First, some really cool news on the Sonlight website front:

1. We now have a new Cart at Sonlight.com. Hop on over there and look in the upper right corner of the window. There's an awesome "View Cart" button that pops out from the side. How cool is that?

Pretty cool.

2. We've extended our free Live Chat hours! That means that you can get help from a Customer Relations representative until 7pm Mountain Time. How cool is that? Well, to loosely borrow from the kid in The Incredibles:

On to MathTacular:

"What percent of ½ is an eighth?" Easy, but just in case you're a little rusty, I'll break it out for you:

x * ½ = ⅛ (divide both sides by ½)

x = ⅛/½ (solve division of fractions by flipping and multiplying^{*})

x = ⅛ * 2/1 -> x = ¼ -> x = 0.25 (multiply by 100 to get a %)

x = 25%

But then we turned it into a word problem:

"What percentage of half the income of the farm (which is how much is used to pay wages) is paid to one of the eight farm hands?"

Working out the numbers we naturally get 25% again... but wait, there are 8 guys, so how could any of them get ¼ of the money?

...umm...

No matter how I worked it, I couldn't get it to make sense. I ended up with things like:

x% = 1/400% workers

$1 * $8 = ⅛

and my personal favorite: x% * ½y = ⅛

But if I stuck with just the numbers, I got 25% every time.

I know it has something to do with how we're saying the problem, but I can't figure it out. And I don't often get this stumped. I mean, especially when I understand the math--I can solve the numbers in a flash--but for some reason the moment I add in the units the whole thing falls apart.

And I'm still stumped.

But I know the moment someone shows me where I've got it wrong everything will be clear. At the moment, however, I have killed math. Math is dead.

Speaking of fun numbers and death, today, for a moment, it was 04:05:06 07/08/09... which, I'm pretty sure, will not happen again for another hundred years in 2109. At which point, I will likely be dead.

~Luke Holzmann

Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

^{*}Proof: Solve for ⅛/½

We can multiply both the top and the bottom by 1 and the answer will remain the same: ⅛/½ * 1/1 = ⅛/½. But any number over itself is still just 1.So, we can have 2/2 = 1

Multiply both the top and the bottom by that

⅛/½ * 2/2 -> (⅛ * 2)/(½ *2) -> (⅛ * 2)/1 and that is just:

⅛ * 2

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