The post Egg-streme Equinox appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>March 20 is pretty special, and not just because it’s the 79th day of the year. In most years March 20 is the start of spring, also called the vernal equinox. Equinox in Latin means “equal night”: on this day Earth is tilted neither towards or away from the sun, so every spot has 12 hours of both day and night. Because of that perfect tilt, people try to balance an egg on end at the exact moment of the equinox. It works — because you can balance an egg any time! Turns out eggs are also incredibly strong. While they break easily if they land on the floor, they can hold up really heavy objects when stacked between plastic cups, as shown here. It’s a game you can try today or any day!

*Wee ones:* How many eggs are in a “dozen”? If you have a 1-dozen egg carton, count to find out!

*Little kids:* Raw eggs wobble when they spin, but hardboiled eggs don’t. If you have 4 wobbly eggs and the same number of non-wobbly eggs, how many do you have in total? *Bonus:* If you stack 10 pounds of books and your 10-pound cat on top of an egg, how many pounds is your egg holding?

*Big kids:* If you sleep 10 hours and it’s dark tonight for 12 hours, but you sleep 1 hour past sunrise, how many hours of dark will you be awake? *Bonus:* If you balance an egg at 12:57 pm your time, and it stands for an hour and 15 minutes, when does the egg finally tip over?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* A dozen equals 12 eggs.

*Little kids:* 8 eggs. *Bonus:* 20 pounds.

*Big kids:* 3 hours, since you sleep just 9 hours of dark. *Bonus:* At 2:12 pm.

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]]>The post The Truth about Double-Stuf Oreos appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>You can’t believe everything you see, even the Double-Stuf Oreo. Oreos are the famous dark chocolate sandwich cookie with sugary crème filling. Then came the Double-Stuf Oreo, which says it has twice as much filling. Well, a math teacher named Dan Anderson and his class weighed a pile of Oreos, then scraped out and weighed all the white filling to find out the “regular” amount of filling. They did this again with Double-Stuf, and found out it was only 1.86 times as much stuffing, not 2.00. Mega-Stuf, which is supposed to have 3 times as much filling, fell short, too. We should have known — they couldn’t even bother to double the f in “stuff”!

*Wee ones:* If you eat 2 Oreos and each has 2 chocolate wafers, how many wafers do you eat?

*Little kids:* If you eat 6 Oreos, what numbers do you say to count down as you eat them? *Bonus:* How many wafers do they have?

*Big kids:* If you eat 18 Oreos at once, which would be gross, and twice as many of them are Double-Stufs as regular, how many of each kind of Oreo do you stuff down? *Bonus:* If you eat a regular Oreo first, then a Double-Stuf, then a Mega-Stuf, then a regular again to repeat the pattern, how many Double-Stufs do you eat out of 40 cookies?

*The sky’s the limit:* If you eat 75 cookies (ugh) and you eat the same number of regular Oreos as Double-Stufs, but 3 times as many Mega-Stufs as Double-Stufs, how many of each do you eat?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 4 wafers.

*Little kids:* 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. *Bonus:* 12 wafers.

*Big kids:* 12 Double-Stufs and 6 regular Oreos. *Bonus:* 13 Double-Stufs. There are 13 full triplets of cookies, and the 40th cookie is a regular Oreo, not a Double-Stuf.

*The sky’s the limit:* You eat 45 Megas, 15 Doubles and 15 regulars. Each “set” of cookies has 1 regular Oreo, 1 Double-Stuff, and 3 mega-stufs, or 5 cookies total, and there are 15 of those sets in 75 cookies.

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]]>The post When Every Door Is a Doggie Door appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Dog is man’s best friend — but sometimes dogs like to take charge. In this great video from our longtime fan JP in Santa Barbara, his dog Hunter isn’t waiting around for anyone. Hunter has learned how to open a door using the handle, and lets himself into the house just like a person. It helps that he’s huge: when he stands on his hind legs, he’s 6 feet 6 inches tall! He and his buddy Chase are German Shepherds, a breed (type of dog) that’s famous for being smart. They can learn a trick after just 5 tries, and they’ll follow a command on the first try 95% of the time. Now let’s see if we can teach them to wash dishes…

*Wee ones:* What shape is that door?

*Little kids:* When Hunter stands on his hind legs, how many of his 4 legs are in the air? *Bonus:* Hunter weighs 100 pounds and Chase weighs 84 pounds. Which dog weighs more?

*Big kids:* If JP teaches Hunter 6 new tricks, and Hunter tries each one 5 times, how many total tries does Hunter take? *Bonus:* If Hunter stood next to you at his full 6 feet 6 inches, how much taller than you would he stand? (Reminder if needed: A foot has 12 inches.)

