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Just don’t count on it

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By John Pawlak

If a hen and a half, lays an egg and a half, in a day and a half, how many eggs do six hens lay in seven days?

John Paulos’ book, “Innumeracy,” cites a story about a weatherman who was discussing the chances of rain in the coming weekend: “Well folks, there’s a 50 percent chance of rain on Saturday and 50 percent chance of rain on Sunday.  So it looks like there’s a 100 percent chance of rain this weekend!”  

It may or may not have rained that weekend, but clearly there was a low-pressure cell between this guy’s ears.

While taking a walk one summer, I stopped at a garage sale at which a child had a small table set up and was selling beaded bracelets he had made.

When I asked how much they cost, he said, “30 cents each or three for a dollar.”

And people still debate whether math skills are a problem in this country? Of course, I recognize a bargain when I see one ... I bought six.

Declining math skills are a constant sore point with me and I’ve voiced my strong objection against the use of calculators many times. If it were up to me, students would not be allowed to use calculators until 11th grade.


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