July 9, 2013

## Can’t those scientists count?

…….……..……

According to Shamini Bundell on Null Hypothesis

.....

….Various experts have tried counting the muscles involved. Mainly they argue over how to define a smile and a frown and come up with different answers.

Either way most of the numbers quoted at you by irritatingly cheerful people are entirely made up.

As Shamini noted “It takes 37 muscles to frown and 22 to smile, but it only takes 4 to reach out and punch someone in the face.”

# 43 muscles to smile myth and nose busted.

## Trick 10: Math Mentalist Devises Foolproof Gambling System

November 30, 2012

January 4, 2011

# … like totally co^2l!

## We’re All Goin’ On A Summer Holiday …. Will We Need our Winter Woollies?

January 22, 2010

The School Summer Holidays are about to end. The academic year kicks off in Australia at the end of January. Mathspig is in Melbourne enjoying the Summer weather in a city known for having 4 seasons in one day. Just to blast your maths’ neurons into action here are some interesting statistics about Melbourne’s weather.

These are for Monday 18th January:

Now we will have a little play with averages.

Melbourne’s long term Maximum Average for January is 26C. But if you are traveling to Melbourne in January do not pack bags for the average temp bring clothes for all seasons including some winter woollies!

## How to Biff a Boffin!!!

December 24, 2009

Mathspigs we need a formula to work out how to biff a boffin. I have one in mind, but let me explain. Maths professors are now in the habit of coming up with some crazy formula to grab media attention.

‘Mathematicians’ who should know better (Show-Me-The-Money ethics may be involved) have produced formulae for The Perfect Sitcom ; The Perfect Joke; The Perfect Day; The Perfect Rugby Kick ; The Perfect Marriage (Yeah, right!); The Perfect Chip”  and so on. See : Britney’s Naughtiness Factor Calculated for Idiots  Sometimes the formula is rubbish because it includes impossible measurements such as N (the fraction of nipple shown in naughtiness calculations) or f (the funniness of a punch line for Perfect joke calculations.) Now Professor Simon Blackburn from the University of London’s Royal Holloway College has calculated the minimum extra length a parking space needs to be to parallel park your car in association with  – let me see – Vauxhall. Surpise! Surpise!

The following article by Murray Waldrop first appeared in the Guardian, UK and then The Age, Australia (17/12/09)

Mathspig calculated the extra distance needed to parallel her Mazda 3 behind Mr Mathspigs Land Rover Discovery.

r = 5.45 m

l = 2.63 m

k = o.76 m

w = 1.79 m

Minimum extra length needed to parallel park Mazda 3 = 1.64 m

The answer seems reasonable but you better check the calcs mathspigs as I was so boooooored I thought I might fall asleep and smash my face into the keyboard doing this calculation.

Why is Mathspig so angry with boffins? Because this is maths for idiots. No one in their right mind would stop and calculate how much space they need to park a car. A driver has a look and – depending on driving skills – says ‘I reckon that’s a bit tight?’ or ‘Yep! that’ll do.’ These crazy formulae make maths and mathematicians look dumb. Is this what mathematicians do? Stop in the middle of the road to calculate if they can park their cars???? D’uh! Or do mathematicians use iffy formulae to calculate funniness factors?

If we want kids to do maths we should convince them it is both useful and relevant (Mathspig’s Mission, my friends). Even in the classroom student’s are asked to complete useless calculations. eg. If a farmer was grazing a goat in the corner of a rectangular paddock on a 5m tether, what area would the goat graze? Who would do this maths? The farmer simply looks at the paddock and says ‘I better move the goat?’  Students must practise their skills. But they absolutely have to do some real maths too!!!!!

Mathspigs keep an eye out for dumb maths. Teachers purleasssse take these crazy formulae into class. Show your students they are rubbish!!!

Then show them some useful maths like I Got the Speed Camera Blues!!

What’s the formula to biff a boffin? Who cares but if you must here is a hint:

r = length of your arm with the boffins ear @ a point on the circumference of the circle.

## What are maths teachers for, sir?

July 17, 2009

A major fast food firm, all right, McDonald’s has put the entire Australian Year 7 – 12 Maths curriculum on line and it is FREE!!! #mce_temp_url#

I never thought I’d be enthusing over McAlgebra or McTrigonometry or McX, but this site has been recommended to me by maths teachers and it looks great. Students can view worked examples of maths problems, hear the problems solved step-by-step, work at their own pace and even track their progress through the website.

If the entire maths curriculum can be accessed for free on line what ARE maths teachers for?

Gather round mathspigs and I will tell you why we need maths teachers.

Maths is boooooring for the majority of students. It needs a maths teacher to breath fire into the concepts to make them interesting, relevant and exciting. Otherwise, students feel maths is on a par with re-translating the dead scrolls.

Mathspig’s mission is to provide maths teachers with fun, pop-culture based, media-savvy maths to excite students about the whole idea of maths. These topics can be used by maths teachers in the same way retailers use ‘loss leaders’. Get them in the door and you can sell ’em anything…. almost!!!!!!

Since maths teachers often moan about students not knowing their tables… here is a COOL MATHS GAME called

MATH LINES : X-FACTOR which is all about using your knowledge of tables …quickly.  #mce_temp_url#

This is how I would use it in the classroom. Get this game up on the Smartboard and call kids up one at a time to have a go!!!!!! It’s fun.

And it is FREE  x FREE = FREE !!!!!!!!