‘History’

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A Day for Wishes and Tricks

March 17, 2019 4:00 pm

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It’s St. Patrick’s Day, that Irish holiday when we wear green clothes, eat green food, and maybe score some “luck of the Irish” for ourselves. There are leprechauns, those funny elf-like fellows from Irish fairy tales who are only as tall as kids, but have big magical powers. Supposedly they keep all their coins in a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, which would be a great thing to find. It’s even better to find the leprechaun himself, because if you capture him he’ll grant you 3 wishes. Another Irish symbol is the shamrock, or 3-leaf clover, because long ago people in Ireland believed that carrying a clover kept you safe from evil spirits. It’s still a sign of good luck today, and 4-leaf clovers are even better luck. Who knows, maybe today you’ll find a leprechaun or a clover – or at the least, you’ll get to eat a green pretzel.

The Wheel Deal

March 14, 2019 4:00 pm

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Learn how doing math with Pi can be just as much fun as eating pie!

Cat out of the Bag

March 10, 2019 4:00 pm

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What does it mean when someone “lets the cat out of the bag” and why did tricky farmers have to make sure they did the math right when selling pigs? Read on to see how these things are related – and do the math in swapping animals!

On the Other Hand…

March 9, 2019 4:00 pm

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Most people are right-handed, which means they use their right hand to write and generally feel stronger using their right side.  However, there are people out there who are left-handed, which means that they write with their left hand, and probably pour drinks, brush their hair, and do lots of other things lefty.  In the old days, everyone thought left-handed people were a threat to society.  But don’t worry, now that we have Google to look up all this stuff, we know that being lefty isn’t bad at all.  In fact, it might mean you’re better at certain things, like music and math.  You will, however, have to get a different-shaped glove to play catch.

1 Fish, 2 Fish, 396 Fish

March 2, 2019 4:00 pm

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Did you know today is Dr. Seuss’ birthday?! Who knew his books could inspire so much fun math!

What You’re REALLY Wearing

February 26, 2019 4:00 pm

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Have you ever really looked at your clothes up close? If you did, you may have seen that they’re made up of lots of smaller threads weaved or knitted together. The patterns in weaving and knitting require a lot of math! Read on to get up “clothes” and personal with the math and numbers in your shirts.

City of Surprises

February 20, 2019 4:00 pm

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What do Accident, Maryland and Surprise, Arizona have in common?? They are both cities! How about where you live? Do the math to find out!

Starting a Town by Accident

February 13, 2019 4:00 pm

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Did you know that a town can be formed by accident?! A little history and math are tied up together in today’s problem!

Furry Friend from Down Under

January 26, 2019 4:00 pm

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It’s Australia Day, which is a great time to talk about all the neat animals that live down there. One of the many unique ones is the wombat. Read on to learn more about this cute critter, and scurry your way through the math in these furry friends.

Giving the Green Light

January 9, 2019 4:00 pm

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When we drive on the road, we can’t all just go every which way. We have to stay on one side, and wait our turn where roads cross. Stop signs help, but really busy crossings need traffic lights. The traffic light, that cute red, yellow and green trio, was patented (made official as an invention) on this day in 1923. Actually, the very first electric traffic light was invented in 1912 by Lester Wire, a policeman in Utah fed up with all the traffic; you can imagine, after hundreds of years of slow horse-drawn carriages, what it was like to have this speedy, loud thing called a car suddenly show up. So Wire borrowed the idea of railroad signals to make a traffic light, which had just red and green for stop and go. Then in 1920, Detroit cop William Potts built one with 3 colors (red, orange and green). As you see here, people have tried other designs, like this funny dial one from Australia, but the three-color light is what keeps most of us from crashing into each other today.