## Hair Maths 1: The curly problem with curly hair

May 6, 2015…………………………………………………………………………

More about Troy’s $million hair here. Hair statistics including how many hairs a human has on their head here.

Mathspig studied hair chemistry at uni. Tricky stuff. Put simply, hair is made of long strands of protein called keratin held together by sulphur (and some hydrogen) bonds. To curl hair, the keratin strands in the outer curve of each hair has to be stretched with curling tongs or hair curlers, heated and dried. The bonds in each hair reform with one side longer than the other … Hence, the hair curls like gift-wrap ribbon. But high humidity allows hair to reabsorb water and straightened hair just goes psycho curly again!

This excellent hair diagram comes from The Chemistry of Shampoo and Conditioner, in an article by EMMA Dux for the Royal Australian Chemical Institute

Some people are born with hair follicles that produce keratin at different rates across the follicle. They have curly hair. Hair perms chemically break and reform the sulphur bonds while the hair is held in small curlers (curly hair) or a very big curlers(relatively straight hair.) thus permanently curling the hair.

# Here’s the Maths:

Curly hair looks like a 3D Helix.

More on 3D helix maths here

But, in fact, one strand of curled hair looks more like a spiral staircase.

The outer edge of the staircase is longer than the inner edge.

More helix maths here.

**CHALLENGE:**

Mathspig doesn’t expect Middle School students to plot a 3D Helix. But if they have started TRIGONOMETRY then they can see that the maths they are studying is used in CGIs for films and computer games in this case to generate realistic curly hair!!!! That’s cool. This maths was needed to model Merida’s curly hair in BRAVE.

# SMARTY PANTS CHALLENGE:

Some middle school students could calculate some points on the helix.

Now students must be introduced to radians.

Simple EXPLANATION: Angles eg. 30^{0} are not useful in calculations but fractions are very useful.

Eg. The circumference of a circle:

**C = 2****πr**

Now imagine if you scan with a floodlight set at a radius of 1 km. So:

**C = 2π**

So the circumference is 2π.

You scan ¼ of a circle, the distance the light moves is ¼(2π)

or ½ π or 1.57 km (see below)

This measurement of an angle is in RADIANS.

**0 ^{0 }= 0 circle **

**=**

**0**

**45 ^{0} = 1/8 circle = 2**

**π/ 8 = 2 (3.14) /8 =**

**0. 79**

**90 ^{0} = 1/4 circle = ½ **

**π**

**=**

**½ (3.14) =**

**1.57**

**135 ^{0} = 3/8 circle = ¾ **

**π**

**= ¾ (3.14) =**

**2.36**

**180 ^{0}= 1/2 circle = **

**π =**

**3.14**

**225 ^{0} = 5/8 circle = 5/4 **

**π**

**= 5/4(3.14) =**

**3.93**

**270 ^{0 }= 3/4 circle = 3/2 **

**π =**

**4.71**

**315 ^{0} = 7/8 circle = 7/4 **

**π = 7/4 (3.14)**

**= 5.50**

**360 ^{0 }= 1 circle = 2**

**π =**

**6.28**

…………………………………………………..

You will find Cos tables at NASA Sine tables at Mathhelp

Answer here: Answers- 3D Helix Table

Advanced students may want to look at what the Uber Geek 3D Helix generating program at the free graph website **PLOTLY** here.

## Hair Maths 2: Why CGI needs maths

May 6, 2015The challenge is to make CGI hair look real. This isn’t easy. Some CGI hair doesn’t need maths because it doesn’t move. Some CGI is just ugly. Eg.

More from the worst video game hair cuts ever here and here.

In the world of CGI hair, curly hair is the challenge. It is difficult to model.

According to Pixar animators:

Hair curls due to the way it is grown. Curly hair is almost like a ribbon, while straight hair is more tubular.

(Mike Seymour,Brave New Hair Fxguide)

You will find detailed maths used by Pixar to model Merida’s hair here.

So straight hair swishes and curly hair springs or bobs.

Ariel, the Little Mermaid, was meant to have curly hair, but animators stuck with a ‘flowing block’ of hair. Before Ariel Disney Princess often had up-dos.

Progress was made with Merida’s hair in the Disney/Pixar animation BRAVE. See BRAVE NEW HAIR WIRED and fxguide.

