5 Ways to Compute Thanksgiving

November 24, 2015 | Elizabeth Knowles

How to graph a turkey (Wolfram Alpha)
Photo credit: Screenshot from WolframAlpha.com

From turkey size to post-Thanksgiving activities, let Wolfram Alpha help you out.

Thanksgiving is a stressful time. How many guests are going to show up for dinner? How early do you need to start cooking so that you don’t give them all food poisoning? How is that football game going to end? Wolfram Alpha is a computation tool that lets you calculate pretty much anything. Here are some suggestions to help you with your holiday planning.

1. How big of a turkey do you need?

By entering “the size of turkey needed for…” you can choose how many children, teenagers and adults you are cooking for, and Wolfram Alpha will recommend the perfect turkey size. It even lets you input whether your guests are light or heavy eaters.

2. How long will it take to cook?

Enter the weight of your turkey and Wolfram Alpha will tell you how long to cook it for and at what temperature. It shows you how the cooking time will vary with and without stuffing and even accounts for cooking at high-altitude if necessary. Do you prefer to deep-fry your turkey? It can give you instructions for that too!

3. Nutritional Information

If tracking calories or nutritional information is your thing, Wolfram Alpha has a tool for that too. Enter the exact amount you ate, and it will spit out a full chart like the ones you see on food containers. In case you were wondering, a quarter cup of cranberry sauce gives you 26 grams of sugar and fulfills 2 percent of your daily vitamin C requirements.

4. Physical Activity

Watching football and Black Friday shopping are two of the most popular Thanksgiving weekend activities. Four hours of shopping will burn 673 calories, whereas it would take over nine hours to burn as many while watching TV. What are your favorite holiday activities? See how they compare.

5. Calendar

Just in case you are already pre-planning for next year’s Thanksgiving, you can ask Wolfram Alpha what date it will fall on. I’ll help you out: November 24, 2016. But how about Thanksgiving 2017, or 2027? You can never be too prepared!

6. International Friends

You may have already missed wishing your Canadian friends a happy Thanksgiving, but there is still time for those in Granada, and the Solomon and Marshall Islands. Why not use Wolfram Alpha to find out when they are celebrating?

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