All posts by The Folks at Mathalicious

Pandemic

Vampires have become a big business in popular culture. Books, comics, movies: they're everywhere! Well, fictional ones are, at any rate. Nonfictional examples are harder to come by. So hard, in fact, that it's worth asking: do vampires actually exist?

There are a lot of conflicting stories about vampire behavior in pop culture, so before we can answer this question, let's first agree on some ground rules:

1. If you're bitten by a vampire, you become a vampire.

2. Vampires need to drink human blood.

3. Vampires need to feed once a week.

For the sake of argument, let's say there's a vampire out there who plays by these rules. What would that mean for the future of mankind?

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Wiibates

In late 2013, Nintendo found itself in a bit of a bind. A year after the release of its flagship Wii U, sales were slumping. In August, the company sold a mere 34,000 consoles in North America, far fewer than it had projected, and many wondered whether Mario & Co. were doomed.

In an attempt to boost sales, Nintendo dropped the price of the Wii U console from $300 to $250 the next month…and sales tripled. Crisis averted! Princess saved! Right?

Mmmmm, maybe not.

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Let Down Your Hair

Rapunzel. She had long hair. Really long. So long, that although locked in a room at the top of a stairless tower (by the pettiest neighbor-lady ever), she could still entertain the occasional visitor by dropping her hair out the window for them to climb (one assumes hand-over-hand, gym class style). Both in classic stories and modern adaptations like Disney’s Tangled, Rapunzel’s exceptionally long hair is taken as a given. Nobody says, “Hey, how does this woman even have hair that is as long as the height of a prison tower? Everyone knows an ambitious high school junior whose hair falls past her butt, but I’ve never seen anything like Rapunzel’s mane on a real person’s head. Not even close. Is there any way this situation even makes sense?”

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Win at Any Cost?

The New York Yankees have had the highest payroll in Major League Baseball for sixteen years. (Sixteen! This year, the Los Angeles Dodgers finally unseated the Yankees in that distinction.) Naturally, the assumption is that spending all that money on talent will translate to wins, and wins will translate to revenue for the franchise. And sure, the Yankees played in the World Series in six out of those sixteen years. But looking at the results for one highly-paid team can only tell us so much. Are wins correlated with team payroll, if we look at some more data?

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Sofa Away from Me

Ever go shopping for a new TV?  Ever buy a TV, get it home, realize it's too big, and been mad you spent that money for nothing?  Ever rearrange the living room furniture, sit down because you want your MTV, and think, "Oh no!  It's so far away from me!"?  The correct relationship between size-of-television […]

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Loan Ranger

Ask a teenager how a credit card works, sometime.  10 : 1 she will say, "Take it out of your wallet, swipe it, and sign your name."  Unless the child has been educated by a savvy adult, she'll think of a credit card as a piece of plastic with the magical property of allowing you […]

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Mathalicious Selected for Experimental Study on Teacher Support

At Mathalicious, we provide teachers with lessons that help them teach the Common Core Standards through real-world topics: Should McDonald’s rewrite its menu in terms of exercise? Do taller Olympic sprinters have an unfair advantage? Our goal is to put teachers in a position to engage their students in thoughtful conversations, to challenge them to […]

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On Writing Lessons for Others

(cross-posted from f(t)) We sat down recently to rewrite the core Xbox Xponential lesson. In it, we tell students about Moore's Law. They use it to make predictions about how we would expect video game console processor speeds to increase over time. And then compare that prediction to how console processors have actually improved. It […]

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Mathalicious Joins 100Kin10

For Further Information: Carnegie Corporation of New York Office of Public Affairs (212) 207-6273 Mathalicious Named as Partner in 100Kin10, National Initiative to Grow STEM Teaching Force Mathalicious commits to advancing goal of recruiting, preparing, and retaining 100,000 science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers in 10 years. New York, New York, February 13, 2013- […]

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