Feed Your Data Appetite
Data is everywhere....and it is fun to explore. And, a prime source of data is the mathematical task of measurement, which involves units and the need to quantify some attribute.
In this regard, Stephen Strauss' book The Sizesaurus: From Hectares to Decibels to Calories, A Witty Compendium of Measurements is a fun book to explore and share. The first half of the book is a a fascinating exploration of the "world" of measurement, and its connection to cultural assumptions. The second half is the "meat" of the book, complete with a Wordsaurus, or extensive glossary of measurement terms, and the Sizesaurus, or measuring macropedia.
First, from the Wordsaurus, do you know the meaning of these measurements:
Second, from the Sizesaurus and content from the first full text, can you answer these questions:
- Barn (atomic)
- Donkey power
If you are not able to use these ideas in a mathematics classroom, they will provide ammunition to fuel conversations that lag during dinner or a date.
- Which celestial body is equal in volume to 54,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Big Macs?
- How loud must a noise be to have lethal effects?
- How hot would Hell be? How cold would Hell have to be before it froze over?
- What are a bresica, a houpee, and a Smoot?