‘History’

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Giving the Green Light

January 9, 2021 4:00 pm

When we drive on the road, we can’t all just go every which way. We have to stay on one side, and wait our turn where roads cross. Stop signs help, but really busy crossings need traffic lights. The traffic light, that cute red, yellow and green trio, was patented (made official as an invention) on this day in 1923. Actually, the very first electric traffic light was invented in 1912 by Lester Wire, a policeman in Utah fed up with all the traffic; you can imagine, after hundreds of years of slow horse-drawn carriages, what it was like to have this speedy, loud thing called a car suddenly show up. So Wire borrowed the idea of railroad signals to make a traffic light, which had just red and green for stop and go. Then in 1920, Detroit cop William Potts built one with 3 colors (red, orange and green). As you see here, people have tried other designs, like this funny dial one from Australia, but the three-color light is what keeps most of us from crashing into each other today.

Words That Make You Cross-eyed

December 28, 2020 4:00 pm

We like to build with Legos, blocks, bricks and stones, but you can also build with words! Crossword puzzles do just that. And, believe it or not, there’s a lot of math in building with words. Read on to see!

A Fairy-Tale Castle for Real

December 25, 2020 4:00 pm

Have you ever wanted to live in a fairy-tale castle? This is a real castle called the Swallow’s Nest, on the south coast of Crimea, and would make anyone feel like a king or queen. Read on to do the math on this real-life castle!

Hot Cocoa, or Hot Chocolate?

December 24, 2020 4:00 pm

Do you call it hot cocoa or hot chocolate? Is it the same thing? Read on to find out – and warm up to the math in this tasty winter drink!

How to Share Hundreds of Cookies

December 18, 2020 4:00 pm

We are loving this picture from our cookie-baking fans Avery and Mia S. It’s perfect for National Bake Cookies Day, which is today! Who baked the first ever...

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Lots of Love and Latkes

December 10, 2020 3:59 pm

(Note: Today we’ve included a second extra math problem about Hanukkah, for those who celebrate the holiday or would like to learn more about it. Enjoy!) Today starts the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah, and there are a lot of numbers that go along with it, especially when it comes to the food! Read on to chow down on the history and math of Hanukkah.

“Wrong Way” Corrigan

December 9, 2020 4:00 pm

Sometimes people make a wrong turn while driving. But imagine taking a wrong turn while flying a plane! Read on to fly through the math on one pilot who took a very wrong turn, which earned him the nickname “Wrong Way” Corrigan.

Number-Crushing Cupcake

December 8, 2020 4:00 pm

If you’re really hungry, you can gulp down a cupcake in a few bites. But what about a 3-foot one that holds the record for the world’s largest cupcake? Read on to bake up the math in just how much stuff went into this cupcake – and chow down on the cupcake numbers!

Messed-up Pennies

December 3, 2020 4:00 pm

Pennies are always only worth 1 cent…right? Not all of them. Read on to crunch the numbers behind messed-up money and how that makes some pennies more valuable than others!

For Those Who Really Love Snakes

November 13, 2020 4:00 pm

Fishermen get super excited when they catch a big fish. But they usually aren’t expecting one that’s longer than the boat!