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Thread: Really trivial stuff that amuses you...

  1. #3061
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    Oh, xkcd, is there a geeky reference you can't make better? http://xkcd.com/1336/
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  2. #3062
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    Quote Originally Posted by slang View Post
    ... "I'm not small, I am SEVEN!"
    "All right everyone, line up alphabetically according to your height."

    That quote is attributed to baseball manager Casey Stengel. However, he's also famous for being asked "How is it being 75 years old?" to which he replied "It's good. Most people my age are dead at the present time."

    You can see that Yogi Berra learned from this man.

  3. #3063
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    The fact that I can't allow R2 to post/interact in the ATM threads, because everyone else would lose, lose, lose!!

  4. #3064
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    Yesterday we were sitting in bed, looking around on the net for round windows (we want to move a wall upstairs to make a cozier bedroom and have more space for the library, and we wanted a window above the bed). I see one with hexagonal spokes and a round cutout in the middle.

    Me: "Oh, look at this one! We could sleep in the Death Star!" *biggrin*
    SO: "I'm not sure this is a good idea..."
    Me: "Deeeathhhh. Staaaaaaaaar."
    SO: "You would choke me every morning."
    Me: "I find my lack of sleep... disturbing." *waggles hand*
    SO: "Exactly. I KNOW how you are in the morning!"
    Me: "Aww honey, you know I love you. I would never force choke you! ...Oh wait, that's what Anakin said too."
    SO: "No Death Star window for you."

  5. #3065
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    There is money involved, but.... you can get a round window which is split as an upper and lower sash , which allows you to rotate the lower sash to line up with the upper sash and get some fresh air. Andersen Window makes a few.
    Was it Darth Vader who said...." I find your lack of sleep disturbing."

  6. #3066
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    My daughter is doing math homework. The last question ends with words "Explain your thinking." Her answer was "Where's my sandwich."

    She does not understand why invoking Tony Stark is not acceptable. She's actually trying to fight this one on the concept that she knew the answer by looking at the picture and it didn't require much thought.
    Solfe

  7. #3067
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    My daughter is doing math homework. The last question ends with words "Explain your thinking." Her answer was "Where's my sandwich."

    She does not understand why invoking Tony Stark is not acceptable. She's actually trying to fight this one on the concept that she knew the answer by looking at the picture and it didn't require much thought.
    It's one of those cases where learning the tedious method sucks when you can see the answer, but later when things get complicated enough that you can't, those who learned the tedious method will get ahead because they have the practice in using tedious methods.
    And that can be difficult to teach because it's not going to apply until several years ahead.
    Having a knack for math early can actually be a hindrance when it comes to learning the advanced stuff later.
    __________________________________________________
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    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. Benjamin Franklin
    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
    A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. Mark Twain

  8. #3068
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    The morning manager here at work had a child struggling with math. She's not struggling with the actual math, she'd struggling with the method she's supposed to use. The manager showed me the method and I can't see a point to it.

    23
    x31

    This is broken down to 3x1, 20x1, 30x3, and 20x30, then everything is added together. I see how it works, I just don't see how it makes any more sense then the way I learned it, which was one or two steps, depending on how you count them, fewer than this. I saw something similar for subtraction.

    37-12= ?

    12+3=15
    15+10=25
    25+10=35
    35+2=37
    Add the underlined items. 3+10+10+2= 25.

    I can see some merit in each of these if kids take to one over the other, but from what I was told, the older methods are not even acceptable options when showing your work.
    I'm Not Evil.
    An evil person would do the things that pop into my head.

  9. #3069
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tog View Post
    I can see some merit in each of these if kids take to one over the other, but from what I was told, the older methods are not even acceptable options when showing your work.
    It's probably to conform to some standardized test the kids will have to take.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  10. #3070
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tog View Post
    This is broken down to 3x1, 20x1, 30x3, and 20x30, then everything is added together. I see how it works, I just don't see how it makes any more sense then the way I learned it, which was one or two steps, depending on how you count them, fewer than this.
    If you don't mind my asking, which way did you learn it?

  11. #3071
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    It's probably to conform to some standardized test the kids will have to take.
    A standard, actually. It'll come up on the standardized test, but having to learn tasks by specific methods (plural) will be part of the curriculum standards (or part of the _interpretation_ of how to implement the curriculum standards) for Tog's state. He can go to his state's education department website and download them for his morning manager's daughter's grade and see for himself. The standards are public information.

