Saturday, August 31, 2013

The 1%

This propaganda blurb is courtesy the Toronto Hydro-Electric System, accompanying my most recent every-other-month bill. The 1% struck me as unusually low. Looking over the source document, the relevant fact should be gleanable from the last column of this table, but (alas) electricity is grouped with water and fuel, which (in total) constitute 3.1% of the average 2009 household expenditure, the latest available. Why use the Canada-wide table instead of the Ontario one? Because Ontario's is slightly higher at 3.3%. How does Toronto Hydro arrive at 1%? Presumably by suggesting that electricity is one third of the water-fuel-electricity expenditure. In our household (which uses natural gas for cooking and heating), electricity actually represents half of that water-fuel-electricity total.

Our entire 2009 income was just 46% of that average household expenditure suggested by Statistics Canada. We didn't, but suppose we spent every penny of our earnings that year. What fraction would have been for electricity? The answer is 3.7%.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Square Split Subtract

There are three (base-ten) 38-digit squares that can be split (somewhere) in such a way that (the difference between the two parts)2 is the original number. One of them is the square of 3636363636363636365:

Square: 36363636363636363652 = 13223140495867768604958677685950413225
Split: (here, into two 19-digit parts) 1322314049586776860 ' 4958677685950413225
Subtract: 4958677685950413225 - 1322314049586776860 = 3636363636363636365

What are the other two solutions?

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Cooking the books

Velikovsky, von Däniken, Sitchin,
Baking pseudohistorical fiction.
Lack of critical thinking
Has their soufflés a-sinking.
There be too many cooks in the kitchen!