Today is Oscar the Grouch’s birthday – he turns 45 years old! And what better way to celebrate than with some fun facts and math about this lovable grouch and trash! Click “Read More” to do the math.
First, a fun announcement: The second Bedtime Math book is coming, with all-new wacky math…and it’s kicking off with a big party for you! Bedtime Math 2: This Time It’s Personal launches March 11, and to celebrate we’re throwing a nationwide Glow-in-the-Dark Geometry Party that week at bookstores across the U.S. Kids will build giant geometric shapes out of glowsticks, then flick off the lights to see them shine. Over 130 stores in 41 states are taking part, and New York-area parties will have Laura there in person to read to the kids and sign books. Check the list here to find a party near you!
With that, let’s have a sneak preview from the book.
Underwear is that strange piece of clothing where no one sees it on us, but we still care what it looks like. We don’t want to wear underwear that’s goofy-shaped, or full of holes, or decorated with a cartoon character we haven’t liked in 3 years. That’s why things turn desperate when the laundry hasn’t been washed in a few days and we run out of underwear. How many pairs do we need to get through the week — and if we run out, how many people are we willing to tell?
It’s been one month since the Bedtime Math book came out, and the overwhelming response to it has shown that all of us together – me, you, other parents and grandparents and teachers – are part of a movement. A major one. There are lots of adults out there who don’t like math, and it’s turned math into a not-so-beloved thing in our culture. With Bedtime Math we hope to overhaul that by showing the next generation of kids that math is a blast, a treat just like playtime or dessert. And you all, by getting the book and sharing it with the little people in your life, have helped this movement grow. Thank you for helping spread the word!
As the book rolled out – and sold out twice on Amazon – we noticed some really interesting things about this movement we’re all a part of, including:
It’s a very exciting week here with the launch of the Bedtime Math book. The Bedtime Math team and I are thrilled to have the support of our loyal friends who’ve been cuddling and doing math with their little ones for more than a year. At the same time, we’re humbled by the number of new families embracing the concept of Bedtime Math. Who knew the Math Revolution would begin with a book about flamingos and skydivers?
Welcome to Add It Up, our new math blog for parents and educators! Having shared an exciting year of kid-appealing math for parents and their children, we’re expanding our horizons. As much as parents enjoy adding up octopus legs and doughnut holes, we realize you all might want something a little more grown-up for yourselves.
Today is the 10th birthday of iTunes, the online store that lets you buy songs, movies, apps for your smartphone, videos…all kinds of stuff that you can enjoy on your phone or computer. Before iTunes, the only way we old-timers could buy songs was on something you could hold in your hand, like a CD, a tape cassette or a vinyl record. Or you could get songs electronically from various illegal websites, which was exciting but felt icky. So the idea that you could get onto your computer, buy any song you wanted (legally), and get it within seconds was mindblowing. iTunes opened with just 200,000 songs on it, all priced at 99 cents, and within just one week they had 1 million song downloads. As of today, iTunes has sold over 15 billion song downloads from a collection of 26 million different songs. Let’s just say, it takes far more than one person to listen to it all.
On this day in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell finally got his invention working: the telephone. It worked nothing like our phones today: the very first phones were sold in pairs, where each phone could call only that one other phone (you had to pick that other person carefully). Then came the “switchboard,” which let you call any other phone, but the “operator,” a phone company person in the middle of town, had to plug in wires to connect your call for you. Now we can call anyone anywhere on our own within seconds, and through the air. But that first phone, that first time talking to someone through a wire, must have looked like magic.
You’ve probably heard of biking to work, but biking at work is a whole other story. A recently invented work desk, called the WeBike, makes people work for their, well, work. As you sit at your desk, you pedal the bike, which generates the electricity to power your laptop, printers, phones, and other electronics. It seems like kids could use this thing even more than adults, to power all the batteries you need for your toys. And imagine if you had these bikes at school…could it do your homework for you?
Until pretty recently, when you wanted to find your way somewhere, you had to pull out a paper map, face it the right way, figure out where you were on the map, and then figure out how to get to your destination. Now we’ve taken all the fun out of it. With the digital maps on our smartphone and computer screens, you just type in your start and end points, and it draws the path you should take. Then geopositioning systems, or GPS, use satellites to find you and plop a blinking dot on the screen to show you exactly where you are. Now when taking a trip by car, thanks to GPS the days of crumpled maps are over. But as we’ll see here, when it comes to timing, sometimes the system doesn’t know everything.
When it snows outside and you get that really wet, sticky kind of snow, it’s easy to pack it with your hands into a solid white ball that just begs to be thrown. Sure, you can roll it along the ground to make it bigger, and pile up a few to make a snowman…but it might be even more fun just to chuck it at someone. We’re not exactly sure who invented the snowball fight, but we do know that in 1863, during the American Civil War, when a few soldiers started chucking friendly snowballs at each other, it turned into a giant fight involving 9,000 soldiers. If serious grownups can get sucked in like that, it’s clear the snowball fight is here to stay.