According to Rachel Gross of Wired Magazine in 2009 Chung’s team designed a new simulator named Taz, after the wild Looney Tunes character. It forms individual coils around computer-generated cylinders of varying lengths and diameters. The resulting locks stretch out when Merida runs but snap back into place as soon as she stops. Add a little randomness, some gravity, and more than 1,500 hand-placed corkscrews and flyaway wisps and voilà: hair with depth and texture viewers have never seen before. The result may look wild, but it’s not. “It’s very stylized, very controlled,” Chung says. No hair spray required.

Rachel Newar explained last year in the Scientific American that physicists have modeled the movement of a single curly hair.

But, co-author Pedro Reis, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and of civil and environmental engineering at MIT noted. “ the geometry of a curly hair is highly nonlinear— a word we often use for something complicated.”

The model could also calculate curvature of steel pipes or other spooled material. “We were engineers trying to solve practical, useful problems from the start,” Reis says. “I’m not a professional hairstylist—I’m bald, actually.”

More @ Mashable Video here.

And, from Stanford, if you’ve ever been curious this is what a curly hair algorithm looks like ie. It is a computer program for curling graphic hair.

# So you don’t have to eat your crusts after all.

# What were mothers thinking!!!!

## Hair Maths 3: How OLD is your hair?

April 30, 2015The follicle diagram (above) came from bgoffforensics blog. More on hair growth rates here.

**QUESTION 1:**

**QUESTION 2: **

The growth rates of 1.25 cm/month or 0.5 inches/month are rounded off. Calculations using these growth rates will produce different answers for very large numbers (as above). Read more about the above story in the Daily Mail, UK here. By the way, Asha has been growing her hair for 25 years. Her hair weighs 3 stone or 19 kg. You can find more hair records including the World’s longest ear hair here.

**QUESTION 3:**

Natasha lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Read more about Natasha in the Daily Mail here. Once again Mathspig has rounded off the length of hair for easy calculation. The Daily Mail puts Natasha’s ‘mane’ at 5 feet 2 inches or 157 cm. This is the length of hair to be cut off. So Mathspig adjusted the length to 180cm or the approx length of her longest hair.

## Hair Maths 4: The Great SHAMPOO rip off

April 27, 2015According to Salon.com:

**There are two types of ingredients in shampoo. One type cleans your hair. The other type strokes your emotions.**

Shampoo has one main ingredient:

# DETERGENT

The two most common shampoo detergents are ammonium lauryl sulphate and ammonium laureth sulphate. That’s all you need to clean your hair. All those shampoo bottles. All that supermarket shelf space offer THE SAME PRODUCT.

Other ingredients include: perfume, dye, preservative, foaming agent, acid (The problem is hair swells in an alkaline solution eg with soap when rinsed out the hair shrinks making knots impossible to brush out. ARggghhhhh!), thickeners, thinners, sheen additive, pearlesence powder (makes shampoo look pearly) etc

According to *Steve Antczak, Co-author of Cosmetics Unmasked: Your family guide to safe cosmetics and allergy-free toiletries,*

**A typical shampoo is mostly water, containing between 5 and 20 per cent detergent, with shampoo for dry hair containing less detergent than shampoo for greasy hair.**

See New Scientist, Sept , 2009

So the potency of shampoo looks something like this:

Assume you buy a 500ml bottle of shampoo for $10. Now you can work out how much some shampoo manufacturers rip you off by filling in this table:

How much do you pay for water in shampoo? The Answer is here. Mathspig % detergent in shampoo ANS.

What does Bill Bunn from Salon.com recommend?

**My new shampoo, Sunlight Dish Detergent, has just four ingredients. It’s runny and slightly acidic, smells vaguely lemony, doesn’t foam excessively and looks anemic.**

## MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig …………………………………………………. with Kerry Cue

April 25, 2015### Helloooo My Little Luvvies,

### So here are the 10 Maths Mystery Box challenges I’ve put together for you:

### 1. **Maths Mystery Box 1: NOT STUPID**

### …………………………………………………………..

**2. Maths Mystery Box 2: CURIOUS**

### …………………………………………………………..

**3. Maths Mystery Box 3: NERD**

### …………………………………………………………..

**4. Maths Mystery Box 4: FUNNY THAT**

### …………………………………………………………..

**5.**** Maths Mystery Box 5: FANTASY**

### …………………………………………………………..

**6. Maths Mystery Box 6: WEIRD**

### …………………………………………………………..

**7.**** Maths Mystery Box 7: PHONES**

### …………………………………………………………..

**8.**** Maths Mystery Box 8: JUNK FOOD**

### …………………………………………………………..

**9.**** Maths Mystery Box 9: MUSIC**

### ………………………………………………………….

### 10. **Maths Mystery Box 10: LETHAL**

### …………………………………………………………..

**And the bonus Maths Mystery Box Question:**

**Sniffer rats have been in the news this week, but:**

** When is a sniffer rat better than a sniffer dog?**

### (Hint: It has to do with a measurement?)

### …………………………………………………………..

**Isn’t MATHS marvelous? And magical too!**

### ……………………………………………………………..

**Hoo Roo for now,**

** ** ……………………………………………………………..

**MATHSPIG**

## Maths Mystery Box 1: Not Stupid

April 10, 2015# Not stupid. Just, like, lazy.

