Are you smarter than a high school student?

When researchers put the following three problems to 3400 students in the US, only 17 per cent got all three right. Can you do any better?

1) A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?

2) If it takes five machines 5 minutes to make five widgets, how long would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets?

3) In a lake, there is a patch of lily pads. Every day, the patch doubles in size. If it takes 48 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how long would it take for the patch to cover half of it?

[For answers, see below]

Answers: 1) 5 cents, 2) 5 minutes, 3) 47 days

Source: Shane Frederick, 2005

A salute to Hysteria

Here’s a little education. From the Wikipedia entry on “Female Hysteria”:

Female hysteria was a once-common medical diagnosis, made exclusively in women, which is no longer recognized by modern medical authorities. It was a popular diagnosis in Western nations, during the Victorian era, for women who exhibited a wide array of symptoms including faintness, nervousness, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and a “tendency to cause trouble”.

Patients diagnosed with female hysteria would sometimes undergo “pelvic massage” — manual stimulation of the woman’s genitals by the doctor to “hysterical paroxysm”, which is now recognized as orgasm….

Every normal person, in fact, is only normal on the average. His ego approximates to that of the psychotic in some part or other and to a greater or lesser extent.
~ Sigmund Freud

Dem Smart in Duh Citay

Watching NY1 per usual to catch the “In the Papers” section where they read the top headlines and stories for us non-paper subscribers… when I caught a quick story on the Nation’s city High School Graduation rates and more specifically that New York City is among the worst large cities in the country: .45 percent of all New York City high school students graduate within four years. That ranks New York 43rd among the top 50 cities.

Less thank half the kids in New York City graduate high school in 4 years (if at all)! That’s incredible!

What does the NY Dept of Ed have to day about this? Uh well that this is an IMPROVEMENT! “Department of Education said that the city’s graduation rate has risen six points since the study was conducted”

In the America’s Promise Alliance study Mesa, Arizona, faired the best where 77 percent of students earned a diploma. The worst was Detroit, where just a quarter finished high school.

Some other interesting stats: Asians more than any other ethnicity graduate more (80.2%), females more than men (73.6%) and kids from the suburbs graduate more than those from rural, towns, and urban districts.

My hometown areas faired well: San Jose was ranked #2 (Mesa beating only by 0.1%), San Francisco ranked #5, Sacramento ranked #9 but Oakland edged just above LA and New York at #41.