122608ts.jpgThey've tried vertical cameras and even lasers but nothing beats a Russian immigrant when when it comes to counting bodies Times Square, according to this fun article in the Times, which tells you all you never wanted to know about counting crowds at the crossroads of the world. It's almost exclusively Russian immigrants who get paid $8 an hour to stand around and count. An engineer who oversees the process explains that the Times Square Alliance—which spends up to $100,000 a year for the data—formerly employed Nigerians, but "at some point we switched over to these Russians." And most of them are overqualified. 66-year-old Alexander Turin, a former French literature professor who left Russia in 1976, says he counts because "sometimes you just need to do the simplest jobs." So thanks to Turin and his comrades, we know that half a million people recently passed through Times Square in a single day.