    The downside of this, of course, is that the unit on multiplication will almost certainly require Tog's morning manager's daughter to attempt mastery of more than one method, and each individual section will be picky about which one she uses. The good news is that it won't matter as much once she's through the unit.

    The reason for making a habit of showing your work is that mathematics is, first and foremost, a language. It's not about finding the answer (although that _is_ part of it), it's about convincing your reader(s) that you know what you're talking about. Peer review is just as important in mathematics as it is in any other field.

  12. #3072
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose View Post
    If you don't mind my asking, which way did you learn it?
    21
    x32
    42
    630
    672

    But I tended to view math like a street fight, not that I was ever in a street fight. Use whatever works. When I add, I still count. I'll tick off three dots over the top of the problem and cycle through them as needed. I'll also convert things to terms I know better. 15 and 25 is 40, because the vending machines where my mom worked at that time needed one of every silver coin to get a drink. I still use that, too. 17+28, is a little more than 40.

    Subtraction became a lot easier after and Episode of Magnum PI where one of the characters was figuring out the age of someone born in 1952. "Fifty-two, sixty-two, seventy-two, eighty-two, eighty-three, eighty-four..." I use that method a lot.

    My problem with math, and most things is that I need an application or it doesn't sink in. I could work through the quadratic equation in jr. high. I even had it memorized for a while, but there were no story problems, so it didn't stick. All that 4x2+6x-5 stuff means nothing to me because there was never an explanation as to when it might apply. Trig had story problems, so I got it right away. I still use it quite a bit. I might use algebra if I had the faintest idea when to try.

    I'm pretty sure kids like me were the reason some teachers drank.
    I'm Not Evil.
    An evil person would do the things that pop into my head.

  13. #3073
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tog View Post
    My problem with math, and most things is that I need an application or it doesn't sink in. I could work through the quadratic equation in jr. high. I even had it memorized for a while, but there were no story problems, so it didn't stick. All that 4x2+6x-5 stuff means nothing to me because there was never an explanation as to when it might apply. Trig had story problems, so I got it right away. I still use it quite a bit. I might use algebra if I had the faintest idea when to try.
    I'm just the opposite. Story problems are my Kryptonite. Give me a simple equation and I'll solve it; all that "train leaves the station" stuff is just extraneous distraction. But I tend to suffer from information overload too easily anyway.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  14. #3074
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I'm just the opposite. Story problems are my Kryptonite. Give me a simple equation and I'll solve it; all that "train leaves the station" stuff is just extraneous distraction. But I tend to suffer from information overload too easily anyway.
    I can see that side of it. Digging out the important bits can be hard, but I can learn something better with five story problems where I have to use it than with sixty raw equations.

    I actually had the same issue when learning martial arts. Until i knew the breakdowns for the movements in the forms, it was all just flailing about. Once I could visualize the attack and know that when I do "this" I'm hitting this part of the arm, I was able to learn the patterns very quickly. The problem was that the accepted method is not to learn what you're doing until you know the moves.

    I also found it better (for me) to go through the entire thing until I got it, rather than go over the first part, then the first and second. Then the first, second and third. And so on.

    Everyone learns differently. Forcing a standard method ignores that, and I think a lot of people rage-quit things they might have been pretty good at if they'd come at it a different way.
    I'm Not Evil.
    An evil person would do the things that pop into my head.

  15. #3075
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tog View Post
    Everyone learns differently. Forcing a standard method ignores that, and I think a lot of people rage-quit things they might have been pretty good at if they'd come at it a different way.
    Yes. Unfortunately in my experience most curricula are geared towards what is easiest for the evaluators and administrators, not the students.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  16. #3076
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Yes. Unfortunately in my experience most curricula are geared towards what is easiest for the evaluators and administrators, not the students.
    Which is why I rocked "consumer math" like a Weebol in an earthquake my senior year of high school.
    I'm Not Evil.
    An evil person would do the things that pop into my head.

  17. #3077
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tog View Post
    21
    x32
    42
    630
    672
    That's really just a condensed-notation version of the other method, since you get the 42 by 2x1=2 plus 2*2(0)=4(0) and you get the 630 by 3(0)*3=3(0) plus 3(0)*2(0)=6(00), the digits in () are just indicated by position instead of written out.
    __________________________________________________
    Reductionist and proud of it.

