September 25 – Math Storytelling Day

Posted on September 25, 2014

A woman named Maria Droujkova, founder of Natural Math, was inspired by social media visionary Seth Godin to think about what she would like people to do on her birthday. After some thought, she asked that September 25 (her birthday) be known as math storytelling day.

Here are two of the stories she shared:

  • Although George Washington's flag sketch for Betsy Ross had 6-pointed stars, Betsy Ross knew how to make 5-pointed stars more easily. She folded the cloth a certain way and then made one snip with her scissors. Ross recommended the 5-pointed star to the committee and demonstrated the ease of creating the symmetrical star, and so that's the kind of stars we ended up with. Check out the fold-and-snip trick here

 “I’m looking for an outfit for a one year old girl.”

Me: “Sure, all of the twelve month clothing is in this section.”
Customer: “No, she’s one.”
Me: “Right, so that would be over here.”
Customer: “You just said that was twelve months!”
Me: “Yes.”
Customer: *slowly* “I’m looking for ONE YEAR.”
Me: “Would you like to go up one size to 18 months?”
Customer: “Is there someone else who can help me?”
(I go and get my manager.)
Manager: “How can I help you?”
Customer: “Your employee doesn’t understand English. I’m looking for clothing for my one year old granddaughter.”
Manager: “The twelve month clothes are over here.”
Customer: “What is WRONG with you people?”

If you like fictional math stories, check out Mr. R's World of Math and Science

If you prefer your math stories to be true, check out Six Small Math Errors that Caused Huge Disasters

How about math stories that are silly? Here are some math jokes (warning: in my opinion, only SOME of them are funny!). I chuckled over this one: 

A visitor at the Royal Tyrell Museum asks a museum employee: “Can you tell me how old the skeleton of that T-Rex is?”
It is precisely 60 million and three years, two months, and eighteen days old.”
How can you know that with such precision?!”
Well, when I started working here, one of the scientists told me that the skeleton was 60 million years old – and that was precisely three years, two months, and eighteen days ago…”

Also on this date:

Anniversary of an early warning that smoking is harmful (1878!)

Plan ahead:

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