Sunday, June 26, 2011

Harry Potter and Mathematics

This is the explanation I gave to my students in a math class for nursing students. A dram is from the apothecary system which comes to us from the middle ages.

Students,

There was some question about # 25 on page 106. The answer in the back of the book states 30 mL. If you use the conversion on the chart, it states 5 mL = 1 tsp = 1 dram. According to that conversion, the answer should be 40 mL. However, at the bottom of the chart, it explains that the dram actually is worth 3.7 mL and has been rounded to 4 mL. Additionally on the chart, under 30 mL, it shows: 30 mL = 2 tbsp = 1 oz = 8 drams. Therefore, because it states "8 drams" that would be the most accurate conversion. If you used 3.7 as your conversion factor, your answer would be 29.6, which rounds to 30 as well.

I know this can be very confusing. I would like to apologize for it, but it is not my fault. Needless to say, there is a reason Harry Potter hated Snape and why simply following the potions formulas would not produce consistent results from student to student. That is why when Harry got a copy of the Half-Blood Prince's potion book, the notes provided the accurate amounts. Finally Harry was achieving the desired results while everyone else struggled, including Hermione. I think, most likely, the measurements were given in drams. So at least you are good company.

Good Luck!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Amazing (g)Race

Mom: How is the pool temperature?
Monterey: It is perfect, like the Amazing Race!
Mom: What does that mean?
Monterey: You know (singing to the tune of Amazing Grace) "Amazing Race, how sweet the sound."

I spend my days laughing at that child. I have to document this stuff. I would never be able to make it all up nor remember it all.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Out of the mouths of babes ...

Maya wanted to know how we get money. I explained that you get money by working. She said yeah, but how do they get the money to pay you. I explained that generally there are two ways. You are either a public sector employee like a fireman or police officer or a teacher who gets paid by the tax payers for the benifit they give to the community or you are a private sector emploee who provides good or services. She seemed satisfied with the answer.

However, her younger sister pointed out that there was a third way: gambling. Ah, the joys of raising a child in Las Vegas.