Monday, 30 January 2017

Quibans 54: Terrorism vs gun violence

While this is a news story from a few months ago, it seems rather relevant right now.  From CNN:
American deaths in terrorism vs. gun violence in one graph
October 3, 2016

Using numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we found that from 2001 to 2014, 440,095 people died by firearms on US soil. (2014 is the most recent year for which the CDC has data for deaths by firearms.) This data covered all manners of death, including homicide, accident and suicide.
According to the US State Department, the number of US citizens killed overseas as a result of incidents of terrorism from 2001 to 2014 was 369.
In addition, we compiled all terrorism incidents inside the United States and found that between 2001 and 2014, there were 3,043 people killed in domestic acts of terrorism. This brings the total to 3,412.



Possible questions:
1) How many years have been included?
2) Why is this starting point relevant?
3) What percentage of the deaths by terrorism took place in 2001?
4) What percentage of the deaths by firearms occurred in 2014?
5a) Of all of the deaths in 2014, what percentage of them involved terrorism?
5b) Rewrite part (a) in the form “1 in ###”
6) What percentage of the terrorism incidents took place on US soil?
7) What other questions can you ask/answer?

Answers:
1) How many years have been included?  14 years (not 2014 – 2001 = 13).
2) Why is this starting point relevant?  The September 11th attacks took place in 2001.
3) What percentage of the deaths by terrorism took place in 2001?  87.6%
4) What percentage of the deaths by firearms occurred in 2014?  7.6%
5a) Of all of the deaths in 2014, what percentage of them involved terrorism?  0.095%
5b) 1 in 1050
6) What percentage of the terrorism incidents took place on US soil?  89%




Thursday, 26 January 2017

Quibans 53: Trump's Wall

From the Guardian:




Mission: fill in the gaps.

We discussed the equivocating language that has been used here ('likely', 'assuming', 'could cost', etc).  We also talked about other Walls (in the West Bank, Cyprus, Korean peninsula, Berlin).

Are the figures in the image reasonable ones?  Will it really be that high?  Can a wall that high really be only a foot thick?

Our calculations gave us about 8.9 cubic metres of concrete and a total estimated cost of $38 billion.  Reasonably, my class wanted to round this off to $40 billion.  The original Guardian article is linked below.  Here is the image:



Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/25/mexico-enrique-pena-nieto-trump-border-wall 

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Quibans 52: Big Mexican Food

Two articles, the first taken from the Daily Telegraph, the second from the international news organisation Reuters:

Families line up for slice of 4,724-metre long cake to celebrate Three Kings Feast

Several thousand people gathered in Mexico City's huge Zocalo plaza on Thursday evening to partake in a gigantic Three Kings Day cake known as a "rosca."
The monumental rosca weighed in at 9,371 kilos (20,660 lbs) and measured 4,724 metres long (15,500 ft) before it was cut up into giant pieces and given to anyone wanting a piece.

Mexico makes mammoth 'torta sandwich'

An army of chefs in Mexico City on Wednesday (July 27) crafted a 66-metre (###-foot) monster "torta" sandwich - making it the biggest sandwich of its kind ever made in Latin America.
Local authorities and dozens of local business rolled up their sleeves to prepare the mega sandwich in less than 4 minutes - known as "torta" in Mexico.
Despite its super size, the sandwich didn't quite make it into the big league.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest sandwich ever made was in 2005 in the United States and weighed ### kg (11,993 lb), while the honor of the longest sandwich goes to Lebanon with a sandwich over 7.5 meters (2,411 feet) long in 2011.


What questions can be asked/answered?
Here are a few ideas:
1) What is the conversion between kg and lbs in the first article?
2) What is the conversion between metres and feet in the first article?
3) What is the weight of cake per metre?
4) How many pieces of cake might there be?
5) In the second article, how long (in feet) was the torta?
6) What was the weight in kg of the biggest sandwich ever made?
7) What is the error in the final sentence?
8) How did the longest sandwich compare with the cake?
9) If you could keep it fresh, for how long would the cake/sandwich feed one person?

Answers:
1) 1kg = 2.205 lb
2) 1m = 3.28 ft
3) 1.98kg per metre
4) The cake can’t be more than about ½ metre wide (otherwise it wouldn’t fit in an oven), so we might assume an area of 4724 x ½ = 2362 square metres.  If each piece has an area of 10cm by 10cm then there will be 100 pieces in a square metre.  This would give 236200 pieces; about a quarter of a million!
5) Using the conversion from the first article we get 216.55m.  The second article gives 216-foot.
6) Using the conversion from the first article we get 5440kg, which is what the second article gives.
7) In the final sentence the unusual spellings (‘honor’ and ‘meter’) are because this is using American English.  The error is the conversion: 7.5 meters (2,411 feet).   2411 feet is actually 735 metres.
8) Using the measurements given in feet, the longest sandwich is 15.6% of the length of the cake.
9) In Subway they sell ‘foot-long’ sandwiches.  One of those per day would mean the sandwich would last 2411 days, which is 6 years and 31 weeks.
The cake would last for 80 years if you had 8 pieces per day.




Quibans 68: Human Chain

 from the Daily Telegraph: Beachgoers form incredible human chain to save drowning family   T his is the incredible moment st...