We know the wheel was invented by a bunch of cavemen thousands of years ago, but that wasn’t the end of it. It took centuries for people to see all the objects that could work – or work better – with wheels attached, resulting in all the cars, trucks, pulleys, and all our other machinery that uses spinny round things. Roller skates just showed up in the last couple of centuries: one version came out in 1760 but folks didn’t take to it, probably because they kept falling down. Then on this day in 1869, apparently Isaac Hodgson filed a patent for his roller skate, and the rest is history. Now we have sports played entirely on skates, like roller hockey, speed skating and roller derby. All of these go faster on wheels, but are a lot harder than playing on your regular old feet.
Robots are everywhere and can do anything from pressing a button to flinging an Angry Bird! Try your math skills at figuring out how this robot works!
Can 20 guys really stack on top of each other and dive together into a pool? Read on to make a splash with math and find out!
Lots of kids like to draw for fun, whether with crayons or markers, fingerpaint or melted chocolate. The fun doesn’t have to end when you grow up, though. If you’re great at drawing, you can get paid to draw as your job! Look at Jim Paillot, who draws the pictures or “illustrations” in the Bedtime Math books. He gets to draw all day! He has drawn not only our books, but also dozens of My Weird School books as well as others. By the way, some drawings are more work than others. Spot art of just one animal or person. like the girl here from Bedtime Math 2, doesn’t take long to draw, but full page “illos” have to fill the whole page with color and scenery and more. When you add up all those books and the drawings on each page, you see quickly that drawing is not just great play, but hard work, too.
Well, we’re not sure it’s a full mile, but it could be the world’s longest xylophone. To check out the music and math behind this life-sized xylophone, click “Read More”.
Today is April Fools’ Day, the day we play pranks on people, like freezing the milk in their cereal, to make them look like fools. Click “Read More” to do the April Fools’ Day math…and maybe get a few ideas for tricks!
Dominos are fun to begin with, but doubling the size of each one makes them doubly as cool! Read on to see how the math stacks up.
This may be the best jungle gym anyone has ever invented. Click “Read More” to see how cool it is and do some jungle gym math!
It’s amazing what you can do with paint. People who paint pictures that look really real can create a whole new kind of magic. These crazy buses are a great example of that. In the top picture, the back of a bus is painted to look like it has a battery compartment. In the second, someone painted around the wheels to make them look like two eyes. And in the third, the stretchy part of the bus looks like the bendy part of a toothbrush. Buses are a good 40-50 feet long, though, so these eyes and batteries and brushes are way, way bigger than real ones. How much bigger are they?
We all like different music from each other. You and your friend might like some of the same songs, but not every song, and your parents definitely don’t like all the same songs as you. So what about cows: do cows all like the same music? And is there one kind they like best? Scientists studied this a few years ago by playing different songs for cows to see if the cows made more milk during certain songs. They found that when listening to songs with fewer than 100 beats a minute – maybe about 1 beat per second – the cows gave 3% more milk: in the time the farmers normally got 100 cups from them, they now got an extra 3 cups. Even though people have been studying this since the 1930’s, no one’s sure whether music really makes cows make more milk – or more importantly, whether the milk tastes better.