The post Blowing up the World Record appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>As we saw last night, pancakes can come in almost any shape. It looks like hot air balloons can, too. The amazing blown-up shapes in this photo are hot air balloons that actually helped set a world record. On Sunday 433 balloons floated into the air in eastern France, marking the biggest number of balloons launched at the same time. Castles and cartoon characters mixed with regular balloons sporting checkerboard and stripes. A hot air balloon floats because at the bottom of the balloon it has a flame that burns gas to heat all the air inside, making that air weigh less than the air outside the balloons. Smaller balloons hold around 20,000 to 30,000 cubic feet of air, about the same as a house. But the biggest ever made held almost 3 million cubic feet! Even so, that castle balloon looks like the best ride.

*Wee ones:* How many balloons in the photo are in the air?

*Little kids:* How many balloons can you see at least partly in the whole photo? Count as high as you can! *Bonus:* If we see parts of 12 round balloons and 3 of those are in the air, how many are still waiting for take-off?

*Big kids:* If there were 2 castle balloons and 400 regular-shaped ones, how many of the 433 balloons were other shapes? *Bonus:* If you ride the castle balloon launching at 2:38 pm, and land 57 minutes later, when do you land? (Hint if needed: What if you landed exactly 1 hour later, which is 60 minutes?)

*The sky’s the limit – for real:* The first hot air balloon ever launched was in France too, in 1783. How many years ago was that?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 3 balloons.

*Little kids:* We think we see 16 balloons. *Bonus:* 9 balloons.

*Big kids:* 31 other balloons. *Bonus:* At 3:35 pm.

*The sky’s the limit:* 232 years ago.

The post Blowing up the World Record appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>The post Eye-Popping Pancakes appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Do you love pancakes? Those stacks of fluffy, syrupy circles are the best breakfast ever. And if you’re hungry for something more exciting than circles, you should eat with artist Nathan Shields: his pancakes are pictures. By squirting two colors of batter on the pan to draw, he cooks it into a design that shows up once the pancake flips over. He draws animals, flowers, faces from the Harry Potter movies, and probably anything else you could ask for. He also invented Spirocakes, which are loopy, spirally, math-y flapjacks — another Bedtime Math favorite. Best of all, these storks, swans and turtles look smaller than your usual pancake, so you can wolf down even more of them.

*Wee ones:* If the pancake man uses white batter, wheat batter and cocoa-powder batter, how many colors can he cook into his pancake?

*Little kids:* If Nathan serves you 10 pancakes and the penguin and duck are the only birds, how many pancakes aren’t birds? *Bonus:* If half the remaining pancakes are animals, how many aren’t?

*Big kids:* If the photo shows 5 rows of 4 pancakes each, how many pancakes do you see? *Bonus:* If Nathan can make 11 pancakes from 6 cups of batter, how many can he make from 12 cups?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 3 colors.

*Little kids:* 8 pancakes. *Bonus:* 4 pancakes.

*Big kids:* 20 pancakes. *Bonus:* 22 pancakes, since he has doubled the batter.

The post Eye-Popping Pancakes appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>The post Your Very Own Car Factory appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>It’s a blast to make things out of Lego, like castles, cars and robots. But it gets better than that: as we see in this video, someone built a Lego robot that *builds*Lego cars itself! The robot works just like a factory: it grabs the body of the car, then grabs a steering wheel and presses it on, then sticks on the front hood, the back seat, and other bricks. In the end, out pops a car that looks exactly like the last 8-10 cars made. Given that it takes a minute or more to stick on each piece, you could make these cars much faster than the robot, But if it’s bedtime and you need 100 cars built by tomorrow, this robot could do the job for you while you get some rest.

*Wee ones:* If the Lego car has 4 wheels and a floor, and you add on the front hood, how many pieces does the car have now?

*Little kids:* If every car needs 2 pairs of wheels, how many pairs does your factory need to build 3 cars? *Bonus:* If you have 10 pairs in stock, how many cars can you make?

*Big kids:* If right now the robot makes 1 car every 30 minutes, how fast would it make a car if it made them twice as fast? *Bonus:* At the new speed, how many can it crank out in an hour? (Reminder if needed: An hour has 60 minutes.)

*The sky’s the limit:* Without multiplying it all out, can you tell who will finish first: a robot building 28 cars at 1 car every 6 minutes, or a robot building 50 cars at 1 car every 3 minutes?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 6 pieces, since you started with 5.

