The post Mr. and Mrs. Cake appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Summer is a great time to go to county fairs, and a great thing to do at county fairs is eat. So we’re loving this math post, written by Bedtime Math fans Isabella and Finnian, about the “Cake Booth.” Every summer their Alameda County 4-H club sells cakes at the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton, California. The couple who run the cake booth are known as Mr. and Mrs. Cake – which is only fair, since they’ve been baking for the cake booth for nearly 40 years. Mr. Cake has been baking all the cakes since 2003. We hope he takes a break to eat some cake himself.

*Wee ones:* Some of the most popular cake flavors are Red Velvet, yellow cake, German chocolate, lemon, vanilla, and all-chocolate. How many flavors of cake is that?

*Little kids:* Mr. Cake has been baking since 2003. How many summers has he baked during your lifetime? *Bonus:* Each cake has 12 slices. If you gobble up 7 of them yourself, how many are left?

*Big kids:* If each of a cake’s 12 slices costs $2.00, how much does the whole cake cost? *Bonus:* If 4-H members sell all the slices from 10 cakes, how many slices do they sell – and how much money do they raise?

*The sky’s the limit:* If Mr. Cake had baked an average of 50 cakes per day and the County Fair lasts an average of 19 days, how many cakes has Mr. Cake baked in those 40 years? Remember to include this year! (Hint if needed: If he baked 50 cakes just 1 day each year, how many cakes would it be?)

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 6 flavors.

*Little kids:* Different for everyone…if you were born after 2003, count the years up to the year you were born. If you were born before then, it’s been 13 summers including this year! *Bonus:* 5 slices.

*Big kids:* $24.00. *Bonus:* 120 slices, which would bring in $240.

*The sky’s the limit:* 38,000 cakes!

And thank you again Isabella and Finnian for this yummy math!

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]]>The post All You Can Eat – for Real appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Have you ever wondered how much food you eat in a day? How about the amount you eat in your whole life? In his book *Numberland*, Mitchell Symons guesses that we each eat 35 tons of food. Does that make sense? How many pounds of food do you think you eat every day? Well, it must be a pretty big number: scientists have figured out that on average we each take in about 150 hamburgers a year, 20 gallons of milk (about 160 pounds), and almost 3 dozen donuts. It all adds up, but to what? If you think you’ll eat about 1 pound of food a day once you’re a grown-up, that’s about 400 pounds a year, or 1 ton every 5 years. As we see, Mitchell thinks it’s more than that — but is he right?

*Wee ones:* If you eat 2 pounds of apple pie on Saturday and 1 pound on Sunday, how much do you eat in total that weekend?

*Little kids:* If you eat 2 pounds of food a day, how much do you eat in 1 week? *Bonus:* If 1/2 of that is spaghetti, how many pounds of spaghetti did you pound down?

*Big kids:* If you eat 10 pounds of food a week — a little more than a pound a day – how much would that be in 1 year? (*Hint if needed:* You can count a year as 52 weeks.) *Bonus:* If half of that was your favorite food — say, ice cream — how many pounds of your favorite food do you eat?

*The sky’s the limit:* If you eat just 1 ounce of food the 1st day, 2 ounces the 2nd day, and so on, on what day will you have eaten 5 pounds in total? (*Reminder:* A pound has 16 ounces.)

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 3 pounds.

*Little kids:* 14 pounds. *Bonus:* 7 pounds.

*Big kids:* 520 pounds. *Bonus:* 260 pounds of ice cream.

*The sky’s the limit:* 5 pounds comes to 80 ounces. Adding 1+2+3…etc. gives you the triangle numbers, where things can be stacked in growing rows to make a triangle. If you just do trial and error, you’ll get 10 ounces total on day 4, then 15, 21, 28, 36, 45, 55, 66, 78…so on the 13th day you’ll reach the 80th ounce. The shortcut: a triangle with n as the biggest number added will have a total of n x (n+1)/2, so on the 12th day you’ll have 12 x 13 divided by 2, or 78 ounces.

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]]>The post Weekly Pup Update appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>We can’t get enough of this video of 2 puppies skidding down the hall towards their food bowls. The two golden retrievers run down the same hall over and over — except they’re shown doing this about every 3 weeks. So through the video we see the puppies grow and get a *little* better about rounding the corner without crashing into the wall. At 46 weeks, which is about 11 months old, the puppies are close to full size: golden retrievers grow to stand about 24 inches tall and weigh about 70 pounds. But the pups are still “teenagers” agewise, and still don’t notice how long their legs are or how fast they can move. Even with all that trouble, though, they do make it to dinner every time.

