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Beard Heard Around the World

Gary Weddle is a science teacher in Ephrata Middle School (WA). After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, he decided not to shave until Osama bin Laden had been caught or killed. His official statement, at age 46: He will keep the beard, untrimmed, as long as bin Laden remains at large - "even if I get buried with it."

Now, consider these facts:

  • Beard hairs grow about half an inch per month
  • A man's face has approximately 5,000 to 25,000 whiskers
Question 1: How long should his beard be now (September 17/2006)?

Question 2: If his beard was cut today and the hairs laid end-to-end, would they reach from Ephrata (WA) to Washington D.C.?

Question 3: Many expect that bin Laden will not be caught in our life-time. How long would you expect Mr. Weddle's beard to be when he is buried?