20 March, 2009

Friday Favorite WTF Moments o' the Week

This week's Friday Favorite shall be a quickie, since I've already deluged you poor people with a veritable flood of other stuff. I'll just share with you my utter favorite moment reading Political Animal this week:
Quote of the Day: "No one should face financial ruin because of a mishap with a fork and an avocado." (Click the link; it'll make sense.)
It really will. And yes, it'll still be funny afterwards.

Here's a little something extra for my mathematically inclined readers:

I think math teachers should use this one to demonstrate the real-world applicability of equations. They're useful for a lot more than science. They can also make heads explode in your cell phone company's accounts receivables department. What's not to love?


dNorrisM said...

I don't get it: It looks like (damn. I can't use sup /sup tags here)
e^i*pi to me rather that e^2*pi. So I figure
or $0.002 total.

NP said...

You know what's funny....that equation is probably easier to understand than most people's actual phone bills!

Efrique said...

Whoever calculated the value misread the "i" as a 2.

(just as dNorrisM thought)

the check was written by Randall Munroe (of xkcd fame) because of Verizon's 0.002 cents debacle.

The joke is that if Verizon can't tell the difference between 0.002 cents and 0.002 dollars (and the above link demonstrates that apparently nobody there can tell dollars from cents - but their mistake is consistently to the more expensive direction), that an equation with two additional terms (both of which are very well known and give -1 and +1 respectively) will give them a deal more trouble. It's Randall's way of saying "well, maybe you can get $0.002, but you're going to have to learn some mathematics to do it".

So an admirable effort by the person that tried to work it out, but the misread part of the expression.

Efrique said...

Oh, and Randall makes reference to this exact issue again in the mouseover text of his current comic.

Cujo359 said...

Re: The fork and avocado quote, well worth a read. It's what a lot of us are living with these days. I had no trouble solving the riddle before I read the article. A lot of folks who have insurance could find themselves in the same boat.