*Wee ones:* If the left puppy makes it to his bowl in 5 seconds and the right puppy makes it in 7 seconds, which puppy ran faster?

*Little kids:* How many big paws do those 2 puppies have together? *Bonus:* If the puppies had romped on camera at 11 weeks, then 14, then 17…what week number would have been next?

*Big kids:* The video filmed the puppies from the end of 11 weeks until the end of the 46th week. For how long did the owner film them? *Bonus:* If they started at 11 weeks and always made 4-week jumps, would they have filmed at 35 weeks? Why or why not?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* The left puppy.

*Little kids:* 8 paws. *Bonus:* 20 weeks, because they’re all 3-week jumps.

*Big kids:* 35 weeks. *Bonus:* Yes, because that’s 24 weeks later, and that’s a multiple of 4, so it has nice neat sets of 4 weeks.

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]]>The post A Mile of Pizza appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>It’s hard enough to eat a long, gooey triangle slice of pizza, with the corner dripping off the edge of your plate. Well, try eating a pizza that’s almost a mile long! At the Expo 2015 in Milan, Italy, more than 60 pizza makers got together to make the world’s longest pizza ever. It measured in at 5,234 feet when it was done, and people at the fair could eat a slice for free. The pizza used 1 1/2 tons of mozzarella cheese and 2 tons of tomato sauce; the whole thing weighed 5 tons in total. It definitely took more than 5 people to eat it!

*Wee ones:* If the pizza used bread, cheese, and tomato sauce, how many foods is that?

*Little kids:* If the pizza used 1 1/2 tons of cheese and 2 tons of sauce, of which food did it use more? *Bonus:* If the pie was 5,234 feet long and you sliced off the last foot for yourself, how long would the remaining pie be?

*Big kids:* How many pounds of pizza is 5 tons, anyway? (*Reminder if needed:* A ton equals 2,000 pounds). *Bonus:* If a person really can’t eat more than 2 pounds of pizza, at least how many people could be fed by this pie?

*The sky’s the limit:* If there had been exactly 60 pizza makers and they wanted to work in groups, how many ways could they split up evenly?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 3 ingredients.

*Little kids:* More sauce. *Bonus:* 5,233 feet.

*Big kids:* 10,000 pounds! *Bonus:* 5,000 people.

*The sky’s the limit:* 10 ways, because 60 has a lot of “factors” (numbers that divide into it evenly). They could form:

2 groups of 30 people each

3 groups of 20

4 groups of 15

5 groups of 12

6 groups of 10

And then all of those in reverse:

10 groups of 6

12 groups of 5

15 groups of 4

20 groups of 3

30 groups of 2

The post A Mile of Pizza appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>The post The Cuddliest Octopus appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Usually when we talk or think about octopuses, “cute” isn’t the first word that comes to mind. But this eight-legged critter really *is* cute — so cute that scientists want to call it*Opisthoteuthis Adorabilis*. Until now, this type of octopus has been called the flapjack octopus, since it looks a bit like a pancake: it has webbing connecting its legs, making it look like a flapping parachute as it swims. It lives very deep in the ocean, sometimes as far down as 2,000 feet, where the water is very cold. So the Monterey Bay Aquarium keeps their new leggy friend in a tank of chilled water. They’ve been waiting more than a year for the octopus to lay eggs, and might have to wait 2-3 more years…cold-water sea creatures don’t lay eggs very often. If they do lay eggs, you can bet those octopus babies will be adorable.

*Wee ones:* Who has more legs, you or an octopus? (All octopuses have 8 legs.)

*Little kids:* How many legs do you and an octopus have together? *Bonus:* If it’s June right now and the octopus finally lays eggs 4 months from now, in what month will they show up?

*Big kids:* If you can scuba dive a whole mile deep (5,280 feet), and the cute octopus makes it only to 1,000 feet, how much deeper did you swim? *Bonus:* Which would stretch farther on your kitchen counter, a row of 6 8-inch flapjacks, or 7 of these 7-inch flapjack octopuses?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* The octopus.

*Little kids:* 10 legs. *Bonus:* In October.

*Big kids:* 4,280 feet. *Bonus:* The 7 octopuses, since they’d reach 49 inches, while the pancakes would span only 48 inches.