    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. Benjamin Franklin
    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
    A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. Mark Twain

  18. #3078
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    That's really just a condensed-notation version of the other method, since you get the 42 by 2x1=2 plus 2*2(0)=4(0) and you get the 630 by 3(0)*3=3(0) plus 3(0)*2(0)=6(00), the digits in () are just indicated by position instead of written out.
    True, but the "old' way seems like two fewer steps. That's why I didn't understand how it was a better way of doing it since it looked to be just a longer method of doing it the same way.
    I'm Not Evil.
    An evil person would do the things that pop into my head.

  19. #3079
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tog View Post
    Forcing a standard method ignores that, and I think a lot of people rage-quit things they might have been pretty good at if they'd come at it a different way.
    Three things I need to point out:

    1) The matrix method your morning manager's daughter is learning is a step towards understanding how the more compact and efficient method you've learned really works. The takeaway will be the method you're more familiar with.

    2) As Henrik pointed out (and so did I in the 'things I don't get' thread, IIRC), they're both the same method, just organized differently.

    3) You need to remember that gorf narf the jaffa leeting poink. And if you didn't understand what I just said in my 'street fight english', you need to learn to let go of your standard English paradigms and embrace the creativity Einstein Galileo. It works, after all. I said exactly what I meant to about narfing the leeting poink. It's just that I'm not going to persuade anybody I'm right about poinks, mostly because nobody knows what the heck I'm talking about.

    Math, first and foremost, is a language for communication. A tool for persuasion. (Even when you're sorting out a problem for your own benefit, you're persuading yourself.) If you throw away the commonality, you throw away its effectiveness. Common convention helps communication. Non-standard notations and opaque jargon get in the way of communication every bit as much as it does anywhere else. See, for example(s), how ATM forum threads typically play out.

  20. #3080
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose View Post
    Three things I need to point out:

    1) The matrix method your morning manager's daughter is learning is a step towards understanding how the more compact and efficient method you've learned really works. The takeaway will be the method you're more familiar with.

    2) As Henrik pointed out (and so did I in the 'things I don't get' thread, IIRC), they're both the same method, just organized differently.
    Right, and once I understood what they wanted, I was able to explain it to the manager. The problem I have with it is that if she's already doing the abridged version, why is it wrong to use it? Both methods show the work, and both reach the same conclusion. I can see a benefit to breaking it down to start out, but not in holding someone to a longer, less efficient method.

    3) You need to remember that gorf narf the jaffa leeting poink. And if you didn't understand what I just said in my 'street fight english', you need to learn to let go of your standard English paradigms and embrace the creativity Einstein Galileo. It works, after all. I said exactly what I meant to about narfing the leeting poink. It's just that I'm not going to persuade anybody I'm right about poinks, mostly because nobody knows what the heck I'm talking about.
    What I meant by "street fight method" was that if I still multiply by nine by lifting a finger and counting the ones on either side of it, it's not wrong as long as the answer at the end is valid. When it comes time to show my work I'll look a little silly, but if the method for getting there is reproduceable and gives an accurate result, is it still wrong?

    Math, first and foremost, is a language for communication. A tool for persuasion. (Even when you're sorting out a problem for your own benefit, you're persuading yourself.) If you throw away the commonality, you throw away its effectiveness. Common convention helps communication. Non-standard notations and opaque jargon get in the way of communication every bit as much as it does anywhere else. See, for example(s), how ATM forum threads typically play out.
    The math I do understand (basic trig), I can work out normally, but there are a lot of things I never learned because they were 'level 2 stuff and i never got past level 1" Figuring the radius of a sphere at a given latitude is one example I've seen here many times. Apparently, there's a simple formula for it. I have to draw it out and go through three or so steps to get the same answer. My way isn't standard, but it's the best I can do with what I know. It's also right, if needlessly complex, by the time the answer comes out the other end. I can understand why people that know what they're doing would hate that, but I'd hope that at least one person would follow along far enough to see if the method I used was done correctly enough to have a valid discussion.

    Also, this is why I don't go into ATM. When math starts using letters, I'm in trouble. When it starts using things that aren't even letters, I go back to my books and try and stay within the lines.
    I'm Not Evil.
    An evil person would do the things that pop into my head.