Answers:

*Wee ones:* It is a rectangle, like most doors.

*Little kids:* 2 legs. *Bonus:* Hunter weighs more.

*Big kids:* 30 tries. *Bonus:* Different for everyone…Hunter is 6 x 12 + 6 = 78 inches tall, so you can subtract your height in inches from 78.

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]]>The post A Day for Wishes and Tricks appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>It’s St. Patrick’s Day, that Irish holiday when we wear dye all our food green to see if it tastes better that way. We also watch out for leprechauns, those funny elf-like fellows from Irish fairy tales. They’re said to be only as tall as kids, but they have big magical powers. Supposedly they keep all their coins in a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, which would be a great thing to find. It’s even better to find the leprechaun himself, because if you capture him he’ll grant you 3 wishes. St. Patty’s Day gives leprechauns an excuse to come out and play their little tricks, like hiding your shoes, leaving doors open, and dyeing the toilet water green. What’s happening at your house?

*Wee ones:* Which has more leaves, a 3-leaf clover or a 4-leaf clover?

*Little kids:* If you hand 6 green cookies to your friends, who eat all but 1 cookie, how many green cookies did they eat? *Bonus:* Which have more leaves in total, 2 4-leaf clovers or 3 3-leaf clovers?

*Big kids:* If you have 10 pairs of shoes and a leprechaun randomly hides 5 of your shoes, what’s the greatest number of full pairs you could still have? *Bonus:* If 1 of those leprechauns has a pot with twice as many coins as the 2nd, and together they have 18 coins, how many coins does each pot have?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* The 4-leaf clover!

*Little kids:* 5 cookies. *Bonus:* The 3 3-leafers (9 leaves vs. 8).

*Big kids:* 7 pairs. If the leprechaun took as many matching shoes as possible, he’d take 2 pairs plus 1 shoe from the next. *Bonus:* The 1st pot has 12 coins, and the 2nd has just 6. It’s as if the 1st leprechaun has 2 pots the same size as the other leprechaun, making 3 little pots in total that have 18 coins.

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]]>The post Talking Around the World appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Bonjour! If you speak French, you know that that means “hello.” But if you speak only English, that word won’t mean much to you. People in different countries speak different “languages,” or sets of words. So our fan Yuri R.S. asked, how many languages are spoken in the world? It turns out there are as many as 7,000 of them! However, only 700 of them are spoken by 100,000 people or more. If you know and can speak 2 languages, you’re bilingual; if you know 3, you’re trilingual. And if you’re Ziad Fazah or Alexander Arguelles, you can speak 50, maybe even 60 languages! That’s a lot of ways to say “chocolate.”

*Wee ones:* Say 5 words in your own language.

*Little kids:* If you can speak 10 languages, then learn 10 more, how many languages do you know? *Bonus:* Does that come to more or fewer than Alexander’s 50 languages?

*Big kids:* If it takes you 7 months to learn a language and you start in mid-October, in what month will you finish? *Bonus:* If only 700 of the 7,000 languages are spoken by more than 100,000 people, how many are spoken by fewer than that?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* Pick 5 words you like, and count them off as you say them!

*Little kids:* 20 languages. *Bonus:* Fewer languages.

*Big kids:* In May of the following year. *Bonus:* 6,300 languages (9/10 of them).

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]]>The post A Birthday as Big as a Billboard appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>We all get Happy Birthday wishes and cards from your friends, family, maybe even your dentist… but what about complete strangers? Well, one man named Chris Ferry is hearing “Happy Birthday” from thousands of people he’s never met! His (grown-up) sons set up the billboard you see here. Since they so helpfully included Chris’ phone number, he’s been getting a text message every minute and about 25 phone calls per hour from well-wishers. And it’s not even Chris’ birthday yet – he turns 62 tomorrow, March 16^{th}. So if you feel like singing Happy Birthday to someone, now you know where to call!

*Wee ones:* Do you know when your birthday is? What number day is it?

*Little kids:* The picture of Chris’ head on the billboard is 14 feet tall! If his whole body is 6 feet tall in real life, how much taller is the billboard head? Count up from 6 to 14! *Bonus:* If Chris stood on the head of another 6-foot-tall person, would the top of his head reach as high as the 14-foot head?

*Big kids:* If Chris starts getting 2 texts per minute, how many texts will he get in 15 minutes? *Bonus:* What about in 1 hour? (*Reminder if needed:* 1 hour has 60 minutes.)

*The sky’s the limit:* If Chris gets 81 calls on March 17^{th}, 27 calls on March 18^{th}, and 9 calls on March 19^{th}, how many calls do you think he’ll get on March 20^{th}? And what’s the pattern?

