Silly math

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History of Silly Math[edit]

“Count to five, Tamia, if you can”

“...a disgraceful abuse of the mathematical community’s reputation as a respected and intelligent society.”

~ John Napier on silly math

Silly math was invented in 1646 by Sir Allegorico Twide. With its roots in witchcraft and ancient bartending, silly math rarely finds its way into public schools for lack of "educational benefit". However, silly math can be used to calculate equations for numerous real-life problems.

Silly math involves the use of illogical equations that can be used to solve abstract problems that are otherwise unsolvable, or illegal. These equations often offer ridiculous methods of solving problems and as a result silly math has been widely criticised by both the mathematical and scientific communities.

John Napier labelled silly math as ‘pathetic’, ‘disgusting’ and ‘a disgraceful abuse of the mathematical community’s reputation as a respected and intelligent society’. Twide, who later realised the utter stupidity of silly math, is rumoured to have disowned his name from the concept all together on his deathbed.

However, it is acknowledged that silly math methods can be in most cases applicable to real life, and as a result they are used as a means to solve many problems.

One example[edit]

For example, your uncle Harry needs to build a deck in his back yard. It needs to be 14 feet wide. He has 400 board feet of wood planks, 8 inches wide each. How deep can his deck be, with the lumber he already has?

The truth is that standard mathematics can not be applied to solve this problem. However, using a silly math equation quickly yields a usable and easy-to-understand solution, We can use Lackley's Deck-Building Equation. Variant 2 of this equation is used when we know the desired width, but are seeking a depth.

For this equation, let:

x = board feet of wood available
wb = width of board (in microinches)
wx = desired width of deck (in half-feet)
p = expansion/contraction constant

For dry climates, let p = 1.222. For wet climates, let p = 1.221.

Now plug in your values, assuming Harry lives in Nevada.


Thus, Harry's deck can be 16.5 feet deep.