## This graph says it all, mathspigs!!

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You can read more about the worst way to go about doing homework @ Homework: Fun and Entertainment for all the Family.** **

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Women’s Magazines have a strange kind of logic. On the one hand they push the philosophy ‘love yourself’, ‘love who you are’ and then they provide 365 pages showing you how to change every bit of yourself including your hair, eyebrows, pubic hair, tan, weight, skin tone, fitness, nose shape, career, boobs, how-to-hook him techniques and so on. Marie Claire, Australia, is no different. Nevertheless I adopt the policy that these magazines are a bit of frou-frou fluff that women find entertaining. If girls and women want to beat themselves up with impossible goals then that is their right. But there are limits and the January edition, 2010 of Marie Claire is a classic.

Claiming to support real women and real body sizes Marie Claire ran a survey to see which body size 6,8, 10, 12, 14 or 16 was preferred by the Australian public.

Firstly, these surveys involve meaningless maths because they use SELF SELECTING SAMPLES. Nevertheless, there she is,the most popular choice, Size 12 or Ms 59%.

Keep flipping through the magazine, however, and you will find a shopping guide very common in these magazines. Have a look at the model (below)???? Do alarm bells ring?? Let’s do the maths, mathspigs.

Look at the pictures (above). The waist to hip measurement is the same for each model namely 20mm. I’ve scaled up the images by factor of 10 (below) so that:

Waist to hip = 200mm.

Now look at the leg lengths!!!!!!!!

Who is this model? Alice in Wonderland? Her legs are 89% longer than a girl with the same waist to hip length or have her legs been digitally stretched by 89%?

Teachers I urge you to ask girls to bring in women’s/girl’s magazines to do some similar maths. To check if a model’s legs have been digitally stretched you can use the hip to knee and knee to ankle ratio which should be close to 1:1. We have to help girls develop a visual sense of proportion. And the maths quantifies this critical thinking. Rather than girls concentrating on booster bras boosting brains makes more sense.

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, possibly 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. (See ABC report)

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

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. 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 completed your research send this information to: Bicycle NSW, who are active in engaging students in Bicycle safety projects.

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.

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

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.

Spaceships Online Game:

Clip art of graph by Naomi Wright #mce_temp_url#

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.

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.