* *

Answers:

*Wee ones:* Different for everyone! (Though you do share your birthday with lots of other people.) Once you know the number of your birth date, see if you can figure out which number comes next!

*Little kids:* The billboard head is 8 feet taller than Chris, because you count up 8 steps: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. *Bonus:* No, it would not, because 6 + 6 = 12, which is less than 14.

*Big kids:* 30 texts. *Bonus:* 120 texts.

*The sky’s the limit:* He’ll get 3 calls on March 20^{th}, because each day brings 1/3 the calls of the previous day. You might find it easier to work the pattern in “reverse” to see that 9 x 3 = 27 and 27 x 3 = 81, rather than dividing 81 by 27 to find 3.

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]]>The post The Wheel Deal appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Today is Pi Day, and do you know why? If you cut a string that is the width of a circle, like a bike tire, you’ll need a little more than 3 of that string to wrap all the way around the edge. The exact number comes to 3.14159265…(it goes on and on). March 14, when written as 3/14, looks like the start of that number, so we have Pi Day. We use pi every day. As our friend Mary Claire A. shared, if you wrap a measuring tape around your head, find that length in inches, and divide by pi, you’ll get the width of your head — and that is your hat size! Better yet, when you bake a pie, the width tells you how much crust you’ll need around the edge…and that is the best pi of all.

*Wee ones:* Try to find 3 circles in your room.

*Little kids:* If you slice one pie into 6 slices and another same-size pie into 4 slices, which pie has bigger slices? Bonus: How many slices do the 2 pies have in total?

*Big kids:* If your bike has 2-foot-wide tires and they turn 10 times as you ride, about how many feet did you roll? (You can round pi to 3 if you like, or use 3 1/7, or try 3.14!). Bonus: If your head is 22 inches around, what hat size do you wear?

*The sky’s the limit:* If you ride 440 feet, how many times did the 2-foot-wide wheels turn, if you round pi to 3 1/7?

Answers:

*Wee ones*: Answers might include clocks, edges of plates and cups, and Frisbees.

*Little kids:* The slices from the 4-slice pie are bigger: you cut fewer slices, so each has more pie in it. Bonus: 10 slices.

*Big kids:* The tire is about 6 feet around (or 6 1/7, or 6.28), so you ride about 60 feet (or 60 +20/7, which equals 62 6/7…or 62.8). Bonus: About size 7.

*The sky’s the limit:* 70 times. 2 x 3 1/7 (or 22/7) is 44/7, and if 440 is 44/7 of the wheel turn count, then 440 divided by 44 gives you 1/7 of it. 440/44 is 10. So 10 is 1/7 of the total turn count, giving us 70 turns.

.

The post The Wheel Deal appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>The post Fun with Ferrets appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Of all the funny, furry pets you can have, the ferret might be the funniest. These long, skinny cousins of the weasel have been pets for possibly as long as 2,500 years. Even though they sleep up to 18 hours a day, they’re very playful at sunrise and sunset. Our friend J.B. found that his 2 ferrets love to hide inside long socks. He cuts off the toe, and the furry ferret wriggles through until its head pops out the other end. Then it either rolls across the room, or just takes a nap. Years ago, airplane maker Boeing used ferrets to run wires through tight spots when building planes. The problem was, the ferrets kept falling asleep on the job since they nap so much. They’d much rather lie around in a sock.

*Wee ones:* Ferrets love long socks. How many long socks do you have in your room? Count them up!

*Little kids:* If you have 8 ferrets and 6 socks, how many ferrets don’t get to snuggle in a sock? (Assume only 1 ferret can fit in each sock.) *Bonus:* Ferrets have a 15-inch-long body, plus a 5-inch tail. How long is a ferret in total?

*Big kids:* If your 4 20-inch ferrets lie nose to tail on the floor, how long is your ferret chain? *Bonus:* The word “ferret” comes from the Latin word *furittus*, which means “little thief,” because ferrets like to steal small objects and hide them. If you have 48 Lego blocks and the ferret hid 1/2 of them last week, then 1/4 of what was left this week, how many pieces has your little thief taken?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* Different for everyone…you can count all your socks that go higher than your ankle.

*Little kids:* 2 ferrets do not get a sock. *Bonus:* 20 inches total.

*Big kids:* 80 inches of ferret. *Bonus:* 30 pieces. The ferret stole 24 last week, and then 6 of the remaining 24 this week.

