I could write for days about the strange things which pop up on Facebook. It’s something of a blight on our society, but I can’t help looking, like it’s a mangled wreck on the side of the highway, because it kind of is.

Today’s Facebook oddity is the math problem phenomenon. Very few people enjoyed math all that much back when we were sitting in junior high, staring out the window, or in my case, drawing three-D boxes on my spiralbound notebook. Suddenly, decades later, people are putting tricky math problems on Facebook statuses with messages which say things like: “* 50% of people get this wrong*“. The problems do not require a pencil and paper, much less a calculator. I’m sure that thousands of people feel obligated to type in their answers to prove that even though they barely eeked out a “C” in 7th grade math, they’ve brightened up considerably since.

Today’s math stumper, posted by a Facebook friend of mine, is seen above. Let’s work this one out together as a class, shall we? Before we get started, let’s review the order of operations as it relates to this problem. Multiplication and division outrank addition and subtraction, and so they get done* first*. If both multiplication and division are in the same equation, then we start from the left and work our way over. Sound familiar? I know, it’s been a while. Just remember everyone, answering wrong is not a crime, but all of your Facebook friends will see what an idiot you are.

Now then, let’s begin with the first multiplication problem: One times zero equals…anyone…? Mr. Einstein, you had your hand up first. Right you are Albert, anything times zero is going to equal zero!

Next, we move onto the division; what is two divided by two? Miss Kardashian? Hello? Kim?! Glad you could pull yourself from the revery of whatever you’re staring out the window at to give us the answer. Miss Kardashian, I don’t care whether Kanye has his tongue stuck to the flagpole or not, what I care about is you telling the class what we get when we divide two by two.

I can see from the blank look on your face that you’re not getting this. Let me put it into different terms for you: If the network has given you TWO reality shows, how many *groups* of TWO reality shows will you have? No, I didn’t realize you actually have five of them dear, but I was speaking hypothetically. No Kim, “hypothetically” has nothing to do with needles. Tell you what, go back to the window and see if the fire trucks are here for Kanye yet.

Okay…Now to put it all together…Six minus zero is six, and two divided by two equals one. So…six plus one equals..Anyone? People, please – we covered this *years* ago – it’s basic stuff…you *KNOW* this! Six and one is…? Albert, let someone else answer, please!

(I’m pacing the front of the room, anxiously rolling the piece of chalk between my thumb and index finger, looking from face to face as you guys nervously avert your eyes. Albert is there in the front row, looking a little pissed-off with his hands folded in front of him – he’s having another horrific hair day. Kim has stopped looking out the window and is texting someone from a phone that has more diamonds on it than the entire contents of my wife’s jewelry box. I’m wondering whether tenure will even exist by the time I qualify for it. I’m struggling to resist the urge to whip the blackboard eraser at one of you when the bell rings)

Maybe I was wrong to think of those math problems as being so easy. Maybe half of all responders really DO get these wrong.

What’s that Kim? No, actually, I *was* right, “half” and “50%” are actually the same amount. It’s nice to know that you were listening, kind of. Kim, shouldn’t you be heading to English class this period? I heard today’s lecture is about Moby Dick. No Kim…I’m fairly confident it’s about a whale.

They’re putting freaking math on Facebook now? I got off that site just in time. I was NOT a math scholar, but shouldn’t there be parenthesis around some of that? How do you tell if it’s a 6 minus something or a negative one? I might be revealing my stupidity, but fortunately I don’t care.

How many people ever sat in class with a Kim and Kanye and felt like a frustrated Einstein? Worse, how many people have worked with Kim and Kanye? There’s a good question.

The same people who post challenging math problems on Facebook use calculators to balance their checkbooks. They should stick to posting photos of their cats.

Facebook + math = infinite sadness.

It’s always a tad disconcerting when someone writes four words and a couple of math symbols and it summarizes the entire 800 word blog post I just published.

Oh that Kim. She always gets her dicks mixed up.

I think Albert Einstein was secretly mad at his parents for not having named him Richard.

Dick Einstein does have a ring to it.

Thanks you, I thought so too.

I only wish I had time to solve math problems on Facebook…

I only wish I didn’t. Now I feel so…under busy.

Hahaha. That gave me a good laugh-out-loud.

You have no time to laugh! Now get back to your outline!

Sigh.

Oh man, I did what I used to do in high school…saw the word “math” and then a bunch of numbers and totally went A.D.D and my eyes glazed over on this post… it’s not you, it’s me. And why did you lie on your side to take a picture of Multnomah Falls for your header photo? 🙂

Good eye on Multnomah Falls – it’s tough enough to recognize it when it’s vertical. I had wanted to put it as one of my margins when I set up the blog page, but somehow it ended up in my rotation of header pics. I don’t really care for it horizontally, but I can’t figure out how to get rid of it while keeping the others.

3-D boxes were my go-to doodle, unless someone in my group was in TLA with someone, in which case the doodle was their individual names in rounded, puffy letters or secretly making those origami-esque fortune tellers that spelled out their names to tell how many children they would have. Now THAT’s math.

How long ’til recess?

No matter how soon recess is, it’s NOT soon enough.

The other dumb ones are name a country without the letter A…Maybe it improves their Klout score.

I wonder if the person who alledgedly posted these dopey things is even responsible, or if it’s some kind of Facebook spam. Some of the math problem and words which begin and end with the letter N posters are just not the type. Then again, lots of people who I know regularly “give life in Candy Crush Saga” so I guess anything’s possible.

Half get it right? I’m impressed it’s that many. 😉

Well…many of my peers are helping their kids with homework, so…

Dude, I got it wrong. But I majored in English and I’m not on Facebook, so that’s almost like getting right, right?

It’s technically better than getting it right, since no one has to know you ever wasted the time on it in the first place – it’ll be our little secret.

I think I have to *like* this although I don’t do numbers myself…not even on holidays…

Holidays are particularly good days to avoid numbers. Nice new pic by the way.

Math problems on Facebook? Adding this to the list of problems with Facebook…

Amen brudda

Thank you for the brush-up, Mr. Math Geek.

But why don’t you cut Kim a little slack? She has just been betrayed by her own family. I read on the cover of a tabloid in the grocery store aisle yesterday that one of her sisters has been crowned the Hottest Kardashian. I wonder if you get a college scholarship with that title, or just a tiara and sash?

I think the prize package includes a mani/pedi and a free lunch at Spago.