Monday, August 02, 2010

Your Mathematics Puzzle Of The Day

Three trains are traveling on one north-south track. The first train is colored mustard yellow and beige and is slowly progressing northward at 30 mph, and though no one believes it has the fuel to sustain its momentum, it has not abated in its advancement. Train number two is colored a very ugly orange and black and is also slowly progressing northward, at a rate of 10 mph, despite being weighed down by a 300-lb panda among other dead weights.

Train number three is colored a beautiful blue shade, but is hurtling southward at a rate of 186,282 miles per second, billowing smoke from its locked windows and doors while its passengers scream bloody murder in their futile attempts to escape.

How long will it take before train number three explodes in an enormous ball of fire, taking out a rancorous divorcing couple in the engine room (which would be okay) as well as millions of the train's supporters (which would not be as cool)?

Please show all work; partial credit will be given.

27 comments:

Josh S. said...

Answer thrown in the wastebasket and set on fire!

Dusty Baker said...

Answer derived, but my work is smeared by both sad and angry tears of frustration upon unlocking the puzzle.

rbnlaw said...

Not sure about the answer, but I can bet thousands will stand by and watch as everyone loves a good train wreck.

Mr. Customer said...

As best I can figure, train C will crash into the side of the mountain in two months, give or take. However, since it is traveling south at the speed of light, special relativity dictates that this interval will be perceived as approaching eternity to all of the hapless passengers on board.

rbnlaw said...

The Villa Park Angels of El Monte just told me I can save 50% on tickets.

Guess no one wants to see that train wreck either.

Josh S. said...

rbnlaw:

The Dodgers offered me $45 field level seats between the bases for this week's beach towel giveaway night.

They can't even sell tickets to a giveaway. Frightening and sad.

Todd said...

Approximately 8 minutes and 21 seconds.

Distance from the earth to the Sun =
93,000,000 million miles.

Speed of light = 186,282 miles per second.

93,000,000/186,282 = 499.24 seconds.

499.24/60 = 8.32 minutes.

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

Where's Stephen Hawking when we need him?

Josh S. said...

Trick question.

Train 3 already exploded.

Dusty Baker said...

Todd, did you factor in Amtrak delays?

John G said...

Train A will finish, only to realize their station was a dead end.

Train B will die about 2/3s of the way and decide the answer is to buy more overweight cargo.

Train C will partially blow up, and hopefully will be sold off to just about anyone else.

Mr. Customer said...

Oh, and by the way, whatever Train C hits at the speed of light would probably put out enough energy to destroy the earth. So there's that.

Dusto_Magnifico said...

uh... participation points?

Dusty Baker said...

@Mr. C

Maybe that would bring some needed energy to the Dodger bats, if but for a brief nanosecond before we were all annihilated.

Fred's Brim said...

emotionally annihilated when our bullpen spoils another 4-run lead?

Dusty Baker said...

At this point, I'd be happy just to get 4 runs, period.

Josh S. said...

Aw, 4-run leads. I almost remember those.

Josh S. said...

DAMMIT.

Dusty Baker said...

Lineup for Cubs today:

RF Colvin, SS Castro, 1B Lee, 3B Ramy, CF Byrd, LF Sori, C Soto, 2B DeWitt (the new guy), P Wells via @CarrieMuskat

So not only does Joyce occupy the 8 hole; he also gets hit with the "the new guy" moniker.

Mr. Customer said...

My bad, a 100,000kg passenger train wouldn't make anything near what it what it would take to vaporize the earth.

It'd crack the shit out of it, though.

Eric Karros said...

Another Saxian Baseball Metaphor! Ok, I'm def adding a label now...

Mr. Customer said...

Wait, is this train big enough to carry each and every fan? Can I get another sheet of scratch paper?

Dusty Baker said...

Depends on whether it's a train or bandwagon. Because a lot of people have recently jumped off the bandwagon, and now there's plenty of seats available.

Mr. Customer said...

@dusty

True, but if the train was big enough to accommodate, say, Ten million passengers, the 100,000kg is off by at least a factor of 1,000. I'm having to assume that this train is traveling at 99.999% of the speed of light (significant digits, yo), factoring in special relativity, it would impact a stationary object with the force of 100 million million million tons of TNT. Which is a lot.

If it were *actually* traveling at the speed of light, that would require an infinite amount of energy and the universe would end, but that's just ridiculous.

Mr. Customer said...

And now I have and extra hour of work to make up after taking the time to figure that out.

Dusty Baker said...

See, you break up the Blake and DeWitt lineup symmetry and now the universe is going to implode. This is on you, Ned!

Steve Sax said...

@DB: Careful, or Ned's gonna start chasing Sean Casey.