This is the most awesome way to introduce probability.

Mentalist Derren Brown devises a foolproof gambling system. He sends a girl , Kadisha, the number of a winning horse in race to be run the next day. It wins. He sends her the winning horse and race number 4 more times. She ends up with winnings close to £ 1000 before the final race. Derren convinces her to borrow money for the last bet. She does. She places £4,000 on a horse. Did it win?????

Watch Part 5 of The System

If you are not convinced Derren Brown can come up with a foolproof system for horse race tipping, let me explain The System. He took 7,776 e-mail addresses, divided them into 6 equal groups and sent each group a different number for a horse in a 6 horse race to be run the next day. Naturally, one group of 1296 had been given the winning horse number. This group was divided into 6 again and given the number of the ‘winning’ in a six horse race the next day and so on.

Race 1: 7776

Race 2: 1296

Race 3: 216

Race 4: 36

Race 5: 6

Out of 7776 punters, only one punter was given in advance five horse race winners in a row. Was it Kadisha. You will have to watch the Youtube above.

You can watch THE SYSTEM in full here. It takes 47 mins.

In 2014 Winter Olympics Annette Gerristen (below) lost the Gold Medal in the 1000 m Women’s speed skate competition by 0.02 seconds.

Annette Gerritsen fromthe Netherlands

What are the speed skating times for women?

Women’s Speed Skating Calulations:

Here are the speed calcs for Yara Van Kerkhof of the Netherlands in the 2018 Winter Olympics:

If Yara lost the Gold Medal by 0.02 secs (2 hundredths of a second) what would the distance be between the Gold and Silver place getters?

When 1st and 2nd place are separated by 0.02 seconds, they are travelling at almost the same speed. So the second place contestant is:

23.8 cm behind the Gold Medalist

The 2018 Olympic Gold Medalist in the 500m Women’s Speed Skating was Arianna Fontana.

Italy’s Arianna Fontana wins the 500 m Speed Skating 2018 Olympic Gold Medal in 42.569 seconds ahead of Yara van Kerkhof of the Netherlands and Kim Boutin of Canada.

Men’s Speed Skating:

At longer distances the men’s speed skating speed is similar to the women’s speed above.

If you lose by 0.001 secs…………

Apollo Ono (below) competed in the 1500m men’s speed skating. He has won 8 Olympic Medals.

Mathspig is, like, soooooo excited. Tonight I’m gong to watch

TOMAS BERDYCH

Tomas Berdych (CZE) [7] play Andy Murray (GBR) [6] in the Semi-finals at the Australian Tennis Open.

Andy Murray

Some quick maths.

Tomas Berdych is 1.96 METRES (6 FT. 5 IN.)

While Andy Murray is 1.91 METRES (6 FT. 3 IN.)

But, but, but …. Andy Murray, who is 26 years old and is 2 years younger than Berdych.

Would you be able to return the serve of a top tennis player?

Here is the serve speed of the of the fastest recorded tennis serves in the world:

How long would it take a tennis ball traveling at these speeds to reach the service line on the other side of the court?

BUT … BUT … BUT …

The tennis ball leaves the servers racket approx 3m above the baseline and travels along the hypotenuse to the service line. We must call in Pythagorus Theorem!!!!

You can calculate the time it takes a tennis ball to reach the service line for each player in the Top 10 Service Speeds List by using the simple v = x/t equation.

The big question is this:

How fast is YOUR reaction time?

You have to be able to move your racket before the ball arrives.

Can you do it mathspiggies?

You can calculate your reaction time by two methods:

This is the most awesome way to introduce probability.

Mentalist Derren Brown devises a foolproof gambling system. He sends a girl , Kadisha, the number of a winning horse in race to be run the next day. It wins. He sends her the winning horse and race number 4 more times. She ends up with winnings close to £ 1000 before the final race. Derren convinces her to borrow money for the last bet. She does. She places £4,000 on a horse. Did it win?????

Watch Part 5 of The System

If you are not convinced Derren Brown can come up with a foolproof system for horse race tipping, let me explain The System. He took 7,776 e-mail addresses, divided them into 6 equal groups and sent each group a different number for a horse in a 6 horse race to be run the next day. Naturally, one group of 1296 had been given the winning horse number. This group was divided into 6 again and given the number of the ‘winning’ in a six horse race the next day and so on.

Race 1: 7776

Race 2: 1296

Race 3: 216

Race 4: 36

Race 5: 6

Out of 7776 punters, only one punter was given in advance five horse race winners in a row. Was it Kadisha. You will have to watch the Youtube above.

You can watch THE SYSTEM in full here. It takes 47 mins.

