Posts Tagged ‘algebra’


How far does the tallest buidling in the world SWAY in an earthquake?

October 2, 2018

Earthquake Engineering Maths

Take 2:

Structural Engineer Ron Klemencic explained on the Discover News that a simple rule of thumb for calculating skyscraper sway was to simply divide the buildings height in by 500 because the building codes demand the building fit a 1:500 sway ratio.

The tallest building in the world at 2,716 feet (828m), the Burj Khalifa, Dubai, would sway back and forth about 5.5 feet or 1.7 m.

Ahhhhhhhhh!  But you would have to drag Mathspig onto the 168th floor screaming.

But mathspigs you can work out the sway on the top ten tall buildings in the world.


Death by Caffeine: The Maths  Part 1 METRIC

September 10, 2018

Death by Caffeine: The Math  Part 1 USA UNITS here.

The lethal dose for caffeine is about 150 milligrams per kg of body weight. While the average person’s caffeine consumption is around 200 milligrams a day, the Mayo Clinic advises against exceeding 500 to 600 milligrams per day.

This work titled Timing is Everything is by street artist ABOVE in London.

You may want this much energy but be warned, energy drinks can kill.

It would take a ridiculously huge number of ANGRY WOMBAT energy drinks to kill a 14 year old weighing, say, 48 kg. Nevertheless, some kids are more sensitive to caffeine than others and then much lower levels of consumption of energy drinks can be fatal. 

See Death by Caffeine: The Maths Part 2 METRIC

Here is the work (see below) TIMING IS EVERYTHING by street artist ABOVE in London showing the timing.



Maths News: Volcano Survivor 2

May 8, 2018

Kilauea erupts in Hawaii MAY 2018.

The amazing maths of volcano eruptions.

Once lava flows are established new RIVERLETS can run on top of the original lava flow at great speed.
Puu-Oo-USGS lava riverlets

The fastest Lava flows recorded were in Hawaii in 1950 when Mauna Loa erupted. The lava traveled at 6 miles (10 kilometers) per hour through thick forest. But once the lava flows became established and good channels developed, the lava in the channels was flowing at up to 60 miles/hour (97 kph)

Can you out run a lava flow?

You are 2 km from the volcano rim and start running.

VL =   97 kph = 1.6 km per minute (k/min)

     =   60 mph

VH = 18 kph = 0.3 km/min

   = 11.2 mph (miles per hr )


How long will it take for the lava to catch you?

Mauna Loa Volcano Lava Flow 1950 2



How long will it take for the lava to catch you?

Mathspig simultaneous Eqn 2


Maths News: Volcano Survivor 3

May 7, 2018

Kilauea erupts in Hawaii MAY 2018.

The amazing maths of volcano eruptions.

One of the greatest dangers in a volcano eruption is not the lava flow OR being hit by a lump of flying lava or rock, but by being choked by the fast moving scorching hot pyroclastic cloud.

Mt Unzen volcano-world

In 1991 pyroclastic cloud blew out of the side of Mount Unzen in Japan. NASA has an excellent diagrams for such an event here.

According to the NASA website:

Highly mobile, these flows reach velocities of up to 400 kilometers (250 miles) per hour and can spread as far as 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the eruption point.

Can you out run a pyroclastic cloud?

Mathspig simultaneous eqn 3

Here is what happened in 1991 when the pyroclastic cloud blew out of the side of Mount Unzen in Japan.


8c. What Volume of Alcohol is Lethal?

August 14, 2017

The Complaint

8c: I Will Never Use this Maths

The Solution:

You are going to use this maths NOW……………..


How much alcohol will kill you?

TOPICS: Decimals, %, algebra, vol, weight units (Metric)

At low levels of consumption alcohol impairs decision making and inhibits coordination. It makes you DUMB and CLUMSY, which can cause serious injuries if you, say, fall down stairs.

Legal Age to Buy or Sell Alcohol USA: 21 years

Legal Age to Buy or sell Alcohol AUST, NZ & UK: 18 Years

Legal Age to Buy or sell Alcohol CANADA: 18 – 19 Years depending on region.

At higher levels of consumption ALCOHOL can kill. It is a depressant. It acts on your central nervous system. It can STOP YOU BREATHING.

WORKSHEET PDF:  How Much Alcohol Would Kill You? WORKSHEET


1. Calculate the weight of (pure) alcohol or ethanol in the following standard drinks using the following information:

Now Ethanol =  0.79 gm/ml

More information @


Middle School Maths: WIFI challenge

February 23, 2017

Mathspig spends some time on trains looking at nearby phone HOTSPOT names, so she went out looking for some fun mathsy WIFI names.


IT = nerd behaviour = mathsy fun



Mathspig searched for days online. She only found 1, ONE, UNO, SINGULARITY, THE LONELIEST No., one vaguely mathsy WIFI funny (below).



Instead of showing WIFI maths funnies, Mathspig came up with a great MIDDLE SCHOOL  MATHS WIFI CHALLENGE.





1. Find a test/worksheet for your class.

eg. Mathcentre NZ have some fabulous Middle School Worksheets with answers. (eg. BELOW)

2. Change your phone name and HOTSPOT password.

3. Test Answer is your WIFI HOTSPOT password!


If you do not know how to rename your phone or change the password, GOOGLE it.

It is easy.

4. When students have worked out their answers and accessed your  HOTSPOT using the password, tell them to go this funny link  Use the Wifi Force, Luke! 

Here is a worksheet example:



Worksheet ANSWERS:





LINK: Use the WIFI Force, Luke!


Mad Mince Pie Maths

December 13, 2016

Mathematicians can make mountains out of mince pies, but in this case Dr Eugenia Cheng, who is Professor of Pure Mathematics at the University of Sheffield, UK, makes it look fun. The video clip includes some great Middle School Maths that you can eat.