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Daily Math

Double – or Triple – the Fun
January 2nd, 2013

Yesterday at Alexandra Palace in London, a guy named Phil “The Power” Taylor won the world professional dart championship for the 16th time.  Whoa!  And throwing darts is no easy sport: you aren’t just aiming for the middle of the dartboard the whole time.  As you see in this picture, each wedge of the board has a number, which equals the points you score if you throw your dart there – except for the skinny green and red rings, which double or triple those points.  Even the bullseye has multiple parts: its outer ring is worth 25 points, but the very center is worth double that (50).  To make matters worse, to win the championship you have to score exactly 501 points, and your final throw has to land on the double ring or the double bulls-eye.  So darts aren’t just a matter of good aim – you have to do the math right, too.

Mixing It Up
July 23rd, 2012

Play-doh, the colorful, squishy clay with the nice salty smell, can almost seem to come alive.  You can cut it into diamonds and stars, you can shape it into animals, or you can pump out spaghetti strands.  You can mix colors until they turn that murky overmixed-Playdoh brown, or holler when anyone lets the blue touch the totally clean white.  If you do mix up colors, you’ll find that the more colors you mix, the less you have of each one – and that trade-off can make or break your creations.

It’s a Zoo Out There
July 19th, 2012

July may be National Ice Cream Month, but this week is National Zoo Keeper Week.  What a great job: you get to hang out at the zoo every day, pet all those furry animals, and feed them without even having to stand in line.  Of course, the job also has its dangers, like possibly losing your hand when you try to feed the sharks.  If you imagine a typical day for a zookeeper, you see that the excitement could add up fast.