Get ready mathspigs. You need one Lego Man, Girl, Vampire or Alien each for this exercise. Now we are going to set out the Lego Olympics Athletics track.

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But this story of the Olympics begins with Carl Lewis, one of the greatest athletes of all time who won 9 Olympic Gold medals in 100m, 200m, relay and long jump.

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Carl Lewis

Mathspig needs to find out how big the Lego Olympics track would be. How? Easy.

Carl Lewis will be our standard Lego Man.

I chose Carl Lewis because he kindly gave me his autograph once when I sprinted in high heels across a ballroom floor at a sports dinner in Melbourne and beat all other journalists. It was my personal best in high heels, I think.

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This means everything at the Lego Olympics will be

1:50

of the real Olympics.

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The Lego Bird’s Nest Stadium @ Beijing will be 1/50th of the real Bird’s Nest Stadium. (Not the scale shown here). Pictures by Johor Bahru.

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The Lego Beijing Water Cube Swim Centre will be 1/50th of the Real Water Cube.

EXERCISE 1:

Now mathspiggies over to you. The first thing to do is calculate the Lego Olympic measurements (table below).

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EXERCISE 2:

Then mark out a Lego Olympics 100m sprint to scale and/or

draw a Lego Olympic track (in chalk, perhaps) and/or

step out a Lego Olympic marathon track and/or

make a pole vault pole to scale for your little Lego Man.

Or bring in a Lego Man/Girl/Pirate and step out the Marathon Track (840m to scale).

Here is the US Army Herald Trumpets playing a rousing fanfare:

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Marching Maths

Three nations are marching one after the other:

Pajamaramas (PJ Boy flag bearer),

The Crytomanians (Mummy’s Boy flag bearer)

and the Berserkers (Olag the Viking flag bearer).

But there is a problem.

They march around the Olympic Track, which is a 400m circuit (inside track).

Lego Olympic Track Circuit = 400/50 = 8 m

But the Pajamaramas, the Cryptomanians and the Beseerkers all walk at different speed. They could just bump into one another and end up in a big heap. So how much time should the officials allow between each country so they don’t collide on the track.

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Speed S_{1}

PJ Boy is a really slow walker

Real life Really Slow walk = 3.0 kph = 3000 m/hr

……………………………………………….= 3000/60 = 50 m/min

Lego really slow walk= _{ }50/50 = 1 m/min

Speed PJ Boy = S_{1 }= 1m/min

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Speed S_{ 2}

Mummy’s Boy is a slow walker

Real Life Slow walk = 4.5 kph = 4500 m/hr

…………………………………. = 4500/60 = 75 m/min

Lego slow walk = 75/50 = 1.5 m/min

Speed Mummy’s Boy = S_{ 2}_{ }= 1.5 m/min

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Speed S_{3 }

Olag is a fast walker

Real life fast walk = 6 kph = 6000 m/hr

……………………………… = 6000/60 = 100 m/min

Lego really slow walk = 100/50 = 2 m/min

Speed Olag = S_{3 }= 2m/min

Lego Track Circuit = 8m

Time on circuit (T) in mins:

T = d/S

T = 8.0 /S

The time each nation takes to finish marching around the track will be:

If you started them all at once there’d be a real pile up.

March Time with 1 min gap between groups:

The Enforcer from the Constellation Obeymia will make sure each marching group leaves exactly on time. He will set the clock ticking at 0 mins then enforce a one minute gap between each group.

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Look at the times each nation finishes marching around the track now:

PJ Boy…………………………………………………………………………..

and the Pajamaramas ……………………………………………..8 mins,

Mummy’s Boy and the Crytomanians ………………. 6 mins 20 secs

and Olag and The Beserkers start 2 minutes after PJ Boy and Co and finish at …………………………………. 6 mins.

They will still collide on the track!!!!!

Here are the results for different gap times:

Nation

March Time

Gap time

0 min

March Time

Gap Time

1 min

March Time

Gap Time

2 min

March Time

Gap Time

3 min

PJ Boy + the Pajamaramas

8

8

8

8

Mummy’s Boy and the Crytomanians

5mins 20 secs

6 mins 20 secs

7mins 20 secs

8 mins 20 secs

Olag and The Beserkers

4

6

8

10

The 3 minute gap works!!!

I think we need a round of applause:

Why not ALGEBRA?

If you had to do this calculation for the entire 205 nations at the 2012 Olympic Games, you can see that your brain might explode.

Da-DA! We can use algebra.

Here is a formulae:

T = d/S + nt_{g}

where

T = time (mins)

from beginning of ceremony.

d= track circuit distance = 8 m

S = speed m/min

n = nation march order number = 0,1,2,3,etc

t_{g }= time gap between nations (mins) = 1, 2, 3, 4 etc