Frank Morgan's Math Chat
November 15, 2001
Old Challenge. Is there any valid explanation for the Burger King sale:
Double Cheeseburger: $.99
Triple Cheeseburger: $1.49
(Why are three cheeseburgers cheaper than one triple cheeseburger, when the individual burgers have more bun but the same amount of meat?)
Answer (Arthur Pasternak). Sure, I can think of five explanations:
Margaret Luck reports that at Kippax shops, Canberra Australia, you can buy one loaf of day-old bread for 80 cents, or three for $2.50, and they won't let you buy three loaves separately.
Questionable Mathematics. John Sullivan reports that the October 7 New York Times described some (evidently four-dimensional) rockets in use by the Afghan opposition, which "are designed to land in unison and pulverize a several-square-acre area." (Since acres are already two-dimensional units, a square acre must be a four-dimensional unit.)
Readers are invited to submit more examples of questionable mathematics.
New Challenge (Al Zimmermann). In the baseball World Series (best of 7), which should be more difficult: to come back from being behind 0-2, or to come back from being behind 2-3?
Copyright 2001, Frank Morgan.
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