Here is how Younger Daughter answered the first question in my “survey”
(a mathematical concept for which you are grateful). First she quoted a song by John McCutcheon, and then added her own thoughts.
We are thankful for the food,
Thankful for the company,
Thankful for the things that we do and say,
Thankful for the friends, thankful for the family,
Glad to be together on Thanksgiving Day.
May the way that we treat others
Be the measure of our worth.
May our memory be a blessing
On the future of this Earth.
We are thankful for songs and music,
Which are a bit like mathematical progressions.
We are thankful for time,
which constantly keeps us moving forward.
We are thankful for molecules,
Such rigid structures and constant angles.
So, if I’m thankful for these,
Then I have to be thankful for the homework I do with my brother.
Thankful for 5*, which Dad will constantly mention.
Thankful for calculus and its uses in chemistry.
And hopeful that the turkey is done on time.
- Younger Daughter
For the record, here are some of the Common Household extended family’s answers to the survey. Not all of us are scientists, but clearly science is influential in our lives. I have to note that pi(e)-related answers were a good chunk of the responses. That is as it should be.
1. Name a mathematical concept for which you are grateful, and explain why.
- ∞, and Beyond!
- The theorem that says the Halting Problem is undecidable.
- The distance between the real numbers 1 and 2 is infinity. I'm grateful for this because I never run out of irrational sheep to count when I'm trying to sleep.
- Ratios: an important concept so that everyone can get a piece of the pie.
- Fractals, because they add beauty to the world.
- The difference between things that are discrete and things that are continuous. The discrete nature of matter is very important in understanding the basic idea of chemistry. You have to start with the knowledge that atoms are discrete particles. Hard to believe when you are observing a soup that, on the macro level, is quite continuous.
- Area of a circle – Pi R Square, to help me know how big the pumpkin pie is (Actually pie are round not square)
- I am grateful for the Pythagorean theorem so I can say "I don't know how to do taxes or what a 401k is, but thank GOD I know the Pythagorean theorem!!!"
- The combinatorial formula (for calculating the likelihood of something happening given a certain condition) – because it tells me that there is order to the universe.
- The most basic math concept- Numbers, because things need to happen in order: First the turkey, second the pies, third nap.
- The Fibonacci sequence, because it appears in nature.
2. Name a number that will be useful to you on Thanksgiving Day.
- π, obviously.
- Six. I hope there will be lots of pies, each of which can be divided into six parts.
- 6, because I anticipate that will be the number of pies available.
- 50 sprouts: the minimum number of Brussels sprouts required to satisfy our Thanksgiving guests.
- 348 kelvins. That's the temperature you should cook poultry to in order to kill the salmonella.
3. What time do you expect your Thanksgiving dinner to begin?
- 4 times (LOL)
- I expect it to begin when the fat lady sings.
- Whenever the turkey is done.
* Whenever the Common Household Dad doesn't know an answer to a question, he says the answer is 5.