Thu 29 Mar 2012
Sun 25 Mar 2012
If you’ve been to my house, you know there are gumballs aplenty in old drugstore glass jars. Also, you should knock first.
The other day a friend posed this question to me: imagine you had 50 blue gumballs and 50 green gumballs. Imagine further that you were given two bowls and a simple task: divide up the gum between the two bowls so that a blind person selecting a SINGLE gumball from EITHER bowl has the greatest chance of getting a green gumball.
An engineer when presented with such a problem might take this approach:
1- Can the problem be reduced in complexity? For example, why 100 gumballs? why not fewer? what can be done with 50 gumballs when dividing between two bowls that cannot be done with 4?
2- What is the math equation that models this situation? the expected value (or outcome) of the blind picking is EV=(percent chance you’d hit a green gumball from the first bowl)x50%+ (percent chance you’d hit a green gumball from the second bowl)x50%
3- List all possible unique combinations: all gumballs in one bowl. two of each in each bowl. one green in one bowl, the rest in the other.
4- Calculate the expected value for each combination.
That’s all! And yes, this is sometimes called the 100 marble problem. And yes, you can get better than a 50/50 result.
Mon 12 Mar 2012
Sun 4 Mar 2012
11 year old kid talks about genetically modified seeds (Monsanto) and food production:
Sun 4 Mar 2012
Love conquers all is a Latin phrase from Eclogue X by Virgil. But does Love really conquer all? In tennis, ANYTHING beats love (zero). Sometimes when my wife says she loves me, I respond back with “I love you MORE.” In that case, more love beats regular love. Does love beat the Avian Flu? I don’t think so.
Recently we purchased a couch and it came with pillows (see pic.) Each pillow has trite Latin phrases scrawled on them. See how many of these you recognize:
How’d you do?
Fri 2 Mar 2012
13-year-old Iranian Tara Salehi belts out an impressive rendition of Adele’s “Someone Like You.”
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