  21. #3081
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tog View Post
    The math I do understand (basic trig), I can work out normally, but there are a lot of things I never learned because they were 'level 2 stuff and i never got past level 1" Figuring the radius of a sphere at a given latitude is one example I've seen here many times. Apparently, there's a simple formula for it. I have to draw it out and go through three or so steps to get the same answer. My way isn't standard, but it's the best I can do with what I know. It's also right, if needlessly complex, by the time the answer comes out the other end. I can understand why people that know what they're doing would hate that, but I'd hope that at least one person would follow along far enough to see if the method I used was done correctly enough to have a valid discussion.
    This is how you and Moose are actually in agreement, you can show how you got there, so you can show that your result is correct.
    Even if it's a non-standard, not very efficient, way of doing it, following the steps shows that you can do it.
    __________________________________________________
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    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. Benjamin Franklin
    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
    A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. Mark Twain

  22. #3082
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tog View Post
    What I meant by "street fight method" was that if I still multiply by nine by lifting a finger and counting the ones on either side of it, it's not wrong as long as the answer at the end is valid. When it comes time to show my work I'll look a little silly, but if the method for getting there is reproduceable and gives an accurate result, is it still wrong?
    It's not wrong, but sub-optimal. Sometimes box canyon sub-optimal. One of the things being fought over in math curriculum design is finding the balance between learning different methods to reach everyone while still leading to the efficient numerical methods they'll need to progress into more advanced math concepts. Unfortunately, not everyone is on the same page about what 'vary instructional methods' means, why you want to do it, and what the endgame is going to be. Worse, you'd be surprised (or maybe not) how few educators are involved in that decision-making.

    The other consideration is that while every kid can learn math, kids learn at different paces and in different ways. The diverse mainstreamed classroom vs grouped-by-natural-talent classroom argument has also been raging for decades. Both are swords with wickedly-sharp consequences on the reverse side.

  23. #3083
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tog View Post
    The morning manager here at work had a child struggling with math. She's not struggling with the actual math, she'd struggling with the method she's supposed to use. The manager showed me the method and I can't see a point to it.
    It sounds like they are trying to avoid "carry the x" in the first case, and trying to avoid subtraction altogether in the second.

    Obviously, some educator figured that those two concepts are hard for some kids to grasp, so they take the least common denomonator of understanding.

    As far as the subtraction, maybe it's a PC statement. You can't teach kids anything negative or you'll hurt their feelings.

  24. #3084
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    It sounds like they are trying to avoid "carry the x" in the first case, and trying to avoid subtraction altogether in the second.
    Tog picked up the second from Magnum PI. It wouldn't be a part of a curriculum except for teaching some of the properties of arithmetic. (Strategies for mental math, for example.)

    The lattice method of multiplying does clarify the carries and distributivity, and is useful for folks who have a hard time aligning numbers for whatever reason, but what it gains in clarity, it trades away in compactness and some ability to scale.

  25. #3085
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    I was amused at how the announcer at a music festival made a production of imitating the accents of the native languages of non-Anglo composers when announcing their names, and then mispronounced Hector Berlioz. So many French words have silent final letters that normally would be consonants that he fell into the trap of pronouncing it "Berlio." I wonder what he would have done with Pierre Boulez, a prominent French conductor of the 20th century.

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    I did that with bouillabaisse. Booyabay.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis

  27. #3087
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    It sounds like they are trying to avoid "carry the x" in the first case, and trying to avoid subtraction altogether in the second.

    Obviously, some educator figured that those two concepts are hard for some kids to grasp, so they take the least common denomonator of understanding.

    As far as the subtraction, maybe it's a PC statement. You can't teach kids anything negative or you'll hurt their feelings.
    I recall that the famous Troy McClure starred in a flimstrip entitled "Two Minus Three Equals Negative Fun!"

  28. #3088
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    Covers like these:

    http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Q5GOUdLNL.jpg

    The candle. Outdoors, really? No chance of breeze, or her walking along causing that flame to go out?

  29. #3089
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    The candle. Outdoors, really? No chance of breeze, or her walking along causing that flame to go out?
    She must be one of the fools from the house.

  30. #3090
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    Covers like these...
    Well, don't judge a book by its cover.

    (Sorry, I couldn't resist)
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

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