Summary: Fridays at the University of Guelph, five minutes before the end of class, I say, "Pens
down, books closed, it's "Friday Special" time!" Then I show on screen an article or
cartoon or letter or...something that has to do with math, the "real world" and has
absolutely nothing to do with class, assignments, or tests. It is math for fun. Often, it is
some flagrant example of how the media abuse math. I hope you use some of these. Make
them "Monday Morning" specials or "We need a break!" specials. If one falls flat,
blame me. If it works, you take the credit.
Here is a letter that goes back a LONG way. The issues, both in terms of the price of gas
and the underlying math avoidance, are as contemporary as ever!
GAS PRICE HIKES ELIMINATE SAVINGS
(Letter to the Editor, The Toronto Star, March, 1981)
Despite the milder weather, I cannot agree we are saving any dollars using gas.
My last gas bill showed an amount of $128.50 for February against $83.40 for the
same time last year. When I asked about this of Consumers' Gas, I was informed I
had used 15% less gas this year than last. When asked why my account was $45
more, the reply was that the price of gas increased 24% in the last year. Where are
the 6 and 5% guidelines, or don't they apply to Consumers' gas?