Monday, July 23, 2007

The problem with trains....

A non-stop train leaves city A for city B at 60m.p.h. At the same time, another train leaves city B for city A at 50 m.p.h. How far apart are the trains one hour before they meet?

I'm math phobic. I have no idea how to approach the above problem. So it's somewhat ironic that one of my favorite shows is NUMB3RS. I love the idea that, at least hypothetically speaking, all the world's problems can be solved with mathematical equations. Well- maybe not famine, AIDS, or world hunger; but at least arson, homicide, and fixed horse races.

Of course my personal lack of knowledge and understanding in the mathematics department means that I won't be solving any crimes. I guess that I'll just have to leave that to the Charlie Epps types- of whom I married one. J is an electrical engineer, so he has a strong math background. Being a very logical person, he approaches any type of math problem in a very logical, analytical way. I, on the other hand, just do whatever works for my brain (and it's not usually logical or analytical). Times tables are a case in point...

When Teenage Son was in 3rd grade and started learning his times tables, I discovered something about myself.

Brace yourself.

I don't know the 2nd half of the times tables.

Evidently, at some point in my childhood, I (subconsciously?) realized that the 2nd half of the times table is just the 1st half reversed. I'm not sure if that means that I was a really smart and efficient kid or just plain lazy. In my life today, what that really means is this:

I know that 6 X 8 = 48

However, if you ask me what 8 X 6 equals?

I don't know...

But, in mind mind I just flip it.

And again, 6 X 8 = 48.

So there you have it. One of my great personal secrets... I may never be able to solve the equation with the trains, but that's what I have my husband for.

And anyway- I prefer to fly.

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