## Sunday, 27 February 2011

### Maths wins over socks

I have been thinking about maths quite a lot recently. Possibly some of this was brought on by my statistics exam. Though even before the exam I would divide laps swum (note: not swam) into ratios and percentages of a target whole, then forecast time estimates for each further subdivision.

Anyhow. it all started when, in an idle brain moment yesterday, I was contemplating the most efficient way to peg out washing.

Hanging washing always takes a mysterious amount of effort for such a mundane task. I feel that a great deal of this effort arises from the sheer amount of bending over to pick things up required. Pick up wet item, pick up peg, realise another peg is needed, pick up another peg, now necessary to pick up further item of washing; and so the sick cycle continues.

I realised that a more logical approach to the task at hand must be taken;
I would have to write an equation.

At first, the solution was easy.
If P = pegs and W = items of washing; then surely,

P = W + 1

(assuming of course that you take the accepted pegging method as that which consists of sharing pegs between two adjacent edges of washing, an often controversial stance)

Unfortunately, an issue quickly came to my attention; the problem of socks.

Taking socks as S, the equation becomes;

P = ((W - S) + 1) + S

One mundane task just got so much more equated.

Wow. I really think too much.

Ruby.

1. Mathematicians always over-complicate things! The solution is very simple. Pegs are unnecessary, therefor the equation is actually:

P = 0

2. Possibly it depends on the amount of wind present at said location? A little more complex;
If locale (L) = Wellington (C), then P not equal to 0.
Or some sort of 95% confidence interval, with a sliding t-scale to factor in various environmental factors?

3. People dry clothes outside?

PS: Please allow anonymous commenting. These blogger default settings are crap.

4. Done! Possibly. Be a bit anon and see.
But, where we used to live in Ohio, there were these Amish who actually DID dry clothes outside! And, no joke, people would drive from all over the state to see these amazing, ridiculous, outdoor-hanging-device things they put up.
Though, maybe there's just not really much fu nto be had in Ohio.

5. Lolz. Those Americans sure are funny.