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More fun with math…

June 5, 2011

PART 1: A warm-up from the Car Talk guys:

Two pair, a dozen, a gross and a score

Added to three times the square root of four

Divided by seven, plus five times eleven,

Equals the square root of ??? and no more.

PART 2: Your challenge:

There are red, green and yellow M&Ms in a bowl. All but four of the M&Ms are red, all but four are green

and all but four are yellow. How many M&Ms are there all together?

PART 3: A few new conversion factors for the scientifically inclined:

1. Ratio of an igloo’s circumference to its diameter = Eskimo Pi

2. 2000 pounds of Chinese soup = Won ton

3. Time between slipping on a peel and smacking the pavement = 1 bananosecond

4. Weight an evangelist carries with God = 1 billigram

5. Time it takes to sail 220 yards at 1 nautical mile per hour = knotfurlong

6. 16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone = 1 Rod Serling

7. Half of a large intestine = 1 semicolon

8. 1,000,000 aches = 1 megahertz

9. Basic unit of laryngitis = 1 hoarsepower

10. Shortest distance between two jokes = A straight line

11. 2000 mockingbirds = 2 kilomockingbirds

12. 52 cards = 1 decacards

13. 1 kilogram of falling figs = 1 Fig Newton

14. 1000 milliliters of wet socks = 1 literhosen

15. 1 millionth of a fish = 1 microfiche

16. 1 trillion pins = 1 terrapin

17. 10 rations = 1 decoration

18. 100 rations = 1 C-ration

19. 2 monograms = 1 diagram

20. 8 nickels = 2 paradigms

21. 2.4 statute miles of intravenous surgical tubing at Cornell University Hospital = 1 IV League

PART 4: I still can’t draw…


Cartoon #2: It’s the end of the school day and kids are pouring out of the school building. A teacher is standing just outside the door, pointing vaguely off into the distance proclaiming, “Go forth and multiply!”

 Cartoon #89: Two scientists, in white lab coats, are staring in disbelief at a cardboard box they’ve just opened. There’s a cat in the box, calmly washing its face. Caption: “My! God! It’s Schrodinger’s cat!”

 Til next week…

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Bob Seidensticker permalink
    June 5, 2011 4:41 pm

    I got the second puzzle but not the first. I assumed it was integers at every step but that wasn’t how my calculation worked out.

  2. June 5, 2011 4:50 pm

    Right, integers at every step. At the risk of causing some embarrassment, the 4th and 5th graders I presented this to solved it (tho with a little help from me – they didn’t know what a ‘gross’ or ‘score’ were.)

  3. NRJ permalink
    June 7, 2011 5:35 am

    It appears that Jonathan Friedman and co-workers at the State University of New York (SUNY) in Stony Brook have demonstrated a macroscopic Schrodinger cat state for the first time using a SQUID device! So you may need to change your cat box. I really enjoyed your conversion factors, although I remain unconverted according to certain priest in our neighborhood.

    • June 7, 2011 1:04 pm

      I’m sorry, but Schrodinger’s Squid (or even Friedman’s Squid) just doesn’t carry the same cachet as Schrodinger’s Cat. Plus, I’ve had cats all my life but I’ve never had a squid.

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