Sunday, February 15, 2015

Load bearing tangents

who: J1, J2, and J3
when: at dinner
where: in the dining room

So, can you get any useful math out of Peppa Pig? I was indulging the munchkins in an episode when we came to this scene (at 3m12s):

Obviously this is just meant to be silly, but the pseudo-mathematical nonsense irked me. An alternative like "I derive solutions to equations" would have sounded nearly as complex to the target audience, would have been a (nearly) sensible job, and would have fit the quadratic formula on his whiteboard.

Anyway, one of the little ones asked: "what's a load bearing tangent?" I told them the whole thing seemed silly to me, but I understand "tangent" and "load bearing." This lead us into drawing a bunch of pictures:
- a circle with a tangent line kissing a single point
- a smooth curve with a tangent line that intersects the curve at another point
- a triangle, on which we tried to find the tangent to a non-vertex point and then a vertex point.
- two circles tangent to each other (externally)

Next we talked about "load bearing" as "carrying a weight." They understood that pretty easily because they'd spent part of the evening earlier hanging off my arms.

To round it all out, they proceeded to spend the rest of the time before bed running around, pointing at things and people, and shouting out, "there's a load bearing tangent!"

Oh, and if you think I'm only a curmudgeon when it comes to math, I'll admit this grammar nonsense also grates on my ears (at 2m25s):

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