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]]>The post When Game Time Is Any Time appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Do you know how to tell time? If you have a digital clock, the first number tells you how many hours have passed since noon or midnight, and the second number tells you the minutes since the hour started. But Bedtime Math fan Talie B. just showed us a new clock that turns telling time into a game. Instead of just saying 9:32 am, for each number it gives you an “equation,” or a way of combining other numbers. So it might say 3+6 for the hour (9), and 8 x 4 for the minutes (32). Better yet, it changes to a new equation every time, and it can use adding, subtracting, multiply, dividing, or even more than one of those at once. We’re guessing it’s named the Albert Clock after Albert Einstein, because you have to use your brain…if you do that every day, you’ll become really smart just like Albert!

*Wee ones:* If the Albert Clock says 7+1 for the hour, what hour is it?

*Little kids:* If it’s 4:00 and the clock uses a 2 and a 6 to tell you the time, what would it have to do to them? *Bonus:* What other number of hours could you make with just a 2 and a 6?

*Big kids:* Can you find a way to combine 5, 4 and 7 to get 31? *Bonus:* What’s the biggest number of minutes you can make with 2, 7 and 8? (Reminder if needed: the minutes part can run only as high as 59!).

*The sky’s the limit:* How many ways can the clock show 12 by multiplying 3 digits?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 8:00.

*Little kids:* It would say 6-2. *Bonus:* You could make 8 (2+6), 12 (2×6), or 3 (6/2).

*Big kids:* 7 x 5 – 4, which is 35-4. *Bonus:* 58, by doing 7 x 8 + 2.

*The sky’s the limit:* These kinds of problems have lots of answers and you’re never quite sure when you’re done…but we got 15 different ways:

2 x 2 x 3, in any of 3 orders (just 3x2x2, 2x3x2, 2x2x3, since the 2s are identical)

4 x 1 x 3, in any of 6 orders (4x1x3, 4x3x1, 3x1x4, 3x4x1, 1x3x4, and 1x4x3)

6 x 1 x 2, in any of 6 orders (same patterns as above)

And thank you Talie for sharing this great clock story! And if you all have ideas for a fun story for our site, let us know!

The post When Game Time Is Any Time appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>The post The First Bad Drivers appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Someday when you learn to drive, you’ll find out that you can’t just drive as fast as you want. Every road has a “speed limit,” a number of miles per hour, and you’re not supposed to drive any faster than that. Not everyone follows the rules, of course — so someone had to be the first to get a speeding ticket. That guy was Walter Arnold of East Peckham in Great Britain, way back in 1896. He was driving only 8 miles per hour, but in 1896 cars were very new, and since drivers didn’t really know what they were doing, the speed limit was only 2 mph. It’s hard to imagine that speed limit, because grown-ups can *walk* faster than that! By 1899 things had sped up: a taxi driver in New York City was arrested for speeding at 12 mph down Lexington Avenue. These guys were probably also the first to try to talk their way *out* of a ticket, but certainly not the last.

*Wee ones:* Who’s faster, a car driving at 2 miles an hour, or a person walking at 4 miles an hour?

*Little kids:* If Walter was driving 8 mph in a 2 mph zone, how many miles per hour over the speed limit did he drive? *Bonus:* How many times as fast as the limit was Walter driving?

*Big kids:* If 70 mph is fast driving today, and 8 mph was fast in 1896, how much faster is fast today? *Bonus:* If your family is driving to the beach 200 miles away, and you speed at 70 miles an hour, can you get there in 3 hours?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* The person!

*Little kids:* 6 miles an hour over. *Bonus:* 4 times as fast as the limit.

*Big kids:* 62 miles an hour faster. *Bonus:* Yes! At that speed you can drive 210 miles in that time.

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]]>The post Wrong Ride for a Raccoon appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>When small animals see an alligator, usually they steer clear. Alligators will eat just about anything that fits in their jaws: birds, turtles, fish of any size, even a small deer. So you can imagine the surprise of the Florida raccoon in this picture. When it heard people walking nearby, it jumped into the river onto what it *thought* was a rock, only to find it had landed on a gator! The raccoon didn’t stick around for a ride — it jumped right off — but Richard Jones acted quickly and got a picture with his camera. Raccoons weigh only between 8 to 20 pounds, while the average gator weighs about 800 pounds. But thankfully the raccoon jumped away safely. Now we’re left with one happy raccoon, and one hungry, confused alligator.