*Little kids:* 6 pairs of wheels. *Bonus:* 5 cars.

*Big kids:* 1 every 15 minutes. *Bonus:* 4 cars per hour.

*The sky’s the limit:* The 2nd robot will finish first. It’s making fewer than double the cars, but at exactly twice the speed. If you *did* multiply it all out, you’d get 28 x 6 = 168 minutes for the 1st robot, and 50 x 3 = 150 minutes for the 2nd.

The post Your Very Own Car Factory appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>The post Animal Airport appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>It’s a big deal when people fly by plane into a new country — and it’s an even bigger deal for their pets. Animals have to stay at the airport for their first 3 days to make sure they aren’t sick or contagious. So New York’s JFK Airport is building the ARK, a special building for the more than 70,000 animals that fly through the airport every year. It will have stalls for horses and cows, a yard with a pool for dogs, trees for cats to climb, and air conditioning, TVs, and showers for all. In fact, it sounds a lot better than what the humans get! Right now the airport has the “Vetport” to handle traveling animals, but this new place will be 18 times bigger. If you can bark like a dog and look like one, maybe you can hang out at the ARK for a few days, too.

*Wee ones:* Which airplane-flying animal has more legs, a horse or a dog?

*Little kids:* If you fly through with 3 cats and 4 dogs, how many pets do you bring to the ARK? *Bonus:* If you land on a Monday and your pets have to stay until 3 days later, on what day can they leave?

*Big kids:* If there are 18 horses and 22 dogs at the ARK and half of each type is watching TV, how many more dogs than horses are watching TV? *Bonus:* If the rest of the dogs and horses go swimming, how many swimming legs are in the pool?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* They’re equal: both animals have 4 legs apiece.

*Little kids:* 7 pets. *Bonus:* On Thursday.

*Big kids:* 2 more dogs than horses. *Bonus:* 80 legs, since you have 20 animals (9 horses and 11 dogs).

The post Animal Airport appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>The post A “Tree” You Can Pop in Your Mouth appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>As we’ve talked about before, fruits and vegetables can grow in weird colors you wouldn’t expect, like white carrots or red corn. Then there are veggies that look weird in any color – like cauliflower. The pieces look like mini tree trunks covered with little bump-shaped flowers called florets. As a clump, that’s called the curd. Cauliflower is usually a yellowish-white, unlike its more colorful green friend, broccoli. But as Bedtime Math fan Sophia L. has pointed out, cauliflower can also be purple — or even green or orange! As we see here, it’s also packed with almost half the Vitamin C you should eat each day. And it really is a tasty treat: they say orange cauliflower tastes milder and sweeter than white, and that purple is the most nutritious of the colors. We won’t make anyone count all those bumps, but you can count on cauliflower tasting tastier than you’d think.

*Wee ones:* If cauliflower can be white, orange, purple or green, how many colors is that?

*Little kids:* If you’re served 9 bites of cauliflower, and you’ve eaten 2 but snuck 2 more into your napkin, how many are left on the plate? *Bonus:* If you eat 2 orange bites, then a green, then a purple, then 2 orange again to repeat, what color do you eat on the 8th bite?

*Big kids:* How many 2-pound heads of cauliflower would we have to stack to weigh as much as you? *Bonus:* If you take twice as many bites of green cauliflower as purple, and twice as many orange as green, how many do you eat of each if you eat 14 in total?

*The sky’s the limit:* If you have 28 pieces on your plate, 1/2 green and 1/2 white, and there are 4 more broccoli pieces than green cauliflower pieces, how many pieces of cauliflower do you have? (All the white ones are cauliflower – no white broccoli!)

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 4 colors.

*Little kids:* 5 bites, since you “disappeared” 4 of them. *Bonus:* Purple, since the bites come in sets of 4 and purple is last.

*Big kids:* Different for everyone…divide your weight in pounds by 2 (and you can round to an even number to simplify). *Bonus:* You eat 2 purple, 4 green and 8 orange. For each purple you eat 2 green and 4 orange, so they come in sets of 7, and 14 contains 2 of those sets.

*The sky’s the limit:* 19 cauliflower. The 14 white pieces are all cauliflower, and of the 14 green pieces, there must be 9 broccoli and 5 cauliflower. You can use algebra to solve that: there are c cauliflower pieces and c+4 broccoli, so:

c + c + 4 = 14

2c + 4 = 14

2c = 10

c = 5

And thank you again Sophia for this idea for a math problem!

