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Cool State, Hot Dogs

by Derek Stump

Today we say hello to the only state with a 5-sided flag: Ohio! Every other state’s flag is a rectangle. That O on the flag stands for Ohio, but also looks like another tasty treat from there: Life Savers! An Ohio man invented the donut-shaped candies in the summer of 1912, when he saw that everyone’s chocolate candies were melting. A second summer treat we can thank Ohio for: the hot dog. You know those long skinny dogs called dachshunds? An Ohio man was selling “dachshund sausages” at a baseball game in 1901, but ran out of wax paper to wrap them in. So he started putting the sausages on buns instead. People loved them, but couldn’t remember how to spell dachshund…so they started calling them hot dogs instead. Any state that comes up with Life Savers, hot dogs, and that flag is definitely not square!
 
Wee ones: How many colors can you count on Ohio’s flag?
 
Little kids: Can you count all the stars on Ohio’s flag? How many are there? Bonus: How many more stars are there than stripes?
 
Big kids: Today Americans eat 20 billion hot dogs every year! We eat 7 billion of those just during the summer. How many do we eat the rest of the year – and how do you “spell” that in digits? Bonus: If 2 hot dogs laid end to end are the same length as 40 Life Savers, how many Life Savers do you need to match 5 hot dogs?
 
The sky’s the limit: If the hot dog was invented on May 1,1902 and Life Savers were invented on August 1, 1912, on what day did the hot dog’s age in years become exactly twice the age of Life Savers? And if you’re really brave, on what exact day was the hot dog exactly twice as old as Life Savers?
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Answers:
Wee ones: There are 3 colors to count: red, white, blue.
 
Little kids: There are 17 stars on the flag, because it was the 17th state to join the Union. Bonus: 12 more stars, because there are 5 stripes.
 
Big kids: 13 billion (because 20 – 7 = 13), written 13,000,000,000. Bonus: 100 Life Savers, because each hot dog = 20 Life Savers in length.
 
The sky’s the limit: August 1, 1922. The hot dog was 10 years old on August 1, 1912, when the Life Saver was born. If you count up the years from then on August 1sts, the ages for hot dog to Life Saver are 11 and 1 a year later, then 12 and 2, 13 and 3…and finally 20 and 10, 10 years later in 1922. For the exact day: Hot dogs are 10 years 92 days older than Life Savers (31 more days to get to June 1 + 30 more to July 1 + 31 more to get to Aug 1). Once Life Savers lived that amount of time, hot dogs had lived it twice! Adding 31 to get to Sept 1, +30 to get to Oct 1, +31 to get to Nov 1, that’s 91 days, so 92 brings us to Nov. 2, 1922.

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