Sunday, September 03, 2006

Are we there yet?

You're going on vacation. You have two kids, four activities packed, and X miles to drive. Will you survive the road portion? Depends upon your calculations.

This is an equation put forth by a maths professor, Professor Dwight Barkley, as published on BBC News (way back, although I've only just discovered it).
According to BBC News:

A maths professor has worked out an equation to calculate how long into a car journey it takes a child to ask: "Are we nearly there yet?”
The equation for the time it takes for a child to ask the question is: one, plus the number of activities to do, divided by the number of children in the car squared. To get the final answer, that figure is then added to the time it took the family to get into the car and set off on their journey.

Is this amusing? To me, yes.
Precise? Maybe.
Accurate? Not likely.

Of course, the inputs can't be considered homogenous. When I was six I leapt from furniture like a retarded ninja, and yet my neighbour's baby crosses her legs in her stroller. Further, I can't imagine that children find all activities equally amusing. Would you behave if this were placed on your lap?

Still, this discovery beats the weekend Bizarro strip hands down.

1 comment:

Marc said...

I solved this one on a recent trip from BC to Saskatchewan and back: it's called the portable DVD player and is the greatest travel innovation of modern times.