A lot of American towns and cities have pretty plain names, like Springfield and Mountainside. But as our friend Zachary T. just pointed out, some towns want to tell you how great they are. There’s a town called Happyland in Connecticut, and Kentucky has towns called Beauty and Lucky. Carefree, Arizona and Friendly, West Virginia also sound good. Then there are the towns that warn us to stay away. Boring, Oregon doesn’t sound like much fun, nor does Greasy, Oklahoma. Some places sound downright weird, like Oddville, Kentucky or Peculiar, Missouri. Maybe it’s best to go to Ordinary, Kentucky and just stay put.
Wee ones: Beauty, Lucky, Oddville, and Ordinary are all Kentucky towns. How many towns is that?
Little kids: About 860 people live in Flat, Texas, and about 460 in Embarrass, Wisconsin. Which town has more people? Bonus: Flat has 861 people. If you moved to Flat, now how many people would be there?
Big kids: It’s 87 miles from Oddville, KY to Ordinary, then 81 more miles from there to Beauty. If you visit them in that order, how many miles do you travel? Bonus: How far is Ordinary from the halfway point on that trip?
Wee ones: 4 towns.
Little kids: Flat, TX has more. Bonus: 862 people.
Big kids: 168 miles. Bonus: The halfway point would be at 84 miles, so Ordinary is 3 miles from that spot.
Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.