Monday, April 09, 2012

All minds go to waste eventually

The process of aging, and the weird turns your mind takes on the way to becoming a victim of internet scammers and Glenn Beck, are quite an important and fun subject, until you're living them. Consider a fairly routine problem:

A machine can insert letters in envelopes at the rate of 120 per minute. Another machine can stamp the envelopes at the rate of 3 per second. How many such stamping machines are needed to keep up with 18 inserting machines of this kind?

The math couldn't be simpler : 12. No, where I had a problem was the grammar. Is the first such machines the 120 or the 180? Coming off a day dealing with people who never use a proper noun unless you shove bamboo under their fingernails, I got totally lost looking for referents. Had to ask an 11 year old. Who derisivley pointed out the distinction between stamping & inserting machines.

So if I seem unduly dense, just slam the table and call me Ronnie. I'll understand. For now.

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