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Man in Motion Math

I'm standing in the checkout line in the local CVS when a song comes over the speakers.  Within the first five notes, I recognize it as John Parr's classic tune, "St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion)," which was of course the theme song for the 1985 Brat Pack movie, "St. Elmo's Fire."  (Judd Nelson as an ambitious political aide is no less ridiculous than say, Donald Trump taking over the White House.)

I think to myself, it makes sense that I would be able to identify it so quickly since I've probably heard it 1,000 times over the years.   However, I started doing the actual math on the walk home.  It turns out that I've devoted much more time to that song than I realized.

The song is four minutes and 10 seconds long.  It seems reasonable to estimate I've heard it at least 10 times a year, every year, for the last 35 years.

If I've done the math correctly (which is always a big "if'),  41.6 minutes of the song annually,  x 35 years and divided by 60 minutes = 24.26 hours.

In conclusion, I've spent more than a full day of my life doing nothing but listening to John Parr's, "St Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion)."

It's a catchy song, but it's hard not to wonder if I could have made better use of that time.


St. Elmo's Fire cast August 23 2020Who knew this movie made such a lasting impact?  (pic via






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