The BBC 4 THE INFINITE MONKEY CAGE podcast How to Teach Maths hosted by Brian Cox and Robin Ince is soooo funny and informative. This is not just for Maths lovers. Included on the panel are comedian Sara Pascoe and the very numerate Prof Hannah Fry, maths comedian Matt Parker and statistician Prof David Spiegelhalter.

It is worth listening to Prof Brian Cox say he wasn’t so good at maths at school. But he loved PHYSICS. Prof Cox studied as a mature age student!!!!!!!!!

It’s almost summer in Australia. In Melbourne we’ve had floods, mosquito – mozzie- numbers surge and, last Wednesday, I nearly stood on a Tiger Snake that was escaping the floods near the Yarra River!

This post, however, is really a PR exercise for sharks. We fear them. We’re horrified by the thought of being eaten alive!!!. We only have to hear the soundtrack from JAWS to feel the fear. Then we see news footage like the attack below and think it happens all the time. Look at that fin. It’s enormous! But sharks are not THAT dangerous. We really need to look at the statistics to understand the level of threat. See below.

Why do we fear sharks? Look at the numbers. REALLY. Show your students. What about stairs??? Quad bikes? Chairs? Bees? That’s when you should feel the fear!!! We are irrational beings. This is why we need maths. We can make rational decisions using maths. There is also a safety message here. The maths speaks for itself. We won’t hammer it.

THE MATHS:

There is lots of maths you can do with these tables.

Bar Graphs

Pie Charts

Ratios (What’s the ratio of death by Snake to Quad Bike?)

Fractions (Show death by jet ski to falling down stairs as a fraction)

Percentages

Powers to the base 10. How many deaths occur in each country per 100,000 or 1 x 10^{5 }head of population for, say, Quad bikes or ATVs? We can use these numbers to compare death rates and find out how dangerous riding a Quad bike is in each country.

There has been a real world Witches Vs Zombie Fight.

The witches of the Haunted House in Salem, Massachusetts, are at war with the Zombies of The Nightmare Factory nearby. A witch tripped a Zombie who was wearing a straight jacket!!!! And … read it for yourself in the Daily Mail, UK.

In every volcano disaster movie from Volcano (1997) with Tommy Lee Jones to Dante’s Peak (1997) with Pierce Brosnan someone somewhere tries to out run a lava flow.

Is this possible? (See movie cliché busted by maths here.)

Now a lava flow from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano is threatening tiny town of Pahoa, Hawaii again. (below).

You will find excellent information about the Kilauea and other volcanoes at the

As the temperature of lava exceeds 1000^{0} C there are very few ways to stop lava. According to the Taylor Kate Brown SMH (10 SEPT 2014) options include:

Bombing

Blasting (it with cold water)

Barricading it

Or adding concrete.

What if you are on your own.

Can you out run lava?

Lets do the maths.

Lava from Kilauea travels 17 yards per hour so the lava velocity is: