Posts Tagged ‘Math’


No Frills MATHs Skills for Parents 4: FRACTIONS for Beginners

June 6, 2022

Here is a post on Lego Fractions by New York Grade 3 teacher Alycia Zimmerman. Surprisingly I found this on an art website.



Just play with the Lego blocks. Add and subtract … you can even multiply and divide.

Next time.


No Frills MATHs SKILLS for Parents 3: Pre-Algebra

May 23, 2022


No Frills MATHs SKILLS for Parents 2 : Algebra

May 4, 2022


No Frills MATHs SKILLS for Parents 1: Super Easy Long Mult and Division

April 27, 2022

Go to BASIC MATHEMATICS here. It will take you through basic maths by your Grade level.

NB. If you can’t remember how to ‘borrow the 1’ for division or ‘carry the 2’ for multiplication here go back to the link above.


Mona Chalabi’s Data Art: Maths never looked so good even the dick graphs

April 10, 2022

Mona Chalabi is a British-Iraqi data journalist and illustrator based in London. She specialises in all things data.

An outstanding communicator her work proves that MATH can be artistic and ART can be data-based. She is an honorary fellow of the British Science Association.

Mona Chalabi Self Portrait on INSTAGRAM

WARNING: Mona Chalabi INSTAGRAM account is politically graphic and contains sexually explicit graphs. Yeah! Dick graphs etc. The Instagram links in this post connect with individual illustrations.

1. Mona Chalabi on Jeff Bezos’ Wealth. 

I found Mona Chalabi through her illustrated New York Times article (7 April, 2022) 9 WAYS TO IMAGINE JEFF BEZOS’ WEALTH. 

So Jeff Bezos personal wealth is $172 Billion (US$) Her Toblerone Block vs Mt Everest comparison was in this article.

NOTE: Median wealth is the mid-point wealth ie. 50% of Americans have more wealth. 50% of Americans have less wealth.


Mona also includes relevant the data in her posts. eg.



4. Mona Chalabi on Earth’s Orbit on INSTAGRAM


Dave Grohl and The Curious Nature of Drummers’ Brains

March 4, 2022

Live music is back.

The Foo Fighters play a stadium concert in Geelong TONIGHT. This is the first stadium concert in Australia in 2 years!!!!! Dave Grohl, the FF’s guitarist,  is a legend. He played drums for Nirvana and is considered by many to be the best drummer in the world. Meanwhile, Taylor Hawkins, the drummer for the Foo Fighters, is also considered one of the best rock drummers ever. 

In honour of this auspicious occasion and to work out what might be going on inside these rock legends’ heads, I’m reposting (below) the math article about drummers’ brains.



In a 2011 article in the New Yorker Burkhard Bilger wrote about neuroscientist David Eagleman and his research into time and the brain especially drummers’ brains.

Eagleman New Yorker

Some of the drummers he has interviewed and/or tested include William Champion of Cold Play, Brian Eno of Roxy Music and Larry Mullen, Jnr of U2.Roxy Music with Brian Eno

Eno, on keyboards (above) who was working on a U2 album,  talks about Mullen’s amazing timing.  They were using a click-track (computer generated beat) when mMullen complained he couldn’t drum to it. ENO adjusted the beat. Mullen was happy.

larry Mullen

ENO adjusted the beat by 6 milliseconds!!!!!!!!!

6 thousandths of a second or 0.006sec.

Cool Larry Mullen Jnr Drum solo

Tempo is measured in beats per minute or bpm. 

Drum Beats for different tracks:

Drum Beats

Here are some drum beats provided by Justin Alan Cox so you can get your timing right:

60 bpm

80 bpm

100 bpm

120 bpm

Drummer Maths:

How Cool a Drummer are you?

Pick a beat and see how accurate you can beat tempo. Time how long it takes you to beat out 60, 80, 100 or 120 drum beats using a pencil.  It should, obviously, take one minute if you are an ENO or a Mullens.

What was the difference in time in seconds?

But drummers like Eno, Grohl and Hawkins have other problems!!!!!

Bilger’s conclusion:

‘Like perfect pitch, which dooms the possessor to hear every false note and flat car horn, perfect timing may just makes a drummer more sensitive to the world’s arrhythmias and repeated patterns, Eagleman said—to the flicker of computer screens and fluorescent lights. Reality, stripped of an extra beat in which the brain orchestrates its signals, isn’t necessarily a livelier place. It’s just filled with badly dubbed television shows.’


What’s the Maths Curriculum got to do with it? WHEN Maths is, like, soooo BORING!!!!!

February 22, 2022

Australia is reviewing its Maths Curriculum.

Sides are taken. Arguments are rife. See the excellent article by Donna LuCracking the formula: how should Australia be teaching maths under the national curriculum?, The Guardian,13 FEB, 2022)

Should teachers teach? Or students explore problems? (Called Cognitive Activation in academe!)

Why not, both? Then add outdoor maths (below) plus defronting the classroom sometimes and try some maths selfies for homework. More ideas here

It doesn’t matter what’s written in the curriculum, the biggest problem in maths for students is


Here, to tackle boredom are:

41 Maths things to do before you’re 12

Mathspig outdoor play quote

mathspig outdoor-play-app

A growing body of research shows us that outdoor play leads to better physical and mental health, has positive effects on cognitive function and learning, and reduces the incidence of behavioural problems.” Maria Zotti, Nature Play, SA.

Peter Dunstan, Principal Kilkenny PS, SA, writes in SAPPA magazine, Primary Focus, that outdoor play fosters “wonderment, independence and freedom” as well as “social skills, imagination, creativity and problem solving”.

Inspired by SAPPA and NaturePlay,  Mathspig has produced her own outdoorsy maths list:

 Mathspig 41 maths things 1Mathspig 41 maths things 2mathspig 41 maths things 3

Mathspig 41 maths things 4mathspig 41 maths things 5


7. Robin Hood Give us your best shot.

9. You can measure the volume of your lungs by blowing one breath into a balloon and pushing it into a full bucket of water. Measure the overflow.

15: Outdoor Maths: Times Tables

21. Light intensity links. Here and here.

25.  Sound Volume Measurement

36. Killer heels that really kill.


NATHAN CHEN wins Gold but Figure Skating Scores can be BAD MATH

February 10, 2022

Nathan Chen, 22, USA, wins GOLD in the Men’s Figure skating with 5 brilliant, soaring quadruple jumps executed to perfection to Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” and “Rocket Man.”

Nathan Chen’s Winning Performance on You tube HERE.

According to the fab NBC video, Mathletes,  nine Figure Skating judges score competitors for the complexity of each element (eg. Triple axel or triple spin jump) and the quality of the performance producing a score out of ten.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir(Above) GOLD Medal performance at Pyeongchang 2018 here.

Kailani Craine, Australia

figure skating score 9 judges nbclearn

This is a typical figure skating score card for one competitor.

The final score, however, is based  on the average for only 5 of these scores. Two are eliminated by random selection (Red Brackets). Then the top and bottom scores are removed and the remaining five scores averaged.

Screen grab NBC Mathletes

Screen grab NBC Mathletes



of Skater A & B:

figure skating score A

Skater A:

Four scores are removed. Two by the random selector (in brackets) and then the top and bottom scores (with line drawn through them)

7.00 + 7.00 + 7.00 + 6.75 + 7.00


=  34.75/ 5 = 6.95

figure skating score B

Skater B:

Four scores are removed. Two by the random selector (in brackets) and then the top and bottom scores (with line drawn through them). But this time the random selector eliminates two low scores.

The average:

7.00 + 7.25 + 7.00 + 7.00 + 7.00


=  35.25/ 5 = 7.05

Same score cards but Skater B gets a higher average score than Skater A.

Skater A is, in fact, beaten by a random number selector!!!!


WINTER OLYMPICS: How ski Jumpers Use Math to Increase their Jump Length

February 3, 2022

While air resistance has little impact on aerial skiers it is a significant factor used by ski jumpers to increase their jump distance.

The significant maths for ski jumpers is therefore X-section area.

Here is the jump at Pyeong Chang, 2018. Just imagine going down that at top speed!!!

              A ski jumper is set to jump in Pyeongchang.

                   Casey Larson USA Pyeong chang 2018

Ski jumpers increase their speed going down the ramp by reducing their X-section area:

Lindsey Van, USA, practicing in a wind tunnel

           Lindsey Van, USA, practicing in a wind tunnel

Once they leave the ramp, ski jumpers try to increase their X-section area like Ski Divers to slow their vertical fall. But they have to land safely so they keep their skis at a minimum  angle.

Abby Hughes, USA, practicing in a wind tunnel.

Abby Hughes, USA, practicing in a wind tunnel.

Abby Hughes, USA, in the air

          Abby Hughes, USA, in the air

Here are the X-section areas for Abby Hughes*:

Abby Hughes X-section

Here is the formula for Air Resistance of Drag:

D = ½CApv2

Where C is the drag coefficient or constant, which depends on the shape and spin of an object. It is found by testing the object in a wind tunnel.

A is the X-section Area,

p is the density of the air and

v the velocity of the object.

More here.

As Abby Hughes has tripled her X-section area in the air, she will have tripled the vertical drag during her jump. This will slow here decent.

*Mathspig calculated the X-section area by the old fashioned method of counting squares and rounding off the final count. Mathspig sized the two pics of Abby Huges so that her head was the same size in both pictures.


22 Amazing Numbers for 2022

January 6, 2022

Answers Q 1 – 5 Here

Answers  Q 6 – 10 Here

Answers Q 11 – 16 Here

Answers Q 17 – 22 Here