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A Diary of Numbers are offering a free book to anyone who can estimate the number of times Mario has died in the many games he’s starred in.

The book is called How Many Licks? How to Estimate Just About Anything.

I imagine the book is a bit like the blog. It uses estimation techniques to solve those questions which have always burned within all of us. Like, if everyone on Earth sneezed in one direction, could they launch a sailing boat? Aye, I have always wondered… Or, if your body was entirely made of sugar (which mine is) how long would it take for hummingbirds to drink you?

Plus it shows that the whole “ants can carry 50 times their own weight” thing isn’t as dramatic as it sounds. If humans were ant sized, we could carry 750 times our own weight. It makes me feel strong, arr!

Details on the competition are here, and you just need to e-mail through your answer to him before March 31. Personally I think Mario has never died, he just… sleeps… then comes back with full health. If he DOES die, then I’m responsible for the death of many a Mario and I just don’t want that on my conscious. It ain’t my fault, I have trouble controlling characters in 3D and he just keeps falling off things. Usually into lava. His “ow wow wow wow wows” haunt me still.