We live in a culture of Selective Stupidity. Most people can do the basic maths of: + – x % $$$$, but many don’t bother. We leave maths thinking to machines and their algorithms.

So you buy 4 choc bars at 50 cents each and, for fun, ask the shop assistant ‘how much?’ They work the answer out on the cash register. They have to record the purchase. Still, how hard would it be to say $2? We don’t even try.

Yet we need maths every day to buy stuff, read timetables, pay bills, cook, understand food labels, take medication and more. Maths is used in sport, driving, gaming, gambling, drinking (ie. alcohol levels) and banking; maths is used in the workplace, the law, politics, advertising, fitness, the travel industry, gardening, the music industry (Royalty payments are a big issue now), watching TV (Download speeds are crucial), Facebook (How many likes?) and more.

The UK maths-promoting charity National Numeracy quotes from research suggesting ‘weak maths skills are linked with an array of poor life outcomes such as prison, unemployment, exclusion from school, poverty and long-term illness’. (Judith Burns, Poor numeracy ‘blights the economy and ruins lives‘, BBC News, 5 March 2012)

# Yeah! And ….

Josie Gurney-Read in an article Damaging maths mindset holding pupils back,( The Telegraph, UK, 30 Oct 2014) claimed 17 million adults in the UK have poor maths skills and this is costing the economy £20 billion a year.

**£20 billion,eh?**

The previous article by Judith Burns, above, quoted research by KPMG auditors that put the annual costs of poor numeracy skills in the UK at £2.4bn.

# So £2.4 billion, is it?

Who’s doing the Maths HERE?

Who cares? We let these numbers just fly past without thinking about them. We choose to suffer from Selective Stupidity.

To challenge middle school students to think about the numbers they read here are a few tricky questions:

Look at the following questions and see if you can work out why the maths is totally dodgy.

# 1. Dumb and Dumber

Solar Plus claimed, after a survey of 60 customers, that 99.98% of customers would recommend their product.

What’s wrong with their Maths?

Answer here.

# 2. Wanna get rich? Look at the Graph, Dude!

Financial advisers around the world wheeled out graphs like the one below to show that investing in the stock market is very secure and that down turns in the market in 2007 were minor. Oh Yeah!

What is wrong with this graph!

Answer here.

# 3. Run a Red Light. 0.9 sec! $234 fine! Is that fair?

Look at the maths. How far would a Mazda 3 travelling at 60 kph (37.3 mph) travel in 0.9 seconds?

Ans here.

# 4. Can you out run a fireball?

This is a Movie Cliché we see over and over. But is it possible?

A Fireball travels at 400 m/sec. That’s metres/sec. Now can you do the maths?

Answer here.

# 5. You could win the lottery! The least drawn numbers are ….

If the least drawn numbers are 41, 32, 10, 43, 35 and 20 will picking these numbers improve your chances of winning the lottery?

Answer here.

# 6. The Equation for the Funniest Joke is:

According to The Telegraph UK the formula for the funniest joke is:

# x = (fl + no ) / p

Where

x = funniness of joke

f = funniness of punchline

l = the length of the build-up

n = the amount some falls over

o = the “Ouch” factor of physical pain or social embarrassment

p = power of the punchline

So, what’s wrong with this equation? Ask Weird Al Yankovic.

Ans here.

(Quick Ans: It’s all rubbish. Guess work x cow manure = bulldust. You cannot measure any of these variables. What’s the unit for measuring funniness?)

# 7. Coconuts kill 150 people a year. Does that sound right?

OK. You are not a crazy death-by-coconut research scientists. But have a guess. Are coconuts that dangerous?

Answer here.

# 8. 9 out of 10 serial killers prefer murdering kids with Emo hair.

Does this sound reasonable?

Answer here.

Quick Answer: There’s a lot of joke maths out there but some folk take it seriously.