*Wee ones:* Who would be a heavier ride for that gator, you or an 8-pound raccoon? Find out how much you weigh in pounds!

*Little kids:* How many legs do that gator and raccoon have together? (Hint if needed: They’re both 4 legged animals.) *Bonus:* If raccoons are about 2 feet long, while your regular gator is about 11 feet longer, how long is the gator?

*Big kids:* How many 2-foot raccoons would have to line up end to end to be as long as a 13-foot alligator? *Bonus:* If this were a full 20-pound raccoon, how many raccoons would have to band together to match an 800-pound gator? (Hint if needed: How many would match an 80-pound baby gator?)

Answers:

*Wee ones:* You weigh more, unless you really were just born yesterday.

*Little kids:* 8 legs. *Bonus:* 13 feet long.

*Big kids:* You’d need 7 raccoons, since 6 would stretch only 12 feet. *Bonus:* 40 raccoons.

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]]>The post Better Than the Video Game appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Usually when people really love a video game, they just play it all the time. But some people show that love in a different way — like Kjetil Nordin, who knitted a giant blanket picturing the game Super Mario 3. The blanket, which is 7 feet by nearly 6 feet long, took him 800 hours to crochet spread out over 6 years. He made each stitch of the blanket match each dot on the computer screen, using exactly the right colors of yarn. We see the full scoreboard, trees and sand, and a castle with the word “HELP” yelled out the window. During those 6 years, Kjetil also graduated from college with two degrees and won the Norwegian Sky Diving team championship twice. Kjetil may love Super Mario, but he’s not wasting much time sitting around playing it.

*Wee ones:* If the scoreboard has white, black, blue, yellow and red, how many colors of yarn does it use?

*Little kids:* If the moat (water-filled ditch) around the castle is 11 stitches wide, including 4 light blue stitches and 5 white, how many stitches are dark blue? *Bonus:* If Kjetil was 18 years old when he started the blanket 6 years ago, how old is he now?* *

*Big kids:* The castle looks to be about 20 stitches wide by 20 stitches tall. How many stitches are there just in that little castle? *Bonus:* If Kjetil had crocheted a whole 10 hours a day every day, in about how many weeks could he have finished?

*The sky’s the limit:* If there are 50 stitches per 1 foot length of blanket (and 50 rows per foot as well), and the whole piece is 7 feet long by 6 feet wide, how many stitches does this crazy blanket have? How would you try to multiply that out?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 5 colors of yarn.

*Little kids:* 2 stitches, since the other colors use up 9. *Bonus:* 24 years old.

*Big kids:* 400 stitches. *Bonus:* He would have taken 80 days. 70 days fill 10 weeks, so it would have been just over 11 weeks.

*The sky’s the limit:* 105,000 stitches. There are 2,500 in each square foot (50 rows with 50 stitches in each), which means every 4 square feet have 10,000 stitches. There are 42 square feet in total (7 x 6). So the 40 square feet have 100,000 stitches, and the last 2 square feet add another 2,500+2,500, or 5,000.

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]]>The post Best of Bedtime Math: World Record for Weird appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Summer can be fun, of course, but it can also be stressful with zero school requirements or anything else to keep your kid busy. If you’re finding that there is such a thing as too much free time, why not challenge your young ones to break some odd world records? Here are some of our favorites:

-If your kid’s turning into an airhead, let them empty some of that CO2 into 80,000 balloons to build the world’s biggest balloon sculpture!

-Why do a pie-eating contest when you could be pi-speaking? It will only take memorizing about 70,000 digits to know Pi better than anyone else.

-If you have or can borrow a dog, give that pooch a scooter and see if they can roll into the record books! And be sure to reward that fleet-footed fur ball with the world’s largest doggie treat.

-Stuck inside on a rainy day? You can try building the world’s largest house of cards. Or if you’re the type who’d rather see the cards topple, popping the most bubble wrap is sure to be a blast!

-We play with our hair all the time anyway, so grab the glue and see if you can spike your way up to the world’s tallest mohawk. Just be careful not to wreck your rad ‘do by taking a swim with the world’s largest rubber duck collection.

-Finally, see how fast your fingers can fly on a phone. You’ll have to tap out 264 words in less than a minute!

The post Best of Bedtime Math: World Record for Weird appeared first on Bedtime Math.

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