Calculating the Volume of Charlie Brown’s Head via TV Christmas Specials

A few weeks ago I was struck by the fact that I don’t own any Christmas decorations. I saw this last month at BoingBoing, so I decided I had to take the plunge. Tonight on ABC they aired the 1965 Charlie Brown Christmas Special that features the tree that I purchased.

While watching the show, I realized that I had the tools to quantify a question that has puzzled me for ages. Just how big a blockhead is Charlie Brown?

So, I measured the tree:

I took a screenshot from tonight’s airing, and established that the tree measured 2.375″ on the screen, while Charlie Brown’s head measured 1.417″ on the screen. With the knowledge that the the tree is 20″ tall, setting up a ratio I was able to determine that Charlie Brown’s head has a diameter of 11.93″ across.

Then we can determine the radius, 5.966″, then using the basic formula for finding the area of a sphere, I determined that Charlie Brown’s head has a volume of 889 cubic inches, assuming that his head is a perfect sphere.

Using similar calculations, I have estimated that my own head (not a perfect sphere) is roughly 296 cubic inches.

In conclusion, I have mathematically determined that I’m only a third the blockhead that Charlie Brown is. Of course, we are both a sucker for redheads.