Friday, January 27

Reflections from Facebook

So...I was looking for a post topic and scrolling through Facebook statuses (statii?) and saw this phrase. Had to make it a blog post - just haven't figured out where it is going to go.

"Big dog tails and sodas on a coffee table don't mix"

I know the dog and the coffee table. The dog's tail is one of those sturdy whip-like devices. You know, the tails that resemble a ferret without the eyes and legs? And the dog that it is attached to is - well - kind of a spaz. As my friend Matt would say - he's an excitable boy.

 The coffee table is a creative use of a skid. It is a skid (city folks call them pallets). A skid with legs. And no - the gaps are not filled in. So I can just imagine spaz-dog and the soda get together. There is not only soda on the magazines that litter the skid-table...and the floor underneath...and probably the dog tail. But there is also stealth-soda hiding on the lower level that will sneak out in the days and weeks to come. Sometime in March she will take the sticky thing out in the yard and hose it down after the ants infest her copies of People and Reader's Digest.

The next status that caught my eye was: "Help! I can't believe this is vexing me so much, but I just can't figure it out and I'm determined NOT to resort to actually writing it all out to solve this, but I can't find a formula that discounts duplicates -- HERE IS THE PUZZLE -- If you have seven different soft drinks, how many combinations can you make? Assume that when combined, amounts are proportional (that is - if you combine two drinks, each is 50% of the whole. If you use all 7, each is 1/7) That is the part that's killing me - you can't use the normal permutation (7 to the 7th power) because, for example, with numbers 17 and 71 are different but coke/sprite and sprite/coke are duplicates and only one would count."

Apparently this problem was posed by her Marine Sgt. brother and she has been tasked to solve the problem. Perhaps for matters of national security. Or perhaps to figure out how many different drinks can be made at the officers club.

As of this writing she has received the answers 21, 28, 560, 5040 and N-2. Amusing. Just typing the question gave me a headache. But it reminded me of a college class I got thrown out of. Freshman math. The discussion was something about arranging books on a shelf. The teacher (it was community college, so I do not believe the woman was an actual professor...I think she was moonlighting from her normal job at Orange Julius) gave an answer to the problem and I told her that I had come up with a different answer. The exact numbers are not important. She asked how I had arrived at my figure. I said you could turn all the books upside down. She told me to get out. I did. I never returned.

I did, however, have the high score on Q-bert in the student lounge.

You need to have a sense of humor in life.

Even with math.

1 comment:

  1. Love it! As always, Chris, your take on life is much appreciated :)