Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Putting maths into practice

I usually have my morning walk at Bukit Dumbar Reservoir garden. There are many people who set their feet there for the sake of health. Some do tai chi, some jog and others take their morning stroll like me.

This morning, I saw one man walking towards me from afar. It was the way he was walking that attracted me. He zigzagged all along the tarred road in front of me. At first, I couldn't figure out why he did that. Suddenly it dawned on me that he wanted to cover a longer distance on the same stretch as other walkers. Let me explain what I mean.

Matematically, the hypotenuse of a right –angled triangle is the longest side. By walking in a zigzag way, we are travelling along the diagonal of a rectangle (half of which is a right-angled triangle). In this way, we can walk a longer distance than the length of the same rectangle.

The man I saw had actually putting maths into practice. What a smart man!

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