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.
Send answers, comments, and new questions by email to Frank.Morgan@williams.edu, to be eligible for Flatland and other book awards. Winning answers will appear in the next Math Chat. Math Chat appears on the first and third Thursdays of each month. Prof. Morgan's homepage is at www.williams.edu/Mathematics/fmorgan.