The Baffling Economics of the Island of Sodor


Being the father of a toddler, I spend a lot of time watching Thomas the Tank Engine. As a writer for a business magazine, my mind can’t help but be puzzled by how the economy of the Island of Sodor actually functions. It seems to me to be dreadfully inefficient, and for the life of me I can’t figure out how anyone on the Island turns a profit—especially the railways. Here’s just a few questions I’ve had while watching the show:

The Baffling Economics Of The Island Of Sodor - Forbes


Water has three atoms in it.

That’s three places for 114 atoms, or 114[sup]3[/sup] = 1481544. In addition, there are 2[sup]3[/sup] ways to order HOO, or water, so that’s 8/1481544 = 0.0005%. Does that mean water will almost never form? No, of course not, because hydrogen and oxygen are abundant, and because water likes to form from these atoms, and there are numerous reactions that are relatively easy that will make water, such as combustion. Using these probability games to disprove amino acid formation is just as ludicrous as this example. You use chemistry to discuss chemistry, not amateur algebra.