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Only the Swen Fit to Print...

Not all of the news discussed here is earth-shattering...but the effects could be. Take the following two events that are indirectly related in their connection to mathematics...


Event 1: In East Sussex, England, Matthew Cook was arrested for driving at a speed of 103 miles per hour, weaving in and out of traffic, "gesticulating wildly at other drivers." In court, his defense was an inability to "understand the speed dial because he was suffering from dyslexia."

Now, a common view (but actually misleading) is that dyslexia is connected with digit reversal. Thus, what speed did Cook think he was traveling: 301 mph, 013 mph, 130 mph, etc. Now, it is true that if going slightly slower than 103 mph, his argument could have carried weight, as suppose he was going between 93 mph and 96 mph. (Side note: Cook is terminally ill and was banned from driving for three years.)

Event 2: In my local newspaper The Bellingham Herald, an article's headline reported that the city council will consider a "2.73M" water management plan for a local lake. But, the article's text states that the plan would cost "$27.33 million."

Which is it? There is a big difference between 2.73 million and 27.33 million! Is this yet again some form of dyslexia on the council's part, relative to the shifting position of the decimal point?

And that's the "swen" for this week....