kitchen table math, the sequel: My Kind of Town...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My Kind of Town...

In animal news a cougar was just killed about 2.5 miles away from my apartment building.

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If George can run at a maximum velocity of 6 mph for about 10 minutes before collapsing into an exhausted heap, and an adult cougar can sprint up to 30 mph, how much of a running head start does George need to avoid becoming cat food? Answers may be expressed in units of either time or distance.


Anonymous said...

Hey IG,

I lived in the Ashland/Addison area for years. Roscoe village was just beginning to change at that time (80's)

I do miss the city restaurants.

That kitty has probably already been in your area and decided that there was nothing tasty enough for him.;)

Seriously, I do wonder what he lived off of during his time in the city. I can't see the usual city fare (rats, rabbits, raccoons, Yorkies) holding him for long.


Independent George said...

Did I mention that I'm allergic to cats? Because, you know, getting eaten is one thing, but if I'm coughing & sneezing the entire way down her throat? Now THAT would be just awful.

A very good friend of mine actually lives & works just a few blocks from that spot. Word is they spotted another one in Skokie.

Aside from the paralyzing fear, I'm actually a little excited by this. The Chicago biosphere now includes feral parrots (don't laugh - those buggers are mean), coyotes, peregrine falcons (including a mated pair nesting in my neighborhood), and cougars.

Anonymous said...

"Word is they spotted another one in Skokie."

Oh, great.

We have a massive bunny population around here. Come to think of it, I haven't seen as many this year. Hmmmm.

A few years ago a big hawk grabbed a crow right in front of playing pre-schoolers. The hawk flew to a low branch of a tree with the crow in tow. Well, the crow's buddies went ballistic shrieking and flying up and down at the hawk, who just looked annoyed.

When he flew off with junior, the crows shrieked after him, never getting too close, but never giving up. It was an amazing sight. The kids were just stunned by the spectacle.

The hawk was huge, not a peregrine, but absolutely stunning.

Did you see the video of the cop looking down the street while the cougar dashed behind him? Holy cow! That thing looked like an African lion. It was huge on the video.


Catherine Johnson said...

A COUGAR??????

This is not good.

This is SOOOOOO not good.

Just a few weeks ago I finished writing the "cougar" section of Temple's & my book.

When cougars start showing up in highly populated neighborhoods that is a sign.

Cougars showing up in populated neighborhoods means they are starting to believe that humans are prey.

They are stalking humans.

Catherine Johnson said...

The book to read is The Beast in the Garden by David Baron.

Independent George said...

That's the scariest part - Roscoe Park isn't on the outskirts of the city. It's popular neighborhood, with lots of foot traffic; a cougar doesn't just 'wander' into the area if it has any fear of humans whatsoever.

Independent George said...

Ugh. Roscoe Village, not Park.

Anonymous said...

Where was it I read that if you actually see a cougar he meant for it to happen. And that's a bad thing.

I love the various people who are mad at the Chicago cops for shooting him. Please, these are Chicago cops.

One person said that the cat hadn't hurt anybody so why shoot him. Hmmm...Chicago has missing people every day.

Another reason to avoid dark Chicago alleys at night.


Independent George said...

Please, these are Chicago cops.

Obviously, the cougar fell behind on his protection money.

I kid, I kid. Everyone knows the money goes through the mayor's office.

Catherine Johnson said...

A crowded area.


The cops were right.

These are COUGARS.

If they're not afraid of humans they're planning on attacking humans.

Anonymous said...

I'm still trying to figure out the math problem, of course. I think there is not enough information. We know that George can run 6 mph for 10 minutes, after which we assume his velocity goes to zero. The cougar can sprint "up to" 30 mph, but we don't know for how long. Oh, maybe this is algebra, and the "how long" is supposed to be something like "t".

Let h = the head start distance, in miles.
Let t = the time that the cougar sprints, in minutes.

George travels a maximum of h miles + (6 mph * 10 minutes / (60 minutes per hour)) = h+1 miles.

If we assume that the cougar sprints at 30 mph for t minutes and then stops, then the cougar travels (30 mph * t minutes / (60 minutes per hour)) = 0.5t miles.

In order for George not to get eaten, we want h+1 > 0.5t. So h > 0.5t - 1 miles.

Answer: George needs to be given a head start greater than 0.5t - 1 miles, where t = the number of minutes that the cougar sprints.

(I hope I didn't make a stupid mistake up there.)