengths we’ve developed in math, science, and socioeconomic data and created something equally unique and useful for online shoppers. Type in the name of a product category—”dishwashers” or “tablet computers,” for example—and Wolfram|Alpha generates a comprehensive, custom analysis. What are the typical dimensions and other physical characteristics of other products in this class? How common is a given product feature? Wolfram|Alpha helps you to answer these questions.

Type in a specific product name or model number—say, “Blackberry 38548-002”—and Wolfram|Alpha will highlight that product’s rank within the entire product category. From a glance at the plots below, you can see that this tablet falls pretty squarely in the middle of the pack with regard to price and generally on the low-end to average range for a variety of physical and performance attributes.

Learn more on our blog.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “the euro tumbled to its lowest level against the dollar in nearly a year Tuesday”.

“In the past two days the currency has dropped 2.6% to $1.3037, a level not seen since January. The euro is down 12% from its 2011 high in May.”

Using Wolfram|Alpha you can take a closer look at the exchange rate history of the euro.

Where does your country rank?

Pro-tip: If you live in the US, click on the “More” button a few times.

We are happy to announce our second Professional Assistant App for iOS: the Wolfram Lawyer’s Professional Assistant. This innovative app utilizes the power of Wolfram|Alpha to provide detailed reference information and data for legal professionals on the go.

Using the Wolfram Lawyer’s Professional Assistant, you can review a dictionary of legal terms; research the statutes of limitations for each US state; look up information about visa types, including basic requirements, common issues, and extensions and limits; and investigate crime rates and history for specific crimes, as well as state and national average comparisons.

Learn more on our blog.

## November 2011

### 16 posts

Goodnessgracioussakes!

Happy Thanksgiving from the Wolfram|Alpha team! We can’t really cook, so we are bringing data to dinner:

Tales will be told of the great turkey population spike of 1998.

We are happy to introduce two new Wolfram Reference Apps for iOS: the Wolfram Flight Information Reference App and the Wolfram Password Generator Reference App.

Using real-time data on flight arrivals and delays, the Wolfram Flight Information Reference App can find a flight by arrival and departure city, airport name, or airport code; find out what flights are overhead at any location; display schedule and actual times for takeoff and landing; compute current airport weather conditions and compare forecasts between your departure and arrival airports; and more! It can even compute statistics about flight durations, average delay times, and on-time performance for specific airlines!

The Wolfram Password Generator Reference App can generate secure passwords at the click of a button, create single or multiple passwords of any length, test password strength and compute a score based on detailed criteria to help identify weaknesses, and compute the time it would take to hack any password. The app can also apply specific rules—such as whether to allow or disallow lowercase letters, special characters, and more—when creating passwords.

Learn more on our blog.

We’ve released two new Wolfram Reference Apps for iOS: the Wolfram Investment Calculator Reference App and the Wolfram Gaming Odds Reference App.

The investment calculator can be used to compute ending values, accumulation periods, and ongoing yearly investments. The app can also perform bond calculations using the clean or dirty prices to determine price, yield to maturity, and redemption value; research stocks and mutual funds by company name or stock ticker; solve complex hedging calculations; and more!

If you’d rather invest your money in a game of blackjack instead of the stock market, then the Wolfram Gaming Odds Reference App is just what you need. The app makes it easy to explore probabilities general to all card games, such as drawing a given hand from a standard deck or calculating the probability of busting a given blackjack hand. It can also compute the odds of winning US state and international lottery games, such as Mega Millions, Keno, Powerball, and more.

Learn more on our blog.

Have you ever used our “words containing” function? It can be fun! You can even find out which words contain ‘fun’. Funkiest! Fungicidal! Funicular!

Speaking of fun, here is a quick animal-themed scavenger hunt. Each answer can be found using a “words containing” query.

What method of taking medicine has a raven in it?

What kind of oven has a crow in it?

What mammals contain an emu, a goose, a eagle, and a heron?

What element has a wren in it?

Loving all the designs created with Mathematica code on In The Continuum. Wolfram|Alpha was created with Mathematica code too!

Be prepared for a few reblogs from that site.

## October 2011

### 17 posts

Today everyone’s thinking about costumes, trick-or-treating, jack-o’-lantern carving and figuring out what to do with a 1,818 pound pumpkin.

