Monday, 7 September 2015

Mathematical Conumdrum

Hope no mathematician reads this.

My daughter was 33 last Saturday.  My husband remarked that she was now exactly half his age   Obviously, he is 66.  So last year when she was 32 and he was 65 - she was less than half his age. He then pointed out that the older she gets, the closer she will creep up to his age.  e.g. When she is 53,  he will be 86 (God willing) - in other words she will be 61% of his age.  How can that work???? It seems to me therefore that one day she will be the same age as both of us?? He says that will never happen (???) 
There is a reason that I scraped Math with the lowest possible pass mark. Can anyone get their head around this? Can it be represented by an algebraic equation as simple as E = MC squared? (LOL).  I am beginning to think Math is some kind of a con trick.


  1. I took pictures of my sons on the day they were exactly half ages of each other and I remember the day I was half my moms age but missed the days my sons were half my age. That's sad.

    1. I see however that you are not tormented by the Math?

  2. The difference in their age will always be the same. The ratio of their ages will approach 100% but never quite make it. Even though they are mortal beings, their birthday are forever locked into existence. So lets consider the ratios:

    D= 1 H= 34 D/H*100= 2.9%
    D=10 H=44 = 22.7%
    D=33 H=66 = 50%
    D=100 H=133 = 75.2%
    D=1000 H=1033 = 96.8%
    D=1,000,000 H= 1,000,033 = 99.9967%
    D=1,000,000,000 H= 1,000,000,033 = 99.9999967%

    So when your daughter's birthday was 1 E ^ 100 years ago, your husband will still be 33 years older than her. Their ages will never be equal. That string of 9s just gets longer and longer. Thus the ratio of their ages will approach unity (1 or 100%) but never will be at one no matter how much time goes by.

    Well, until the Big Crunch. If the universe stop expanding, starts to gravitationally attract and crunches into a singularity (the opposite of the Big Bang), at that point, time will cease to exist and the equation D/H*100 will be a non-defined absurdity. If the universe dies through heat death, a thermal equalization of the entire mass of the universe as indicated by the second law of thermal dynamics...I am not sure that time will cease to exist, so the relationship may hold. However there will be no one physically existing to witness the fact.

    If a tree falls in a forest and no intelligence exists to observe the fact, does the forest exist?

    Keep cutting a pie in half. Half of a half of a half.... By mathematics you could have an infinitely thin piece of pie whose dimension would approach zero but never quite get there. However in reality in our universe, you can only get down to Planck's length;

    0.00000000000000000000000000000000001616199 meter

    Anything smaller and you are out of this universe into the quantum foam. We always think of the edge of the universe being way out there, when in fact it right in the palm of you hand. Time also has the same limit, Planck's Time or a Jiffy, the amount of time it takes for light to cross Planck's length.

    Due to the fact that the ratio of your daughter's age to your husband's age does not describe any physical reality but rather just a hypothetical mathematic relationship, in one fashion it will exist forever (in the annals of mathematics) just because we observed it. Confused yet? I was 5 paragraphs back, but kept blabbering, because the second law of thermodynamics has not quite caught up to me.

    1. Second thought maybe it has, and I have just not observed the fact yet.

    2. Another way to look at it, one person in your living room is quite a bit different than 33 people in your living room.

      But comparing the attendance of people at Newlands Stadium, you would be hard pressed to notice the difference between 51,001 and 51,033.

      The percentage in your house (looking the opposite way) is 3200%


      At the stadium (51,033-51,001)/51,001*100 = 0.0627%

      In both cases there are 32 more people, but the frame of reference is vastly different. I am getting a headache.

    3. I am relieved at the arrival of your headache! I just knew I was asking for it when I did this post. Sextant, what is your IQ - I am sure it must be off the charts?? I got the bit about slicing a pie though - thank you! Reminds me of when big son explained to me why I couldn't find my friend's photos on my computer. i.e. "Would you expect to find another person's food in your fridge?"

    4. Hey - did you really count all those zeros?

    5. I like the idea of quantum foam. I am also deeply flattered that you think I might be able to understand parts of your explanation. I also got the bit about Newlands stadium.

    6. My IQ was a tiny bit to the right of the clapper, about average. However what piddly amount I had above 100 got blasted by MS, so I rather now suspect that I am one standard deviation to the left of the clapper. Functional but just barely. I am just enthralled with my own b.s.

  3. Thanks goodness for Sextant. The best I could tell you is the difference in age is a constant.

    My daughter is slightly older, she'll be 34 later this year. The conversation reminds me of when she was just a little girl. Her elementary teacher was celebrating her birthday and D informed that I was the opposite age to her. She was 23, I was 32. That was quite a few years ago!

    In any event, happy belated birthday to your daughter!

    1. Thank you. I'll pass on the message.