50 Shades of Number Madness

Updated on November 28, 2017
verdict profile image

I am a school teacher with a love for writing short stories, usually with a humorous twist.

ape

I earnestly believe that mathematics has taken over my life. It’s happening imperceptibly, with tentacles of numeracy numbing my resistance. It seems that every moment of my existence is now merely a stage for a potpourri of mathematics minutiae.

This is what I mean.

I ritually perform my ablutions. In particular, cleaning one’s teeth should be a straightforward process, but not for me. I’m brushing and the tap is running. The drain hole is partially blocked with hair and other unmentionable material, so the water level in the basin begins to rise. A classic inflow/outflow problem, I muse. And then I try to envisage what the differential equation would have to be that describes this rate of change of the water level.

To perpetuate the investigation, I change the parameters under my control daily. This is usually the amount of water coming out of the running tap, and adding or extricating a random amount of drain hole debris.

Driving compels me to question the laws of probability. For instance, a considerable distance ahead are traffic lights. The green/amber/red cycle is in the ratio 6:1:8. Does this mean that the chance I come to a red light is 8/15? Or is it ½, since either I will stop at the lights or I won’t?

With this going on in my mind, I enter a coffee shop. I hand over money for coffee and watch the cashier work the cash register. At this stage I ask her a question as she hands me the change.

“Which weighs more, a pound of potatoes or a pound of feathers?”

She smiles. “It depends on whether the potatoes are peeled or not.”

I smile back in appreciation of her insightful response.

Sitting near the window, my attention is drawn to the people on the busy street, especially to those that pass each other.

When this occurs I think, “What’s the probability that they have the same birthday?”

I see several men standing at a bus stop. They seem tired. I cheekily reflect that maybe if they stand on one leg they will not feel as tired, because then there will be less mass attracted to the ground by the gravitational force.

Turning to my coffee five minutes later, I realise that I have not had a sip. This gets me to thinking what its temperature might now be. Could I drink it all in one go without burning my mouth? Of course this steers me to Newton’s Law of cooling.

As I exit the shop and head towards my car, I habitually recite my catechism of mathematics.

“Maths is good, Maths is pure, It’s in your life, You must endure”.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, letterpile.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://letterpile.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)