While the latter might only be true for the owners of this year’s largest pumpkin, Wolfram|Alpha has something for everyone this Halloween. The nearly one-ton squash belongs to a farmer from Quebec, Canada. Besides carving it into a giant jack-o’-lantern, the next best thing to do with that much pumpkin is make enough pumpkin pie for a small town. A common recipe for a pumpkin pie calls for two cups of pumpkin. Using Wolfram|Alpha, we find that 1,818 pounds of pumpkin will allow us to make 3,550 pumpkin pies.

See what else you can do at our blog!

The United Nations has stated that the world population is expected to hit 7 billion people soon. That is a lot of people. Let’s try to put that into perspective.

According to Wolfram|Alpha, 7 billion people equals around 6.6 percent of the total number of Homo sapiens to have ever lived. 7 billion people also produce approximately 490 GW of heat, which is around 41 times the power of a space shuttle at launch. (It is also enough energy to power 405 flux capacitors, in case you were wondering.)

Once we hit that 7 billion people mark, China will make up 19.3 percent of the world population.

Add India’s population to that, and the two countries make up 36.7 percent of the world population. The United States will be 4.4 percent of the 7 billion.

A breakdown of population in all countries in 2011 also helps put things into perspective.

Using the data we receive from the UN Population Division, it is predicted that by 2025 we will add another billion people to the world population.

How many calories would you consume if you ate one every day — from today until it returns from wherever it comes from?

It is Snoop Dogg’s 40th Birthday, and we decided that we needed to know what the weather was like on the day he was born. Why? Because we can.

We just hit 1000 followers! Thank you, all of our amazing followers! To celebrate, we decided to share some fun things Wolfram|Alpha can do with the number 1000:

* What is the nutritional value of 1000 cheeseburgers?

* The distance the Proclaimers would walk, just to be the man to fall down at your door.

* When will Lady Gaga be 1000 years old?

* How long would it take to type/speak 1000 pages?

* 1000 pounds.

* Countries smaller than 1000 square miles.

* 1000 minutes of water jogging.

* 1000 minutes of gambling at a casino.

Also, type in “1000 minutes of physical activity” and have some fun with the drop down menu.

What other fun “1000” Wolfram|Alpha queries can you come up with?

In an attempt to fill in a more complete picture of global agricultural trends, we’ve added more data from the FAO—this time covering food production, harvest, and crop yields around the world.

Try asking Wolfram|Alpha about “coffee production in the Americas“, for example, and you’ll see that Brazil is the clear leader in this region, producing more than 2.5 times as much as #2-ranked Colombia.

Or ask about the corn harvest area in the United States and China, and you’ll see how the gap between the two countries has shrunk from some 20 million acres in 1961 to virtually nothing in 2009.

We have new data that enables you to quickly determine whether a given set of solvents are miscible in each other or not: “Is acetone miscible in benzene?” You also could ask for the list of liquids that are miscible in a given solvent: “What solvents are miscible in acetone?”

Learn more on our blog.

A representative of Wolfram, In (Creators of WolframAlpha and Mathematica) is coming to my school thursday to give a presentation. I’m actually excited to see this.

This gif is amazing. Hope you enjoy the presentation!

Congratulations to Dan Shechtman for winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on quasicrystals.

We feature quasicrystals prominently in our logo:

Monty Python’s Flying Circus premiered 42 years ago today.

## September 2011

### 16 posts

It’s supposedly National Coffee Day! To celebrate, we will drink a few extra cups and then use Wolfram|Alpha to see how much coffee the United States consumes each year.

As a country, the United States consumes the most coffee in the world. When you break it down to per capita consumption, we rank 42nd. First place goes to Luxembourg.

Excuse us while we go help increase our world ranking.

If Warren Buffett divided his wealth evenly among all living people, how big would your check be?

Each person would get $7.36.

Similar calculations can be done with other Forbes 400 billionaires. Say Bill Gates split his wealth with the population of the United States?

What fun calculations can you do with the Forbes 400?

We are happy to announce that today we are releasing two more Wolfram|Alpha-powered Reference Apps for iOS: the Wolfram Mortgage Calculator Reference App and the Wolfram Words Reference App.

Learn more on our blog.

What’s that in the sky? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Yup, it’s a plane, and it is currently 31,100 feet high and traveling to St. Louis from Chicago. Simply enter “planes overhead”, and Wolfram|Alpha will provide a list of flights overhead based on your current geoIP location.

You can also click on specific flights to learn more information, such as departure airport, estimated flight duration, and more: