More Guinness

12 08 2007

With the following comment to our trig lesson several days ago, Walt challenges us to calculate the volume of a sphere:

In today’s Journal World, Pulse section, we find a delightful article on bubbles: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/aug/05/blown_away/ in which we find the following statement:

“His biggest bubble was 10 feet in diameter (a drop in the bucket compared to the Guinness record of 105 cubic feet).

Turn on your mathematical crap detector and see what it tells you.

Well, my mathematical crap detector tells me this:

We’ve been given the fact that the bubble is 10 feet in diameter, so I believe the radius would be 5 feet. If we calculate the cube of the radius, we find that it is 125.  By multiplying that number by Pi, or roughly 3.14, we arrive at 392.5. If we multiply that by 4/3 or 1.3333, we determine that the volume of the new bubble is roughly 523. 3 cubic feet. I’m no math whiz, but that seems to blow the old Guinness record right out of the soap solution. And speaking of Guinness, would anyone care to hoist one with me later this afternoon? It’s currently 102 degrees in the shade of my front porch and a nice cool Guinness would sure hit the spot.

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12 08 2007
foghorn

Such is the stuff of hot, lazy afternoons in a cool, air-conditioned house. Even the most abstruse math problems, philosophical issues, factual dilemmas, deep questions and troubling quandries invite attention that, say, weeding the garden or polishing the Buick surely wouldn’t on a such a stifling day.

Or one could read Marx.

A college professor of mine – that was many years ago, well into the last century, and surely about the time when it was said that “Girls go to college to get more knowlege, while boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider” – told the story, perhaps apocryphal, but one never really knows . . . anyway, his student, dripping with earnest self-approbation, comes to the professor and says “I’m reading Marx a single page per day and I still don’t understand him.” “Ah”, says the professor, “you’re reading him much too quickly”.

Guinness? Why not? Except why would one, on such a warm day, resort to eating a record book?

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