Archive for the ‘homeworkpig’ Category


Like Wear a Helmet Dude! You Sooo don’t Need a Hole in the Head!!!!

May 19, 2009

The wearing of bicycle helmets is compulsory for all ages in Australia, New Zealand and Spain. Fines for not wearing a bicycle helmet  range from $30 to $110 in Australia. Iceland and the Czech Republic have made bicycle helmets compulsory for under 15 year olds and Ontario Canada for under 18 year olds. Why wear a bike helmet?  The value of this legislation was hammered, possiblyelectric drill Correction

drilled, home today by a report in The Australian. Nicholas Rossi, 12, injured his head after falling off his bike when not wearing a bicycle helmet. His life was saved only because Dr Rob Carson, a quick thinking GP from Maryborough, Victoria, used an electric drill to drill a hole in Nicholas’s head to relieve pressure on his brain.



Road Safety for cyclists, however, not only depends on cyclists but also depends on motorists. Unfortunately, motorists do not always drive safely around cyclists.

bike helmet

My favourite research on Road Safety for Cyclists was conducted by Dr Walker, University of Bath,UK who  cycled around Bath with a sensor attached to his bike which measured the distance of passing  cars.  Dr Walker  wore a helmet, no helmet and – of all things – a long black wig.

His results were very interesting especially for clowns. #mce_temp_url#

Dr Walker found cars passed him on average 8.4 cm closer when he was wearing a helmet than when he was bare headed so close, in fact, he was hit TWICE; once by a bus and once by a truck.  Mathspig is very happy to say that Dr Walker survived to continue his studies. Next he ventured onto the roads of Bath in a long, black wig. Motorists kept well away from the wig -wearer. Dr Walker concluded that motorists assumed cyclists in helmets were Tour De France level pros who needed the least passing gap; bareheaded cyclists were wobbly amateurs who needed more room and odd-bods in wigs are so weird they need a really big gap. Motorists, obviously, were anxious to avoid hitting a clown on a bike!!!!!

Further studies are needed. Mathspigs you can conduct some original and worthwhile research on motorists driving habits. Ask as many adults as you can how much room they should leave when passing a cyclist in a car. Ask them to show you the distance using their hands. Measure this distance with a tape.  You can make a Bar Graph of this information by plotting how many people allowed 0 – 10 cm, 11-20cm, 21 – 30 cm etc. When you have complete d your research send this information to: Bicycle Safety Helmet Awareness Programclowns on bike


Meanwhile, here is a funny story about bicycle helmets. When bicycle helmets became compulsory  in the nineties in Australia one old bloke in mathspig’s home town decided he wasn’t going to pay for a helmet. He cut a watermelon to size and wore it tied onto his head with a white garbage bag. This left the local police really scratching their heads as they weren’t sure what to do.





All I Wanna Do Is Sing about Co-ordinates to You!!!!!!

May 11, 2009

Here are two links about graphs suitable for Year 7 mathspigs.face graph

The first will link  you to the most dreadful song you are ever likely to hear about plotting co-ordinates on X and Y axes. The reason Mathspig is including this link is because it can be used by maths teachers as a threat.

If you do not work on your  maths problems involving co-ordinates I will sing this song. (Insert Maniacal Laugh Here)  Ha! Ha! 



The second link is to a ‘rooolly’ cool FREE online game about co-oridinates…. It’s a bit like Battleships but involves space ships.

spaceship 1

spaceship 2sapceship 3     Spaceships Online Game:


Clip art of graph by Naomi Wright #mce_temp_url#






Dumb and, um, Dumber Customer Survey

May 4, 2009

New Scientist magazine reported 28th March that a company called Solar Plus UK claimed in leaflets that “99.98% of  Solar Plus customers said they would recommend Solar Plus to their family and friends. Based on a survey of 60 customers carried out in 2007 – 2008″.feedback-1

Mathspigs I want to know what number of people , according to Solar Plus, would not buy their product.

(Note: Mathspig  scribbled the answer on the mag at right.)


Footy, footy, footy…. and more footy!!!

April 28, 2009

As you know mathspigs All football codes are awash with statistics. It seems that a football player cannot score, sneeze or stratch themselves without someone keeping the statistics.

Here’s the question. Do these statistics mean anything???? We’ll start with AFL football. cooney-adam007

Adam Cooney, Western Bulldogs won the AFL Brownlow Medal in 2008.  Mathew Richardson and Gary Ablett were joint runners up and Simon Black (Brisbane Lions) came 3rd.

You will find these results and more statistics on the AFL website: #mce_temp_url#

Here are some statitics for the 2008 season:


1st: Adam Cooney (Western Bulldogs)  Games: 25     kicks: 311   Disposals 637   Marks: 98    Goals: 23

Joint 2nd: Matthew Richardson (Richmond)  Games: 20     kicks: 202   Disposals 364   Marks: 222    Goals: 48

Joint 2nd: Gary Ablett (Geelong)  Games: 21     kicks: 288   Disposals: 606   Marks: 100    Goals: 26

3rd: Simon Black (Brisbane Lions)  Games: 21     kicks: 253   Disposals 539   Marks: 61    Goals: 10


Do these statistics give us useful information?

To answer this question mathspigs we need some graphs. Go to the AFL website and collect more stats on the first 10 players in the AFL 2008 Brownlow Medal tally.

Then draw 3 bar graphs one for kicks, one for disposals and one for marks. In each of these graphs the 1st bar is for the Brownlow top scorer, 2nd bar and the 3rd bar for the next two scorers, and so on. 

If the statistics have meaning then we should see a very clear trend in the graphs. Do the graphs, mathspigs and post your results in the comments.


If you see Bill Murray playing golf, run for it!!!!!

April 22, 2009

Bill Murray, according to The Australian (20th April 2009), hit a woman on the headbill-murray with a golf ball when playing in recently in the TPC Tampa Bay Outback Pro Am. Murray hooked on the ninth and clocked the woman, Gayle DiMaggio,  on the head as she stood in her own backyard. (Note Mathspigs: Probablity of being hit on the head by a golf ball increased if you live next door to a golf course. ) Despite getting stitches in her head, the only compensations DiMaggio requestd was a signed copy of Caddyshack DVD? Is she mad? If she got him to sign the ball as well and put them on e-Bay…what price, eh?????


How dangerous is golf?

Unfortunately, golf does not seem to be good for the health of birds as this youtube shos.


Meanwhile, on the earlier this year Pro golfer, Trip Isenhour, killed a red-shouldered hawk that was annoying him while trying to film a golf training video. He took several shots to do it and was horrified. He said he was only trying to scare it away. He has now been charged with killing a migratory bird, an offence which carries a maximum 14 month jail sentence.  #mce_temp_url#

The birds have managed some revenge. reports that a goose hit by a golf ball while it was standing near a water hazard on a golf course in Massachusetts was so annoyed it kicked the ball into the water.


Can you duck a golf ball?golfer

Here is the challenge Mathspigs.

Golf balls travel at about 130 – 170 kph (NSW Golf Association). The highest recorded speed of a golf ball was 328kph ( 203 miles per hour) by Jason Zuback.

The top speed for a Formula I racing car, by the way, is 360 kph (220 mph).  But due to spin and drag a golf ball looses around half it’s speed before it hits the ground. 

Can you duck a golf ball mathspigs?

First calculate the  speed of a golf ball when it hits the ground (or a head ) when driven by an average golfer or Jason Zubak?  If you were standing in your back yard and suddenly you saw a golf ball 10m away before it hit you, could you duck it?

Let’s work it out.

1. Find your reaction time. This will be in milliseconds but milliseconds count here. Go to : #mce_temp_url#

2. Calculate your ‘ducking’ tiime. You do this by ducking ( 30cm , at least) 10 or maybe 20 times whilegolf-ball a friend times you. Work out ducking time. 

3. Add 1 + 2.

4. Now calculate how long it takes a golf ball to travel 10m if hit by an average player or  Jason Zuback. Compare these times with you’re ducking time. Who won? You or the golf ball?


Meanwhile, even mini golf has it’s dangers:



Kofi the Rat

April 14, 2009

Kofi the rat has several claims to fame. ( THE WEEK 10th April 2009)rat-22

Firstly, he is educated in Britain.

Secondly, he is a sniffer rat. Weighing in at only 1.35 kg the advantage of the ‘Sniffer rat’ is

that it can detect explosives such as landmines by smell without setting them off. This seems to be

a lot cheaper and more pratical than the remote control

M60 Panther Tank used by American forces to clear landmines in Kosovo in 1997. (Below)






Meanwhile, the problem with using sniffer dogs to detect landmines is, obviously, their weight. Beagles, for instance, weigh around 14 Kg. So here is the question. Could authorities ever use a sniffer Chihuahua?????


Our Aussie Easter Egg Egg Addiction!!!!!

April 2, 2009

According to The Age( Easter Sales expected to hit $231m, April 13, 2006) Australians consume 20 easter eggs per head in the easter period.


How many eggs would be eaten by Year  7?

How many eggs eaten by Australians?  The current population of Australia according to the 20.7 million according to the Year Book Australia 2008.

The ‘CRAZIEST’ Easter Egg in stores this year has to be the Bob the Builder Easter Egg? There are M&M filled eggs and Smarties filled eggs. What does the         Bob the Builder Egg have in it? Nails?????? Chocolate, of course. Or maybe a kid gets chocolate pliers to pull out their own teeth!!!!

EASter Egg sales in Australia in 20o6 hit $231 million, so you can calculate how much we each spend on Easter Eggs a year too? Yumm!!

More information @ The Age


How many bedrooms in Australia?????

March 30, 2009

According to this article in The Age (26th March, 2009) 37% of homes have 4 bedrooms or more.

