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Math of Macarons

A few weeks ago, I was downtown with the missus when we stumbled upon the Bottega Louie Restaurant and Gourmet Market. The window display was enticing, so we went inside and discovered, among other things, a bakery. This one’s focus was the macaron, one of many sweets aiming to topple the cupcake as the trendiest dessert, and so for a town obsessed with the current trends, it is no surprise that Los Angeles is home to several similarly specialized patisseries.

Though smaller than the average cupcake, the macaron is also more labor-intensive, and is therefore frequently on the more expensive end of the confectionery spectrum. The macarons at Bottega Louie, for example, will run you $1.75 each.

One of many delightful flavors

If you need a sweet fix, though, a single macaron may not be enough. Anticipating such a first-world problem, Bottega Louie also offers boxes of macarons for . . . → Read More: Math of Macarons

Weird Al’s Keen Eye

If you follow “Weird Al” Yankovic on Twitter (and really, why wouldn’t you?), you may have noticed this picture, which he posted earlier this week along with the tweet “Wow, waffles for just .25 cents? That means I can get 400 for a dollar!!”

Kudos to you, Mr. Yankovic, for spotting what I can only assume to be a mathematical error of the type we’ve seen before. If this music thing doesn’t pan out, maybe you can work for Verizon.

Then again, maybe it’s not an error, in which case I can only hope that Weird Al wastes no time in naming this establishment, so that I can patronize it before they catch wise.

(Thanks to Nate for sending this my way!)

jAdis Needs Some Math Review

If you’ve ever gone for a walk down main street in Santa Monica, you may have passed by a store front filled with all kinds of paraphernalia. This is the home of jAdis, a museum of sorts, filled with props from TV and movie history, from a model of the robot in Metropolis to a spitting image of everyone’s favorite crypt keeper. Hey there good lookin’… No doubt maintaining such a large collection of Tinseltown history is not necessarily an inexpensive endeavor – for this reason, there is a nominal fee for those wishing to enter jAdis and sift through its treasures. Unfortunately, it looks like someone forgot to double-check the pricing scheme.

I’m not sure who thought it would be a good idea to charge more per person if you have more than one person in your group, but something tells me this bold strategy may not pan . . . → Read More: jAdis Needs Some Math Review

Decimal Point Fail, Ctd

I apologize for my silence over the past few weeks – I have been out of the country learning math and eating pancakes. While I get back into the swing of things, I’ve got a couple of points to mention that relate to earlier posts regarding our collective inability to correctly use the decimal point.

The first is a picture from a flyer advertising maid service. Here’s the ad (sent in to me by a dedicated foot soldier in the army that is my readership, a.k.a. my mother):

Names and phone numbers have been cropped out to protect the innocent. But in a case such as this, are there really any innocents? Although we’ve seen decimal point errors on signs before, this one is arguably the most egregious of all. Presumably the intended price is $100 – if that’s the case, then not only is the decimal point . . . → Read More: Decimal Point Fail, Ctd

The Cheapest Salad Bar in the World

Last week, I went to a number theory conference in Utah. The conference was very good, and I learned quite a lot, which I suppose is the goal of any such conference. The location of the conference itself was also quite nice – it was close to the mountains, a lake, and the home of Blendtec, famous for their “Will it Blend” series of videos.

As you might expect, most of what I learned on this conference pertained to number theory. However, there were lessons outside of this sphere of knowledge as well. The one lesson I will share with you is best encapsulated in this picture:

That’s right – Ghiradelli now makes salad.

It was my friend Jack who pointed out the placement of the decimal point. Apparently the people who work in cafeterias in Utah are the same people who work at Verizon call centers. If you ever . . . → Read More: The Cheapest Salad Bar in the World

Verizon Employees Suck at Math

If you’ve got the time, and/or the patience, listening to this audio clip of George Vaccaro try to deal with a series of Verizon representatives who claim that 0.002 = 0.00002 should be enough to strike fear into your heart regarding the future of mathematical literacy in this country. Then again, he’s talking about problems he had while in Canada, so maybe the reps are Canadian. We’d never make such an obvious mistake here in the States, right? Right…

On a related note, I would encourage all of you to start writing the dollar amounts on your checks as more complicated mathematical expressions. Everyone could use a boost to their mathematical literacy, bankers included.

The audio clip is quite long, and the longer it goes on, the more depressing it gets.

. . . → Read More: Verizon Employees Suck at Math