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Jellybean, feeling pretty psyched

by anna at 08:24 AM on June 21, 2003

My son has a tendency to take everything literally. My boy does not go in for sarcasm, hyperbole or nuance. He doesn't sense things that many people take for granted, but he's great at precise measurement.

Last night he went to Barnes and Noble for a release party. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was due out at midnight. Festivities began at 9:30 PM. Among these was a contest that involved guessing the number of jellybeans in a jar. Ian does not do guesswork. Instead, he applied the "volume formula." To determine how many jellybeans are in a jar, you need to know the height, width and length in jellybeans. So you count them and then multiply H x W x L = the precise number of jellybeans.

In this case it came out to 392, which is 7(L) x 8(H) x 7(W). Not 391 or 389 but exactly 392. Not a wild guess but a precise determination. Ian won the jar of jellybeans. His only question was whether there were indeed 392 in there. The answer: yes. One of his teachers happened to be on hand. He remarked, "I should have known."

So now Ian is the proud owner of 392 jellybeans that he cannot eat due to the fact that he has braces. He figures he'll keep them in the hermetically sealed jar until his braces come off on October 1, 2004. That is exactly 467 days from now.

Ah, clarity and precision.

comments (18)

Not to deliberately be an old grump or anything (even tho I am), but I dont see how apply the volume formula can possibly work. Were the jelly beans perfectly rectangular? If they were regular jelly beans, they would pack together tighter than if they were rectangles, wouldn't they? Also... 7 x 8 x 7 jelly beans? That is one SMALL ASS jar! Someone as Barnes & Nobel is a cheap ass.

Please excuse me while I go outside and yell at the kids playing jump rope and marbles.

by Eviltom at June 21, 2003 11:04 AM

Harry Potter madness is upon us. For some reason my mother felt compelled to call me at 1:30 am last night to let me know that she had bought book 5, and that as soon as she was finished reading it, she'd let me have it. At nearly 900 pages, that out to be right about the same time your son is off with his braces.

by mg at June 21, 2003 11:32 AM

Well, Eviltom, they may not be perfectly rectangular, however they are all the same size, and if they exactly fit the length, width, and heighth of the jar, (which they did) then it gets the proper volume.

by Ian at June 21, 2003 12:05 PM

And now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall.

by anna at June 21, 2003 12:40 PM

Congrats Ian. I would've never thought that math would ever be useful in real life. As for the Harry Potter madness, yeah. At $29.99, I think I'll wait for the paperback to comeout thankyouverymuch.

by Lucy at June 21, 2003 1:30 PM

harry potter can suck my throbber. Give me Narnia any day. I do have to hand it to JK Rowling though, who would have thought you could get this freaking rich writing a rehash of the same stuff that's been written about for decades with only a slightly different approach.

I took my nephew to a comic book convention today and got him the complete Frank Miller Batman bound in leather for $10, an assload of Hulk comics from the bargain bin for $8 and Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Not too shabby for a day's outing. Plus since I was taking pictures for the paper, one of the dealers tossed in a free Wolverine #1 for the kid.

by eff at June 21, 2003 1:45 PM

Ian, I'm not sure I understood the last thing you said. Are you saying that because the answer is correct, then it means that the formula used to derive the answer must also be correct? Because I don't think that's a safe assumption to make. Or maybe that's not what you said at all.

by Eviltom at June 21, 2003 3:41 PM

Uh, don't get him started or you'll never hear the end of it. Ian's the king of the run-on sentence, which is why I have to edit his term papers. But yeah, it does kind of sound like the old end justifies the means argument.

by anna at June 21, 2003 4:33 PM

I thought measureing the jar was against the rules. You know, cheeting.

by MrBlank at June 21, 2003 4:49 PM

Were the jelly beans the "every Flavor" Harry Potter beans? You know, with flavors like grass, booger, vomit and dirt? If they are let him have some and watch his reactions. Those things are nasty!!

by MrBlank at June 21, 2003 4:57 PM

Oh yeah he's got vomit, dirt and a remarkably realistic tasting booger flavor. I am eating one now.

by anna at June 22, 2003 1:23 PM

Eviltom, I WAS saying that! And I'm not saying it MUST be correct, but that it will be either correct or extraordinarily close

by Ian at June 22, 2003 2:54 PM

MrBlank, the jelly beans I won were not, but I did get some! They should have been though, being a Harry Potter party!

by Ian at June 22, 2003 2:57 PM

Wow! I used to always win those things, but only because I stared at the jar for 20 minutes, not because I was doing formulas... Ian, that is seriously impressive.

Anna, I would like to apologize for once again stealing a $.50 word from you (hyperbole) in my latest post. Doh!

by Linz at June 23, 2003 8:05 AM

I always get that word mixed up with "simile." BTW, I was typing at work and accidentally produced the symbol for cent. That way you wouldn't have to use the cumbersome "$.50" or the word "cent." Why doesn't this symbol appear on keyboards? Couldn't we ditch ^ or _ or { if there isn't enough room?

by anna at June 23, 2003 2:51 PM

ha! I finished listening - yes listening - to 27 hours of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on tape yesterday! (Tuesday) I would've finished earlier but had a party...(I guess I'm not that much of a HP geek) You're lucky your son won those beans...slip them in your enemy's jelly beans. I had a pretty fun time with some that my friend got me. He's pretty lucky that the formula worked...I'll try it next time.

by cho at June 26, 2003 2:54 AM

Anna- thought this might be an interesting read for young Ian:

by Eviltom at July 23, 2003 7:55 PM

Check this site out on jelly bean counting:

by Varun at February 14, 2007 4:03 PM

comments are closed