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#015 99% of People Will Get This Wrong

Posted by TetonTrekker on April 15, 2018 in Internet, Morning Coffee |

Solve if you are a genius.
Most will get this wrong.

All of these are phrases are meant to get you to engage, and it made you click on my blog. Normally I don’t engage with memes like this one, I am too busy to argue with strangers, plus some genius used a U instead of YOU on a hand printed note [cringe emoji]. In this case my cousin shared it and I love arguing with my family, we are all geniuses and the topic never goes in a direct line, this time changing the topic to computer programing then a recipe blog, but that’s another story.

These silly math problems, with no connect to a real life situation, combined with one or more of those catchy phrases, are designed to get people to argue in the comments. Some memes have all the same numbers and others have pictures instead of numbers, this one throws in the negatives to make it even more confusing. The more people argue about the answer, the more clicks are received by the original person who posted it. And since we all like to think we are a genius and within the 1% of the smartest people, many will argue to the bitter end.

What else happens? We talk about math. I will admit, the first time I saw one of these memes I had completely forgot about order of operation. Why is that? I think because most of us do math based on circumstance, we know where we need the put the parentheses without giving it thought. Remembering the order of operation when solving a simple math formula such as this one, is is something most people forget. To some of us “order of operations” means “I need to get my gallbladder removed before I have that knee operation”. We haven’t needed to think about math problems this way it since high school (or college) algebra.



Life is a word problem.

Order of Operation: Parenthesis or brackets, exponents, multiply or divide, addition or subtraction.

When looking at the meme we are expected to remember the order of operation or PEMDAS. But, if you think of it as a trip to your local home and garden store it should make more sense. We do problems like this one in our head weekly and probably don’t even think of it as a word problem or especially algebra.

Imagine if you will, it’s and ordinary spring weekend, just like every other spring weekend. It is warm and the sun is shining, a nice day to plant some vegetables. You go to your local home and garden store and purchase five 1lb bags of garden soil for five dollars each. As you are walking out the door you notice they have 5lb bags of the same soil on sale also for five dollars each. That is a much better deal! So, you grab a 5lb bag and walk back in with your purchase to go have a discussion with customer service person “Bad Belinda“.

You show Bad Belinda the large bag ($5) and the cart of small bags that you want to return (5 x $5) and tell her you want an exchange. Bad Belinda rings up the new purchase then the credit and asks if there is anything else she can do for you. The large bag is such a great deal you tell your you’ll take another five pound bag ($5). She rings up the additional purchase. How much money is due, and due to who? In this case (real life) you know where the parentheses go without thinking about order of operation, you probably don’t even think of this as a word problem. It’s your money.

The meme:  5 – 5 x 5 + 5  = ?
Order of operation:  5 – (5 x 5) + 5  = ?
 5 – 25 + 5  = ?
-25 +10  = ?
Your receipt:
Garden Soil – 5lb bag  1 @ $5.00     $ 5.00
Garden Soil – 1lb bag -5 @ $5.00  – $25.00
Garden Soil – 5lb bag  1 @ $5.00     $ 5.00
Total Due:  = ?

The answer to all of the above is -15, Bad Belinda owes you $15 bucks.

Who remembers the class clown who announced he would never need algebra when he grows up? (Usually a percussion player.) I bet he’s smacking himself on the forehead.

Side note: If you are too young to know what “ring up” means, you are young enough to remember the order of operations.

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Getting Started with MS Excel

Posted by TetonTrekker on March 17, 2018 in Excel, Questions & Answers, Tips for the common user |

My first introduction to Microsoft Excel was in the early 90’s. I remember when I first opened it and looked at those little boxes I thought to myself “What the heck do I do with this?”. I looked around the menu items and closed the program for the day to let my brain take it in. The hospital I worked at had an educational library that included Microsoft Excel lessons on VHS. I checked them out and had fun learning how to use the program. That was over 20 years ago.

Over the years I have used Excel in many different business and personal applications. From listing household items, music collections, balancing my checkbook (before I had Quicken), tracking my Tupperware parties, tracking patients, to tracking and billing construction projects. In some of these cases a database program would be best, but sometimes we just don’t have one. To see my database project go to inScoreOrder.com.

For data filters, pivot tables, and sorting data, there can not be any blank rows.
When you decide to use Excel to track something the first thing to remember is it is a math program. Plan to enter your data in rows of data lined up in columns. Once you get some data entered you can format. For data filters, pivot tables, and sorting data, there can not be any blank rows. In other cases all like information should be lined up.



The Chicken and the Egg

One of the hardest things about learning advanced skills is having some real data to work with, and before the tutorial, knowing what kind of data should be entered. It’s one thing to read how to do something, but without something to practice on, it’s all conceptual. For my topics below I have included a practice Excel file with basic formatting. If your computer will not let you download the file please comment below. Please subscribe to my blog to be notified when I post a tutorial.

Julie's Dream House - Practice File

Dream House Excel Data
22 downloads

This practice file has data to practice:

 

Other topics covered in my blogs:


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STOP YELLING!

Posted by TetonTrekker on March 14, 2018 in Customer Service, Fly By Posting, Internet, Tips for the common user, Toxic Thana, Word |

Unlocking the Cap Key

I remember the 90’s, I was using a Zenith Computer with DOS programs and the Caps Lock key always on. Like my old 8-track tapes, those days have past. One of my first world pet peeves is people who type in all CAPITOL LETTERS, it is hard to read and hurts my eyes. And since the introduction of email and social media it is associated with yelling, it’s rude. I once cleaned up after Toxic Thana, she typed everything in capitol letters, and she had a reputation for yelling at people. I found that funny, and in this case it was a benefit, I new if something was in capitol letters I needed to review it. But please, unless you are yelling, unlock your Caps Key.



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Tip of the Two Weeks

Posted by TetonTrekker on January 13, 2018 in Fly By Posting |

Never make yourself so indispensable you can not take a vacation.

You should be a valuable asset to your employer but if no one else can do your job duties while you are away, you may never get a vacation. Keep an up-to-date list of duties and instructions for your relief. If you have no relief, delegate, bring gifts.



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¶ is Your Friend

Posted by TetonTrekker on January 11, 2018 in Tips for the common user, Word |

Showing the Formatting Marks to Fix Layout in Word Docs

Have you ever been editing a MS Word Document and the layout keeps hopping around? Do you have one of those documents that print extra blank pages? Chances are good it’s a formatting problem.

Showing all the formatting marks makes it easy to identify problems and delete extra formatting. I first learned this trick on Word Perfect. Give it a try.

On the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, click the formatting icon to toggle Show/Hide. The background of the formatting  button is shaded when it’s turned on.

Now your document will show paragraph marks ¶, tab marks , spaces (gray dots), and other hidden formatting. Carefully review and delete unwanted formatting. If your document is printing blank pages scroll to the bottom of the page and delete all the hidden formatting marks up to the last line of your document.

If you have never used this tool I recommend saving a copy of your document prior to deleting extra formatting.

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