The post Fun with Ferrets appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>The post Swimming Pool of Chocolate appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>The peanut butter cup, that flared chocolate-covered slice of creamy nuttiness, can pop right into your mouth. Not if it weighs 444 pounds, though! That’s the size of the world’s biggest ever peanut butter cup, made at the Candy Factory in Los Angeles, CA. The candy makers had to use an 8-foot-wide kiddie pool as the bowl. As we see in this video, they poured gallon after gallon of melted chocolate to line it, then shoveled in giant wads of sugary peanut butter mix. They counted the pounds of each ingredient to use 2/5 as much peanut butter as chocolate — exactly the same as the ones we eat. We just hope no one dove in for a swim.

*Wee ones:* If you smear a layer of melted chocolate, then a layer of peanut butter, then a top layer of chocolate, how many layers does your giant candy cup have?

*Little kids:* If the factory poured 9 buckets of melted chocolate for the bottom and 1 more than that for the top, how many buckets of chocolate did the top get? *Bonus:* How many yummy buckets of chocolate did they use in total?

*Big kids:* If they’ve already dumped 400 out of 444 pounds of ingredients into the pool, how many more pounds do they have left to pour? *Bonus:* If you wanted to make a whole bunch of 2-pound peanut butter cups with those 444 pounds of ingredients, how many could you make?

*The sky’s the limit:* If the amount of peanut butter is 2/5 the amount of chocolate, what fraction of the *whole peanut butter cup* is the peanut butter?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 3 layers of ingredients.

*Little kids:* 10 buckets. *Bonus:* 19 buckets.

*Big kids:* 44 pounds. *Bonus:* 222 candy cups.

*The sky’s the limit:* It’s 2/7 of the total. If there are 2/5 pound of peanut butter for every pound of chocolate, then we have 2/5 + 5/5 = 7/5 pounds total. 2/5 is 2/7 of 7/5. If you think of each fifth as a chunk, 2/5 will count as 2 of the 7 chunks.

The post Swimming Pool of Chocolate appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>The post Moose on the Roof! appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Yes, moose are the biggest animals in the deer family, standing about 6 feet tall. Even so, you don’t expect to see one climb up on a roof! A woman in Canada spotted one confused moose walking around on top of a car shelter outside her house. Nobody could figure out how it got up there (or why it would want to). And probably no one wanted to ask it: moose weigh anywhere between 800-1,500 pounds, and can be mean. The woman called the police to help the moose, but the animal found a way down on its own. Did it jump?? We have no idea, but we’re glad that our new furry friend – and the roof, and the cars underneath – are all ok.

*Wee ones: *If it took the moose 2 minutes to climb up on the roof and 9 minutes to get down, which took longer?

*Little kids: *If this moose is 6 feet tall, how much taller than you is that? Have a grown-up show you 6 feet on the wall, and compare. *Bonus: *If the car shelter roof was 10 feet off the ground, how high off the ground was the top of the moose?

*Big kids: *If this moose weighs 1,000 pounds and the car underneath weighs 3,200 pounds, what’s their combined weight? *Bonus: *If this roof can support 10,000 pounds, how many 1,200-pound moose (meese?) can climb up on it before it breaks? (*Hint if needed:* what if the roof could support just 100 pounds, and the moose only weighed 12 pounds?)

*The sky’s the limit: *If you have a group of 3,000-pound cars and 1,500-pound moose that weighs 21,000 pounds, and there are 8 more hooves than wheels in the group, how many moose and cars must there be?

Answers:

*Wee ones: *It took longer for the moose to get down, because 9 is more than 2.

*Little kids: *Different for everyone. *Bonus: *16 feet from the ground, since 10 + 6 = 16.

*Big kids: *4,200 pounds. *Bonus: *8 moose can climb onto the roof, because 8 x 1,200 = 9,600. 9 moose would weigh 10,800, which is too much moose for the roof.

*The sky’s the limit: *6 moose and 4 cars. Since both cars and moose have 4 “feet,” the 8 extra hooves mean there must be 2 more moose than cars. From there, you can figure out that 1 car and 3 moose would not add up to 21,000 pounds, nor would 2 cars and 4 moose, nor 3 cars and 5 moose…but 4 cars = 12,000 pounds and 6 moose = 9,000 pounds.

That’s the trial-and-error way. If you want to solve using simple algebra, you know that the # of moose x moose weight + # of cars x car weight = 21,000. And moose = cars + 2, that is m = c + 2. So:

1,500m + 3,000c = 21,000

1,500 (c + 2) + 3,000c = 21,000

1,500c + 3,000 + 3,000c = 21,000

4,500c + 3,000 = 21,000

4,500c = 18,000

c = 4

Checking the answer: 4 x 3,000 = 12,000

m = c + 2 = 6, and 6 x 1,500 = 9,000

12,000 + 9,000 = 21,000.

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