We know that it can be hard to commit to doing something every day, even if that thing is as fun and special as Bedtime Math. We understand that sometimes life gets in the way. That doesn’t mean you should miss out on our favorite Bedtime Math problems! So from now on we’ll be bringing you monthly round-ups of our wackiest and most popular Bedtime Math problems from the past!
For Antonella Preti, every week is Shark Week! Antonella researches shark biology and ecology at the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, California. Basically, she finds out what sharks eat, and as you can imagine, those fish can add up quickly!
A tornado is a strong storm where wind swirls around in a giant cylinder. Tornadoes can be dangerous if they cross paths with people or their houses, but “storm chasers” carefully study how tornadoes move and use models to predict how they can safely see the funnel clouds in action. We spoke with storm chaser Rob Hurkes while he was right in the middle of a storm chasing trip across the Great Plains!
July 4th is also known as Independence Day in America. It’s when we celebrate the birthday of the United States. But it took those first Americans a while to decide on a new flag. They tried out one with a snake on it – yuck – and another that looked so much like England’s flag that it confused everyone. Fortunately, Betsy Ross got us all under the same starry banner, and today, we’re going to the numbers behind her story – starting with 1776, of course!
The very first movies didn’t have sound, which meant squeezing a piano into the theater to add some musical excitement. Today, people like Rich Hamilton make sure we hear every word our favorite character speaks, shouts, and whispers. While that means less work for piano players, it makes a better movie-going experience for us. Bedtime Math sat down with Rich to learn about every angle of his work as a Production Sound Mixer and Boom Operator.
Steve Wolf might be the world’s first person to hold the title of “Stunt Scientist.” He’s like a magician who reveals how he pulls off illusions, only he’s not hiding tricks, just good science and smart use of numbers! Steve spoke with us about the explosive math behind movie stunts.
The discovery of fire was very important, because it allowed cavemen to barbecue hot dogs and make s’mores. But sometimes fires can spread where they shouldn’t, especially if no one planned them. Luckily, there are people like Joe Spych, who fight this kind of fire. Joe is the Deputy Fire Chief for the Bryn Mawr Fire Department. Happily, he kept things cool when he sat down to talk to us about the math involved in his job
One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is that every family has its own traditions and treats. But most tables across the country sport a pile of mashed potatoes. The great thing about creamed spuds is that you and your kid can play around with them before smashing them, because it doesn’t matter if they get bruised –less work to do later!
The larger a family gets, the harder it is to find a meal that everyone actually likes. Fortunately, a family can always agree on pizza. Pizza is the great peacemaker, and it can also be a great piece-maker, a delicious way for kids to practice fractions (and learn some valuable cooking skills). Of course, if you’re crunched for time you can pick one up from your favorite spot, but baking your own is sure to create more fun, and more memories, with your kids.