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Wisdom Of The Crowd

Jul 28, 2017
Originally published on November 23, 2017 9:47 pm

We put guest musician Julian Velard up to the test in this game, where he has to decide who is closer to the truth: the audience at the Bell House, or puzzle guru Cecil Baldwin!

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While Greg and Paige get ready for the final round, it's time for us to play a game called The Wisdom of the Crowd. We asked a recent live audience here at The Bell House to guesstimate various quantities. For example, how many kernels are on an average ear of corn? We crunched the numbers and found the average of their guesses. So in this game, guest musician Julian Velard will have to determine whose wisdom he trusts more, our audience or the wisdom of our puzzle guru, Cecil Baldwin. So here we go. How many feet tall is the Statue of Liberty?

CECIL BALDWIN: Let's see. My knowledge of sizes and measurements is usually not great. I might be like 3 feet tall as far as I'm concerned.

EISENBERG: That's how it looks to me from the Staten Island Ferry, yeah.

BALDWIN: That's it, yeah. So let's see. I'm going to say 250 feet.

EISENBERG: Two hundred and fifty feet. Good answer. Our audience thinks the real answer is 567. Julian Velard, who do you think is closer?

JULIAN VELARD: Why do I have a feeling that the Statue of Liberty is 1,776 feet tall? That's too tall, right? That'd be like really tall. Would that be like a third of a mile?

BALDWIN: Also, would the French really do that to us? Would they really be like...

VELARD: They probably would.

BALDWIN: ...You know, we're really known for being on the nose, so let's just really...

VELARD: I'm going to go with Cecil on this - 250 feet.

EISENBERG: Yeah. That is a good guess. The real answer is 305. It's - the Statue of Liberty is 305 feet tall. It has an 8-foot-tall face and a 35-foot waistline. OK. Cecil, how many pairs of jeans are sold in the United States every year? Number of jeans. Pairs of jeans every year.

BALDWIN: It's got to be so many, so many.


BALDWIN: You know, I kind of kind of dig this 25 answer that I'm kind of running on so let's say 25 million.

EISENBERG: Twenty-five million. OK.

BALDWIN: God, that sounds so low. No. It's got to be - no. Changing my answer.

EISENBERG: Sure. Sure. Sure.

BALDWIN: Twenty-five billion.


BALDWIN: Is bajillion a real word?

EISENBERG: Twenty-five billion but only two that fit right now.

BALDWIN: That's right. And only one that makes your butt look good. Only one.

EISENBERG: OK. Cecil says 25 billion our. Audience thinks the answer is 650,121,293. Julian, who do you think is closer, Cecil or the audience to the real answer?

VELARD: I want to live in a world where Cecil's right.


VELARD: But I don't even think the audience is right. I think it's far - I think his initial guess of 25 million is probably closer, so I'm going to go with the audience on this one.

EISENBERG: You're going the 650,121 - well, yep.

VELARD: I mean - yeah.

EISENBERG: I mean, technically that is closer. The answer is 450 million.

VELARD: Wow. That's a lot of jeans.

EISENBERG: The average American owns seven pairs.

VELARD: I do not own seven pairs of jeans.

EISENBERG: Yeah, how many do you own?


BALDWIN: You're like, well, I got these on.

EISENBERG: Yeah, exactly.

VELARD: I got these ones. I know this - (laughter).

EISENBERG: OK, how about this one? How many people watched the series finale of "Friends"?

BALDWIN: Twenty-five million.

EISENBERG: Do you want to say that?

BALDWIN: Yeah. Let's do it.

EISENBERG: Twenty-five million. OK. Our audience thinks the answer is 44,000,4426. Who's closer, Julian?

VELARD: This is tough. I'm going to go with Cecil. No, no, no. I'm going to go with the audience. Sorry. And that's it because it - although I do think it's lower than their number, it's probably closer to their number, so.

EISENBERG: Well, your weird logic worked out because it's - the answer is 52,500,000 viewers. Yeah, that's right.

VELARD: A lot of people want to see if Ross and Rachel got back together.

EISENBERG: Great estimating, Cecil. Great guessing, Julian.

VELARD: Thank you, Ophira.

EISENBERG: Great hosting, me.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.