Wednesday, January 30, 2008

How to make a bus move...

Greetings and Dear Cynthia,

Last night, it was near blizzard conditions with wind chills in the negative numbers. DH takes the city bus to and from work. On the way home last night, traffic was crawling and the bus DH was on got stuck on a hill. The wheels were spinning, and the bus wasn't moving at all. Then, one of the passengers said, "Everybody get in the back of the bus!" AND, the bus started slowly moving and was able to get the rest of the way up the hill. DH said that after that, the hullaballoo on the bus was much discussion about how great Physics is. I am cringing just envisioning a similar problem on a Physics exam: A bus weighing seven tons is stuck on an inclined (8 degrees) plane. It contains 25 commuters, each weighing an average of 178 pounds, each wearing a 4.5 pound parka, and each carrying a Dell laptop weighing seven pounds with case. If it requires all 25 commuters to move and stand above the rear wheels to enable the bus to just start moving again, then what is the coefficient of friction between the bus and the road? Incorporating chemistry, does the answer change if the temperature is negative eight degrees F and the bus driver throws some salt on the road just in front of the bus' wheels?

Speaking of real life word problems, I had to laugh about your request for calculations on your blanket. Here's what I have for you:If we break your blanket apart into triangles, then, since the base (number of stitches in one quarter of your blanket) and height (number of rows in the blanket) are roughly the same (average increase on one triangle is two stitches per two rows, which is one stitch per one row), and since the area of a triangle is one half the base times the height...blah blah.... In any case, it amounts to taking the square of one quarter of your stitches (70 squared) divided by the square of one quarter of your final number of stitches (122 squared), so right now you are about 33% finished. In order to finish by March first, you'll have to complete roughly 1.7% of the blanket each day. You could set up a spreadsheet to figure this out the rest of the way. In 20 days, you'll want to be 67% done, which amounts to 100 stitches per side (400 stitches around). Is this any help at all? Just be glad that this is a LEAP YEAR! (Note: As always, calculation is rough and done quickly, and carries no guarantee for freedom from mental anguish and angst in the event that the project really won't be done until June because of my math error...)

Anyway....schools are closed today. Hazardous wind chill factors of -35 degrees F (which is -37 degrees C)....

I've been knitting away on my Tangled Yoke Cardigan. I finished the body of the sweater up to where I must attach the sleeves, and am more than halfway done with the first sleeve:Something very exciting happened yesterday! I was given the "you make my day award" by Allison! That made MY day! THANK YOU!! "Give the award to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blogland. Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. Beware you may get the award several times."

Allison used to be a local knitter here, though she moved to Georgia. She is another stay at home mom, and I always enjoy "hearing" about everything she is doing. She is also working on a murder mystery, and it's really fun for me to "hear" where she is getting her ideas, how she thinks of new twists and tries to incorporate them into the plot, etc. Plus, she can take any four ingredients from any pantry and turn them into a delicious three course meal. In the blog world, my biggest inspiration comes from a few local blogs which I've read for a couple of years, so I'd like to further pass this award along to Sus, Cindy, Molly Bee, Elizabeth, Allison (who still seems "local" to me :-), and KittyMommy. Also, some folks who aren't so local who also inspire me are Marit, Lauren, Polly, and YOU !

In other news, the boys are starting to get excited about Valentines' Day. My seven year old told us that Cupid is a fat little angel who shoots arrows at people, and if he hits somebody with an arrow, that person falls in love. He's such a romantic at heart, no?

Okay, time to really get busy here. Have a great day, and STAY WARM! Weather like this makes me SO GLAD I am a knitter!

Warm regards,
Laura (YarnThrower)


allisonmariecat said...

Glad to make your day!

Oh my gosh, your math is amazing. That's so much fun. Sometimes, I find that ignorance is bliss when I attempt such things, though. Last year, trying to figure out if I could finish a shawl by Christmas, I discovered that I would have to knit for 5 hours a day to make it. Yeesh.

Hee hee. I'll still be a little "local" until I stop reading the Madison paper online to see what's going on there :)

Sus said...

Awww, aren't you sweet! No one's ever 'awarded' me before! You make my day, too! :)

MollyBeees said...

WOW! Thanks Laura! Your blog makes my day too! I'll snag the link later and pass it on!

Cindy G said...

Oh! Thank you! My first "award", too. I've got a really great big grin. (Why do I feel like Sally Fields?)

Kitty Mommy said...

Well, that made my day! Maybe my whole week! :D

I saw this yesterday, but couldn't reach the keyboard and/or had wee people crawling on me! I will snag the button and pass it on!