Monday, May 16, 2011

Current view of my Mac's dock

They say you can determine personality by what applications a person uses most frequently. I don't know who "they" are. Perhaps they don't say that at all.

Ok, if two trains are 100 miles apart, and one is going 40 mph, and the other is going 60 mph, how many feet would the yellow one have traveled in 12 minutes?


  1. 12 minutes is a fifth of an hour; there are 5,280 ft. in a mile.

    So, let's talk about this "yellow" train. Did you decide this color? Have you ever seen a yellow train? Is yellow symbolic of something? Is it carrying propaganda, if so whose? Is the engine yellow or the cars or both? Caboose? Passenger or freight train? I like my word problems more flushed out, not so stark, and this my friend is lean. The yellow train as opposed to the red, blue, green train, what? Which is the yellow train? Am I missing something? I just want to do the math but you have left me at an unmarked crossroads. Which way do I go? You are cruel.

  2. The Blue Train, of course, was the famous french express train, so popular with the glamorous set in the nineteen twenties.
    In 1930, Woolf Barnato, on hearing a boast by the Rover car company that its 'Light Six' had beaten the Blue Train from Cannes, to Calais, on France's northern channel coast, famously declared that he could not only beat the Blue Train in his Bentley Speed-Six, but be in London at his club, before the Blue train arrived in Calais.
    He wagered the then enormous sum of £200, and the following day, as the train set off from cannes, so did the Bentley..
    The car reached Calais at 10:20 in the morning, drove onto the channel steampacket, arriving outside Barnato's club at 3:20 p.m.
    At 3:24, the Blue Train arrived at Calais.

    Barnato's winnings came in handy when the french fined him handsomely for racing on public highways.
    Not that he'd have been too troubled, as he was a millionaire several times over, heir to a diamond mining family.

    The Yellow Train is actually neither of the two trains mentioned, it is in a siding, at a standstill throughout those twelve minutes as it waits for the other two to crash.

  3. I can see now that these types of questions* are confusing some of my readers who think mathematically rather than philosophically. The key, of course, is not how many miles or how fast but the vibrancy of the color yellow, and it's proper place of harmony within the blogging cosmos.

    To be one with itself, the yellow train is already there. Or wherever it wants to be.

    *One question if you only read this blog and scorn my other blogs.

  4. @Leazwell - Forgive me for taking so long, but I have been giving your comment the depth of concentration it deserves.

    I regret that after many days and many miles and much food consumed in really poor roadside diners, I am still unable to come to grips with your comment except to say, yes, you are missing something. Somewhere. Somehow. Perhaps something integral.

    I find I can't argue with your reasoning that 12 minutes is indeed one-fifth of a mile, or that there are 5,280 feet in 1760 yard-pounds. I tried. I even converted the number of feet in a mile into metrics, God only knows why, and then divided the meters thus obtained by the number of keys a piano has. The answer confirmed my belief that metrics is a useless system, but yielded little else.

    There is a train, one of a whole family of trains, whose job is simply to go back and forth under the English Channel endlessly. It has a special plow on the front to pierce the water. This train is yellow.

    I guess that about says it all.

  5. @Leazwell - You had also expressed a desire to do some math, and I am loath to disappoint you for fear you will stop reading this blog in retaliation, even though math skills will get you nowhere in life.

    My math skills are limited, I'm afraid, having only secretly memorized in the fourth grade that 60 mph was 88 feet per second. This was enough to get me through math classes until I matured into a high school freshman when I came close to failing algebra because some snot-nosed Buddy Holly-spectacled Michigan State-graduated rookie math teacher tried to call my bluff and made me substitute x for feet and y for seconds. May he rot in hell. In the end, I was able to pull out a passing grade only by cannily reading a chapter in the textbook behind his back, something I had never done before and never intend to do again. I fear I digress.

    So, the math part you requested:

    Say two trains are one inch apart, facing one another, and only ONE of them is yellow. Say both of them begin at exactly the same time to traverse that inch, and travel at 60 miles per hour (hint: 60 mph is the same as 88 feet per second) until they cover the distance which separates them. Say, further, that it is on a Tuesday in late August. (Hint: that would mean that BOTH trains would be in Montana, if ONE train were in Montana, since all borders around Montana are 2.5 inches thick. Also note that 2.5 is a decimal and not metric.) Say, further, that they were facing each other rather than at right angles to each other, so as to remove any need for trigonometric sine calculations. This would only confuse the issue needlessly, since I only want you to tell me how much total distance (at 60 mph) would be traveled by ALL TRAINS OF ALL COLORS. Please express your answer in light years rather than inches. No calculators, please. Begin.

  6. @Leazwell - Too easy, you say?

    Then take into consideration this additional information when preparing your final answer:

    1. The yellow train takes 17 minutes to accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour. Just take my word for that and don't toy with real-world physics.

    2. The non-yellow train takes 12 minutes to accelerate from 0 to 45 mph. Assuming a straight-line graph which neglects bhp drop-off with rpm gain (diesel-electric locomotives act like external combustion engines and LOSE bhp with increasing rpm,) extrapolate the time this second train takes to reach 60 mph, then proceed with your answer regarding total distance traveled in light years.

  7. @Soubriquet-Think not that no response is not coming.

  8. If you faithfully do these calculations, you will arrive at an answer which will astound you with it's coincidental-seeming connection to both the earth's TRUE circumference expressed as a ratio to the distance to the moon (Selene) at this time of year. I can only tell you that you will be shocked and it will be incredibly unworthwhile compared to your efforts.

  9. In response to the several private queries I've received asking how many places to round off the light years to, I hereby agree that you may express your answer in rods/links rather than light years, and you may drop anything under half a link.

  10. Disregard the rods and links. That would mean the answer is zero. Screw that.

  11. I've moved on, but thanks.


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