July 23, 2009

Superstitious Math

Adorable baby Kaya.

Q: If breaking a mirror brings seven years of bad luck and touching a live rhinoceros' horn brings one year of good luck, how many years of good or bad luck would a superstitious woman have if she shatters a mirror but repeatedly touches up to ten live rhinoceros horns in a four-month period?

A: Zero years of good or bad luck, because said woman is not superstitious.

But just to be safe, I'm going to touch all the rhino horn I can the next month and a half, mostly just in case I can't do it after Labor Day. Oh man, I'm already getting sad. Dammit, I need to stay at the park!

When I was in middle school (sometime very late 90's) a classmate set out to find out exactly how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll pop. He licked the pop since getting it at lunch and when we walked home he was nearing 300 licks. Has anyone answered this crucial question? Mr. Owl says it takes three, but the owl cheated.

I think the answer to that question may hold the answer to life itself... But alas, no one can know.

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