Tag Archives: math

let (a few of) them eat cake!

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when reading the day’s news online

there were the expected headlines/updates/graphs:

scotus decision

virus numbers updates

calls for mayor’s resignation

protest marches continue

doctors’ opinions

iran’s decision

cruise ship passengers awaiting refunds

election polls

presidential tweets

to wear a mask or not?

europe’s reopening

and then in huge letters:

COSTCO STOPS SELLING HALF-SHEET CAKES

what?

why is this a story?

why is this a bigger-font-size-worthy story?

what is the story?

here’s the story and it’s an odd logic.:

The past few months have been chaotic for Costco customers, with product shortages, long lines and the temporary elimination of free food samples. Now, it appears there’s another change for devoted shoppers: Costco has eliminated the iconic half-sheet cakes that are the centerpiece of graduation and birthday parties.

Costco has quietly stopped selling the $20 half-sheet cakes across its US stores for the past month, instead pointing people toward its 10-inch round cakes and other assorted baked goods.

“To help limit personal contact and create more space for social distancing, Costco has reduced service in some departments,” the company explained to outraged customers on its Facebook account. 

Costco confirmed to CNN Business it’s not selling the half-sheet cakes anymore and it has “no immediate plans” to bring it back. A spokesperson added that its 10-inch round cakes “seem to be resonating with our members.”

The decision also coincides with a recommendation from several US states and health agencies to avoid or prohibit large gatherings in light of Covid-19. Half-sheet cakes feeds around 50 people, while its 10-inch round cake serves around a dozen.

my interpretation: apparently the thought is that if you don’t have a big cake, you will not have a big celebration, where people will gather around the big cake in a big group. if you have more pieces of cake, you will then invite more people to go with it. what if you just bought a few round cakes, couldn’t you invite the same amount of people and just cut from the round cakes, or would that discourage you from inviting more guests as you’d have to then open more than one box? what about people just deciding to socially distance themselves without the cake being the deciding factor? just wondering, or is this that devil math at play once again? does it come down to having to match ratios, person to piece, and not have any leftover cake to eat for breakfast? i  knew i should have listened in school. 

“cake is happiness! If you know the way of the cake, you know the way of happiness!

If you have a cake in front of you, you should not look any further for joy!”

-c. joyBell c.

 

 

 

credits: cnn business

taxed.

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the 10-second tax return.

in sweden, the vast majority of taxpayers just get a document from the government with all the relevant information already filled out. some even get a text message with their prepared tax information.

in the united states, the experience it is quite the opposite.

the nightmare return.

 

“the hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax.”

-albert einstein

 

 

 

 

credits: theatlantic.com, google images

the math and science of oreos.

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“researchers in the u.k. have developed

a vegetable called ‘super broccoli’

designed to fight heart disease.

not to be outdone,

researchers in america have developed

a way to stuff an oreo inside of another oreo.”

-jimmy fallon

 

puzzled.

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that moment when you realize

after you’ve laid out 

and built the frame 

of a large detailed 1,000 piece puzzle

that you may have assembled

the perfectly symmetrical framing

upside down

with no way now to turn it without breaking it

due to the limited table size dimensions

(damn math)

and might likely have to build the whole thing upside down.

“the art of simplicity is a puzzle of complexity.”

-douglas horton

how far?

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my first step in the parks in my first pair of shoes

steps in the parks somewhere in the middle

my last step in the parks in my last pair of shoes

with all of this stepping into the parks

i thought it was be easy and interesting

to look back and see just how far i had walked

using multiple sources

and multiple attempts

it turned into quite an impossible task

as each park was shaped differently

i had walked in no particular pattern

and converting the 2061.6 total acres into distance

proved to be a bit more complicated than i expected.

s0me of my early rough calculations

(having dinosaurs on the paper seemed fitting)

scenes of me asking the big questions

with no definitive answers

i went to my daughters

who tried to create an algorithm for me

but they again pointed out that i had no consistent shape of the acreage

nor did a have a consistent path of travel through them

i then went online to an international group

of physicists, mathmeticians, engineers, etc. to seek their answers

here is a sampling:

after walking 2,061.6 acres of parks, how far have I traveled in distance?

and :

There is no way to tell. You tell us areas but not distances, nor do you give us times or velocity.

i have decided that according to my calculations

my final answer is that i traveled pretty far

during the time i spent covering the 2,061.6 acres 

and interesting coincidence

the last park on the list

the last steps i took

were in a park at the top of the very street 

where i first lived in ann arbor

in my rattletrap apartment with no money

when i moved here at age 40

having quit my job to go to grad school

and change the course of my life

this long journey with it’s twisty and immeasurable path

had somehow led me straight home.

‘only those who will risk going too far

can possibly find out how far one can go.’

– t.s. eliott

the math of trees.

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when looking at the trees on the kinder playground

it’s easy to see how tall the little people are 

the green does not dare begin until it is

above and safely out of the reach of their tiny hands

even if they are standing on tippy toes

 pulling, climbing, bending, picking, snapping

the trees do the math and live to tell the tale.

“trees and plants always look like the people they live with, somehow.”

-zora neale hurston

time after time.

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a clock that forces you to do math to find out the time 

The Albert Clock is no simple timepiece. In fact, it requires you to think pretty hard. It will tell you the time of day, but only if you can do the math to read it, as Nerdist reports.

Designed by the Paris-based Axel Schindlbeck, the clock is meant to be a mental workout, providing the mathematical calisthenics you need to keep your number skills sharp. It’s technically designed for classrooms and kids, but adults need to practice their multiplication tables regularly, too.

The digital clock has four different levels to help you ramp up your addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division abilities over time. For a real challenge, you can program it to change equations more often than every minute, so you’re presented with a new time-telling puzzle every 10 seconds.

The wall-mounted clock retails for about $300, but you can also download a mobile version of the design for free. It will make you yearn for the simplicity of analog clocks in no time.

(if i had to wake up to this, i might opt for just using the sun or wildly guessing instead)

“the two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”

-leo tolstoy

credits: MNTNT, nerdist,shaunacy ferro