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And On The Subject Of Old(er) Ladies:

February 9, 2010

Here’s something that the BBC didn’t tell me – Miriam O’Reilly is suing the BBC for ageism and sexism. Good.

On a different note, I have a shiny new desk right in time for my new semester, which started this week. This means posting is likely to be light whilst I go “heeee!” lots, and maybe even do some work.

Also, I have learned things from my lecturer, who last featured here with her pipe-cleaner klein bottle:

  1. It is a bad idea to get into maths-related arguments on Wikipedia
  2. It is not possible to add two bananas together to get one bigger banana
  3. It is a good idea to learn the principles she’s teaching us, because one of them makes Carol Vordeman laugh uncontrollably. Video is below, transcript below the cut.

Richard Whiteley, show host: …And, er, it’s our friend the first numbers game, which is always a very interesting part of the procedings, the last three or four games, James?

James Martin, contestant: Can I have four from the top, please, Carol, and two from the third row?

Carol Vordeman, show host: He keeps doing this to me… from the third row down?

James: Yes please.

Carol: Ok, thank you. Alright, what have we this time? 6 and 3, the only surprises on this board, as you know what else is here – 100, 75, 50, and 25 from the top row, and the target number – ooh, 952…

Richard: Ok chaps, nine hundred and fifty-two – 952.

[pause whilst contestants think – countdown clock ticks]

Richard: Well, 952 – James?

James: I think I have 952

Richard: ok, well, it’ll be great if you have. Gerald?

Gerald (other contestant): 953

Richard: Oh, 953. Right, well we’ve got a 953, Carol, and a 952, so let’s have James’s 952.

James: 3 times 100 – oh, sorry, can I do 100 plus 6, is 106

Carol: yep [writes sums on board in front of her]

James: um, multiplied by 3

Carol: …is 318

James: um, I’d like to multiply by 75 now.

Carol: Multiply by 75?

James: yes.

Carol: multiply THIS by 75? [indicates the 318 on the board]

James: Yes, please.

Carol: And then divide it by something?

James: Well, yes, in a minute, but –

[Carol laughs]

James: I’m not sure what that makes, but that’s certainly what I need, 318 by 75.

Carol: So, times by 75, and then what will you divide it –

James: I’m going to take away 50.

Carol: Oh, good grief, I’m going to need my calculator for this one: 318 by 75 is:

James: Um, ok, let’s work it out… 225… plus…

Carol: 23,850 [laughs]

James: Ok, now take away 50


Carol: 23 thous – [laughs] – sorry, I’ve gone now – 23,800

James: And divide by 25, I hope

Carol: … And divide this *laughs* by 25?….. Do you know, I think you’re right… *laughs* that’s incredible… I think he’s right: 952

Richard: I just can’t believe that, Carol, is that – I mean, I don’t know what to say!

Carol: Yes, because if you multiplied that bit by the four, that’s how you get – because you divide the hundred by the 25 to give you the 4, so multiply that by the 4 and that gives you the right answer… That is incredible, I have to say, that is probably the most incredible answer we’ve ever had on countdown!

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