The post A “Tree” You Can Pop in Your Mouth appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>The post Snacktime for Sharks appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>As National Zookeeper Week comes to an end, we have to give one more shoutout to these folks for one of their trickiest jobs: feeding the sharks. Ripley Aquarium in Toronto, Canada gives a great behind-the-scenes peek at mealtime in their “Dangerous Lagoon.” First the zoo workers, or “aquarists,” have to scoot the sea turtles out of the tank: each turtle has been trained to see and swim towards its own colored stick (who knew turtles were that smart?). Then the fish who like to eat at the surface (top of the water) are fed; the workers drop the food into the corners of the tank, which lures the hungry fish there. For fish who eat along the bottom, their food is shot down there through tubes. Finally, with everyone happily munching, the aquarists stick fish on a long pole and hold it out over each shark’s special spot in the water. The sharks eat just 3 times a week, but together they manage to chow down 1,000 pounds of fish in that time!

*Wee ones:* If the sharks eat 3 times in a week and have eaten twice already, how many more meals do they have left?

*Little kids:* If the sharks eat every other day starting on Monday (meaning they eat, then skip a day), on what days do they eat their other 2 meals? *Bonus:* If the sharks eat 3 times in a week, how many days do they *not* eat?

*Big kids:* If the sharks are fed 300 pounds on each of their days, do they get their full 1,000 pounds of fish? *Bonus:* If there are 5 sharks in the tank and they all eat the same amount, how much food is each one eating in a week?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 1 more time.

*Little kids:* Wednesday and Friday. *Bonus:* 4 days.

*Big kids:* No, since that will add up to “only” 900 pounds. *Bonus:* 200 pounds per shark.

The post Snacktime for Sharks appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>The post The Speediest Snail appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Snails may be slow, but sometimes even snails like to show off their speed. Last weekend those sorts of snails came together at the World Snail Racing Championship in Congham, England. The snails start in the middle of a table, and have to slime their way to a circle 13 inches out, just a little longer than a grown-up’s shoe. As we see in the video, they don’t move fast, but after 2 minutes 40 seconds a snail named George won. He didn’t beat the world record of 2 minutes, set by Archie back in 1995, but both of them leave other snails in the dust: most snails can move only 3 inches per minute. We have no idea what makes snails want to get to the finish line, but maybe we’re just slow to understand snails.

*Wee ones:* Who’s faster, a snail who finishes the race in 4 minutes, or one who finishes in 6 minutes?

*Little kids:* If one snail takes 5 hours to cross the street and another takes 9 hours, how much longer does the slower snail take? *Bonus:* If another snail’s time is halfway between those, how many hours does that 3rd snail take?

*Big kids:* Most snails move only 3 inches a minute. About how long would it take a regular snail to crawl those 13 inches? *Bonus:* How long has Archie held his record from 1995? (Reminder: We’re in 2015 now.)

Answers:

*Wee ones:* The snail who takes 4 minutes, because that’s the smaller amount of time.

*Little kids:* 4 more hours. *Bonus:* 7 hours.

*Big kids:* About 4 minutes (actually 4 1/3 minutes, or 4 minutes 20 seconds). *Bonus:* 20 years.

The post The Speediest Snail appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>The post Hot Dog Days of Summer appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Not only is July National Ice Cream Month, it’s *also* National Hot Dog Month, and today is National Hot Dog Day! Hot dogs might not be as sweet a treat, but people love them just as much: Americans eat 20 billion of them every year, with 7 billion of those eaten just during the summer. Surveys show that while kids like to put ketchup on their hot dogs, most grown-ups use mustard. Someone also figured out the math: it takes 6 bites to gulp down a whole dog. The biggest hot dog ever was made in 2011 in Paraguay, in South America: it measured 669 feet long and weighed 264 pounds. The question is, how many bites did it take to eat that one?

*Wee ones:* If you take 6 bites to eat your hot dog, what numbers would you say to count them off?

*Little kids:* They say 9 out of 10 grown-ups squirt mustard on their hot dogs. How many of those 10 grown-ups don’t? *Bonus:* If you eat a plain hot dog, then one with ketchup, then one with mustard, then start over with a plain dog, what kind of dog do you eat 11th?

*Big kids:* If you eat 1 hot dog the first day of July, 4 the second day, and 9 on the third day…how many do you probably eat on the 4th day? *Bonus:* If you and your friends each weigh 50 pounds, do 5 of you together weigh as much as the record 264-pound hot dog?

