Additional Math Pages & Resources

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Creative Units of Measure, Part I

This week I am traveling. I thought I'd better find something interesting for the blog, but not too difficult for me to organize while I am out of the office. It seemed fitting to spend a few days on how we create new measurement units to clearly describe new situations.

(Remember, this blog is about how grown-up people use elementary math skills in real life.)

Today I read about billionaires who, despite the current economy, are still buying enormous yachts. About 2000 people own most of the 4000+ yachts in the world that are over 100 feet (30 meters) long.

We've done blogs on large ships before, in Capsize or Capesize, but they were not privately-owned luxury vessels.

The article I read today cited a decline in the number of ships delivered, due to the weak economy. However, while the number of ships declined, the aggregate yacht length (all of them placed in a line bow-to-stern) of luxury vessels on order has increased.

This creative unit of measure accurately reflects the fact that PEOPLE WHO ARE STILL BUYING are SPENDING MORE. Their ships are getting larger.

I suppose this is like saying the number of wedding rings sold this year declined, but the number of carats of diamonds on those rings increased.

I tried a few different approaches, but I can't line up 8,008 meters of yacht across the page on the blog. So we'll just have to look at some of the motor yachts in a vertical line-up. Below you will see the three largest sailing yachts in the world.

By the way, you can charter the Maltese Falcon sailing yacht (the last one) for around $500,000 a week and take 11 of your best friends along. That's $41,666 per person, or about $6000 a day. Per person.

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