Thursday, December 6, 2007

Fuzzy Math

I always hated word problems in school. It was hard enough to do regular problems but then they gotta throw in a little story just to confuse me some more. I think if you add elements people are familiar with, like interesting characters and some kind of memorable story, then maybe those word problems would make more sense and then I'd care what the answer was. If only someone with my active imagination wrote math textbooks when I was a lad.

Problem #1

With a fifteen (15) mile per hour cross-breeze, if you dropped Celine Dion, Jaleel White, and Hillary Clinton from the top of the Empire State building which one would get cleaned off the pavement first?

Problem #2

If Stephon Marbury lobs an air-ball at 9 mph, Eli Manning throws an interception at 56 mph, and Alex Rodriguez hits a pop-up with the bases loaded at 93 mph, at what velocity will the BOOS of New York sports fans reach the ear of the professional athlete from the "nosebleed" section?

Problem #3

If a bullet train leaving New York City carrying Michael Moore is travelling 4.2 mph and a cement truck leaving Los Angeles carrying Calista Flockhart is travelling 117 mph, at what US city will they find a restaurant with "Buckets o' Deep Fat Fried Butter (with gravy)" and "Steamed Grapeskins" on the same menu to meet for lunch?

I guess the gravy makes it easier for Ally McBeal to "purge" later. I would never guess about the grapeskins with Moore, though. Guess he eats lots of 'em right before bed.

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