*The sky’s the limit:* If only 200 million Americans like hot dogs, and together they eat 20 billion hot dogs a year, how many hot dogs per person is that? (Hint if needed: What if each person ate 10 hot dogs?)

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

*Little kids:* 1 grown-up. *Bonus:* Ketchup, since it’s 2 hot dogs after the 9th, which gets mustard.

*Big kids:* 16 hot dogs – ugh! *Bonus:* No – the 5 of you weigh only 250 pounds.

*The sky’s the limit:* 100 hot dogs per person. 10 per person would bring you to 2 billion dogs, so you need 10 times as many as that.

The post Hot Dog Days of Summer appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>The post Day 1 for Bunny appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Have you ever seen a baby bunny? A real baby bunny, just a day or two old? They don’t look anything like what you’d expect, as we can see from these amazing pictures. Photographer Arefin Ashraful has a pet rabbit, Tooni, who had four baby bunnies this year. They’re called “kittens” just like baby cats. Arefin took pictures right from day 1 to show how baby bunnies grow. They don’t have any fur for the first 7 days, and their eyes don’t open until day 10! (that’s one of the cutest pictures, shown here). As you can see from Arefin’s hand in the pictures, the kittens are only a couple of inches long at birth, but they grow really quickly. By 10 months they’re full-size like their parents; it takes us humans a good 14-18 years to do that! But for speedy animals like rabbits, it’s all about doing everything fast.

*Wee ones:* If Tooni has 4 baby bunnies, how many bunnies is that all together?

*Little kids:* If the bunnies open their eyes on day 10, how many days do they spend with them closed? *Bonus:* If the bunnies were born on a Tuesday, on what day of the week would their eyes open if it’s their 10th day of life?

*Big kids:* If Tooni’s 4 kittens have 7 kittens each, and another bunny’s 5 kittens have 5 kittens each, which bunny has more “grandkittens”? *Bonus:* If each of the 4 bunnies has 4 kittens, and each of *those* has 4 kittens, how many great-grandkittens will Tooni have?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 5 bunnies.

*Little kids:* 9 days. *Bonus:* On Thursday of the next week…their 10th day of life is 9 days later.

*Big kids:* Tooni. *Bonus:* 64 baby bunnies (4x4x4).

And thank you Arefin for sharing your incredible photos with us!

The post Day 1 for Bunny appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>The post Dinnertime at the Zoo appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Think about how many meals you eat in a week. Then imagine all the animals in a zoo and all the meals *they* eat. It’s a ton of work to feed them all, and that’s why we celebrate zookeepers every July during National Zookeeper Week. Otters, mice and peacocks might not eat much, but an elephant eats in 10 days what one of us eats in an entire *year *(as much as 350 pounds of food each day). A hippo eats 88 pounds of lettuce, hay and veggies per day, and a giraffe eats 75 pounds of tree leaves. It adds up fast: each year the St. Louis Zoo has to buy 20 tons of fish, 5 tons of carrots, a whopping 85 tons of pet-food hay pellets, and tons of other stuff like earthworms and apples. And somebody has to move all that food from the trucks to the critters — and as we’ll see, that somebody is getting a lot of exercise.

*Wee ones:* Which weighs more, those 20 tons of apples or 5 tons of fish?

*Little kids:* If you’re in charge of the 20 tons of apples and 5 tons of carrots, how much food do *you* move in a year? *Bonus:* If the horses eat 3 tons of the apples and the bunnies eat 1 ton of the carrots, how much food is left for everybody else?

*Big kids:* Each St. Louis zoo worker moves 700 tons of food every year! If that includes 200 tons of hay and 300 tons of earthworms, how many tons of other food does that leave? *Bonus:* About how much food total does that worker move each day? (Reminder: One year has 365 days.)

*The sky’s the limit:* If in 10 days an elephant eats what we eat in a year, how many years of our eating does the elephant match in one year for him?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* The 20 tons of apples. By the way, if an apple weighs 1/2 pound, that’s 80,000 apples!

*Little kids:* 25 tons. *Bonus:* 21 tons, since you’ve already counted out 4 tons (3+1).

*Big kids:* 200 tons of other stuff. *Bonus:* About 2 tons per day, since we have 365 days…if a year had 350 days, it would work out to exactly 700.

*The sky’s the limit:* 36 1/2 years, since there are 36 1/2 sets of 10-day chunks in our year.

The post Dinnertime at the Zoo appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>