In fact, this statistic is a little ambiguous. Did they mean 37% of new homes have 4 or more bedrooms??? Or all homes??

mathspig-2a1According to the Yearbook Australia 2008:

Dwellings with:

1 bedroom     4.0%

2 bedrooms   19.7%

3 bedrooms 47.8%

4 or more bedrooms  28.3%


As there are 7.9 million private dwellings in Australia today, we can work out the total number of bedrooms. Get going… Send MathsPig the answer.


1301.0 – Year Book Australia, 2008


Homework: Fun and Entertainment for All the Family by Kerry Cue

March 24, 2009

  As a teacher I was often asked by parents ‘How do you get kids to do their homework?’ It’s the $million question. If anyone has the answer they could sell it on eBay and make a fortune. Short of advising parents to try using a whip, a tranquilliser gun and/or the threat of grounding offspring until they are 45 years old, I have no easy answers. No one does.

         I was first asked this question over 25 years ago but I was reminded of the desperation of parents last week. I was addressing parents from several primary and secondary schools when the question cropped up yet again. As soon as the audience heard the desperate query they gave out an audible sigh, a combined plea for help. Most parents realise that homework is worthwhile. It teaches kids self-discipline among other skills. And, just between you and me, most kids know that homework is important too.

         It’s just that homework involves self-discipline and self-discipline is hard work. During the holidays a kid gets to sit in front of the tellie with the remote, a bag of chips, a drink in their hand and their feet on the coffee table. It’s the good life. Then term time comes around and it’s ‘Homework. Homework. Homework’. They moan. They protest. They grumble. Of course, they do. If self-discipline was easy the world would be full of thin, fit, rich, non-smoking people who are not addicted to love. As the kids would say, self-discipline sucks!

         But I can help parents out here. Just a little. After talking to the parents I then spoke to a combined group of Year 5/6 students the next day about homework. I didn’t nag. I didn’t talk about the importance of homework. I simply read them this story I wrote from real life and – Guess what? – they laughed:


My Homework Diary by Danno Year 7

Tuesday 2nd April


6.00pm Homework. History project.

6.01         Sit at desk. Start.

6.02         Stop. Can’t find pencil.

6.03         Find pencil. Start. Stop. Can’t find paper.

6.05         Find paper. Start. Stop. Pencil blunt. Can’t find sharpener.

6.07         Little brother walks past door. Run out. Punch brother. Brother yells. I yell ‘He’s interrupting my homework’. Mum yells at brother. Ha! Ha! Go back.                                                                      

6.09         Sit at desk. Look out window. Brother’s up tree. Run out and throw tennis ball. Miss. He spits on me. The pea brain. Climb after him. Intention. Murder. He yells. Mum comes out. ‘What are you doing?’ she asks. ‘My homework’ I say. ‘Up a tree?’ She has a point. ‘I’m taking a break.’ (I sure am. I’m going to break the little twerps leg if I catch him.) ‘How can you take a break? You’ve only been in your room 5 minutes.’ ‘Nine minutes and 45 seconds’ I add. I go back.

6.11         Sit at desk. Damn. There’s a fly. Throw things at fly. Miss. Damn. I’ll get that fly. WHAM. Got him. Fly squashed all over homework book. Uek! I can’t do homework now.

6.18         In kitchen making coffee. ‘What are you doing?’ mum asks. ‘I can’t do my homework’ I explain. ‘There are fly guts squashed all over my homework book.’ Mum wipes book. ‘What about the germs?’ I ask. Mum sprays book with disinfectant. Damn.

6.27         Need music. Put on CD. LOUD. ‘Turn it down.’ ‘What?’ Dad nearly rips handle off door. ‘TURN IT DOWN’. ‘No need to yell.’ I yell. Dad’s face is a stoplight. All red. I turn the volume down to 9.. to 7 4. Dad’s face resumes normal transmission. He’s pink again.  ‘You can’t study with that racket’ says dad. I give him my tennis racket. Dad snorts and leaves.

6.39         Sit at desk. Work. Work. Great. That’s the best dagger tattoo I’ve drawn on my arm yet. I’ll put in some blood. Ahh! Biro’s leaked everywhere. Wipe off with paper. 10 sheets.

6.47 Brother makes faces through window. Throw book at him. He bolts. Damn. It was my homework book.

6.53 Got book off dog. Read homework sheet. Answer questions on page 47. There’s no page 47. Of ANCIENT CIVILISATIONS. Oh No! I’ve got ANCIENT WARFARE. Cool pictures but. They cut off their heads. Gruesome.

6.58         Write ‘Ancient Ejypt’ on page. Um. Ejipt. Egipd. Yell ‘Mum, how do you spell Egipd?’ E.G.Y.P.T.’ And Ancient?’ (She should know! Ha!) A.N.C.I.E.N.T. Thanks. Write ‘Ancient Egypt’ on page. Good.

7.01 ‘Dinner’. Great. I’m starved. I should be but. I’ve done an hour’s homework.

I only added one more comment. If you want to get your homework done don’t do it like Danno!!!!!                                               Canberra Times 25/3/09                                  

Pic#Author at St Kevin’s Parish School in the 50′s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 61 other followers