Monday, September 6, 2010

Math is not a dance in the park

Mr. Slug has been working so hard on his math schoolwork that his poor brain feels somewhat mushy from the numbers that are floating around in his memory as he tries to sleep at night. Mrs. Slug has suggested he listen to some soothing music before bedtime, but this plan has backfired as he ends up even more tired from all of the activity both day and night. What is a poor slug to do?
GO DANCING! Yes, that is the only thing to do. Go dancing in circles. Very large circles. Circles so large that a slug needs to calculate the diameter of the circle, lest you get lost and cannot find your way back home to the center, and your dance partner, who is looking at you with two left optical tentacles as you spin around the dance floor wildly!
Have you ever wondered why slug trails are so circular and squiggly? It is because slugs know how to dance. (Cue the James Bond music, "You Only Circle Twice.") Now let's get to the meat of the matter:

Mr. Slug slid round and round. First he danced in very small circles. He made a silvery slug trail that was a mere 8 inches in circumference. He became disoriented from spinning around, so he stopped in his tracks to gain perspective. OK you slugs, here is your first puzzle: What is the diameter of the circle that Mr. Slug made?
Here is your first smarty slug clue:  Circumference = "pie"(22/7) x Diameter
                                      8 inches = 22/7 Diameter
                                      ? inches =    ?.....Diameter
                        (break it down one more time and you've got it!
                                                                     
Mr. Slug regained his composure and began to slide in very large circles.  Our math hero is now quite lost and cannot find his way home, where his dance partner Mrs. Slug is waiting patiently. Mrs. Slug is now looking at Mr. Slug with two left optical tentacles as he circles her, the diameter of the circle being 9 feet.  This is a very large circle, without your help, I doubt Mr. Slug will be able to get back to his wife, who is about to be asked to dance by a Mr. Goldtail. Please hurry with your calculation or Mrs. Slug may get covered with gold paint: What is the circumference of the circular slug trail Mr. Slug has drawn?

I am concerned that perhaps some of you slugs out there are needing a refresher course on the proper way to calculate this sort of problem, which involves the use of "pie" which can be approximated by 22/7 or 3 1/7. The circumference of a circle, then, is about 3 1/7 times the length of its diameter.

Here is a clue for you smarty slugs!  Again, it's:        

Circumference = "pie"(22/7) x Diameter 

I know this is not going to be an easy slime trail to follow for even the smartest of you smarty slugs. Rest assured that I am not having an easy time of it myself, which is why I am dragging you all down the primrose path with me, as a slug never slides alone.  If your brain hurts, you are making progress. Pat yourself on the mantle!

If any of you get these two slimy questions correctly answered, I will give you a vacation from math questions until the mid-terms! Yippee!!!!!

Of course, you are free to comment on this situation without solving the puzzle. Mr Slug has found other creative ways out of a pickle without the need for exact calculation, therefore, your assistance is greatly valued even if it does not involve number rasping.  Yippeee!!!! Let's dance!

                                                                                  

7 comments:

Jeanne said...

Ok. I finally found my slide rule and have used several pencils and lots of paper doing these calculations.....

The diameter of the first circle is 2.5478 inches

The circumference of the second circle is 28.26 feet

I do hope Mr. Slug is able to find his way back to Mrs. Slug now.....

{{I still think Mr. Slug is having us do his homework for him...}}

Life 101 said...

I'm not sure if it's the same with slugs, but there are three kinds of people in this world.
Those that are good with numbers, and those that aren't.

Owen said...

I'm purposely going to refrain from solving these easy questions with the hoped for intention of seeing more math problems here to slide around with for months to come... 'cause I love math, and even better when it's covered in slug slime... just imagine, once Mr Slug gets finished with two dimensional surface, dimension, and area questions, he'll be able to graduate to three dimensional puzzles, such as placing a slug on a suspended donut, where it can slide infinitely without ever leaving the surface, and after sliding long enough without nibbling on the donut's surface, he could then begin to calculate the volume of the donut...

In the meanwhile, all this talk of circles made me think of a song with the line in it :

"Circles they grow and they swallow people whole,
Half their lives they say goodnight to wives they'll never know
A mind full of questions but a teacher in my soul
So it goes..."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONasj5meH_s

Slide your slide rules happily !

babbler said...

Jeanne, Life without a slide rule can be dangerous indeed! Thanks for always being the first to class and answereing the questions thoughtfully and correctly! You are a good student and get an A in this class.
PS - your answer helps Mr. Slug greatly, he enjoys the free time!

babbler said...

Life 101, I sat and stared at your comment for a minute or two and chuckled, but I still can't figure out if two of the three are good with numbers.....There are three types of slugs in this world, those who slide and those who don't. The others do mathmatical calculations to invent alternate transport. (see the next slug entry dated 9/13/2010!) Thanks for your insightful comment. You shall receive a passing grade.

babbler said...

Owen, you are clearly needing to be placed in a class with the smarty slugs, or perhapls you are in a class by yourself! We shall study the three dimensional donut question with the use of a properly applied Mobius strip at a later date. Whether Mr. Slug nibbles the donut or not will affect our calculations, so we will do that one after dinner. I enjoyed your response to the math question which seems to be too easy for you. Hence, I have brought out the "Bug Guns." (see the newest post 9/13/2010).... I was going to give the class a much needed break from number rasping, but I see you have an insatiable hunger for a more complex question.
Mr. Slug enjoyed being serenaded by Bob Dylan, I had never heard that particular song. Played it again just now. Pure genious, mi amigo! Thanks for the music, it is appreciated greatly. For this, you shall receive a passing grade even though you refused to answer the math question. Lucky for you, I grade on a sliding scale. Thanks again for your continued support at Slugs Rest, as they say in the cartoon Ren and Stimpy, you are one of "thee good ones."

babbler said...

Owen,
PS - Please excuse the typos, the keyboard I am using has all of the letters rubbed off and I am a "hunt and peck stlye typust."
Mrs. Slug