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When geeks attack word problems!
Ooh... Curious Kitty
palmer_kun wrote in metaquotes
I just came across this old paper I've been saving since middle school...
When I was in middle school, we had these awful geometry books where each chapter came to a conclusion with a difficult word problem. One chapter was called "The Grazing Goat" and the next was called "The Burning Candle." Bored and creative(?) creature that I was, I decided to waste class time by writing a word problem of my own: a morbid combination of the two called "The Burning Goat."

The Burning Goat
Farmer Bob has carelessly poured gasoline on his goat while refueling his tractor. Pleased with a job well done, Bob pulls out a cigarette and tosses the match over his shoulder onto the unsuspecting animal. Panicking, the flaming beast heads for a lake which is 5 miles due north of the barn. The barn is 12 miles due west of the goat. The goat runs at 25 miles per hour, but 2/3 of the way there, he falls into a ditch and breaks his leg, so his speed is reduced to 6 miles per hour. The goat can survive for one hour in flames. Will he make it to the lake before he is reduced to a smoldering stump?

((Written by nolan_ash, age 13(?) Well, I thought it was funny. >_>;; Bonus points to anyone who actually feels like solving this disaster.))

palmer_kun: The goat dies 0.41296 miles (2180 feet) from the lake.
[snipping out the math, go see context if you want it]
Also, that is one insanely fast goat, especially with a broken leg. Then again, if I was on fire, I'd run fast too.
Exploratory Question for bonus points: How many hit points must this goat have to survive for an entire hour on fire?

sparklemagpie: Presuming a standard 1d6 damage per round from the fire, and an averag 3.5 points of damage per roll... 10 rounds per minute, therefore, 600 rounds an hour...
2,100 HP to survive an hour on fire.
2,240 HP to survive the 640 rounds it would have taken the poor goat to actually get to the lake and not die.
.... damn that must be a high level goat. 0_o

palmer_kun: Given that animals get d8 hit dice, and assuming a goat has a Con of 10, that's an average of 4.5 HP per level.
A level 467 goat would have 2101.5 HP.
A level 498 goat would have 2241 HP
But you missed the 8 seconds extra, which is 2 more rounds. That's 2247 HP needed.
So we have a Level 500 goat, with 2250 HP, and it lives!
That goat also has a Base Attack of +375 o_O

sparklemagpie: And yet it failed a relfex save vs cigarette butt. 0_o

And all it's subsequent reflex saves.

Clearly this is like some super-old, uber experienced ANCIENT WYRM GOAT, with athritis, osteoperosis, and a neg 10 to his dexterity.

Poor washed up flaming supergoat...

It seems the context is now locked. For those who want it, I present the math here.

The goat dies 0.41296 miles (2180 feet) from the lake.


The square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the square of the other two sides. 5^2 = 25 + 12^2 = 144 = 169 13^2 = 169.

The lake is 13 miles from the goat.

13 x 0.66666 = 8.6666 miles The goat travels 8.666 miles before breaking a leg. 8.6666 / 25 = 0.34666 It covers this distance in 0.34666 hours.

This leaves 0.65333 hours until death, and 4.333 miles to travel.

6 miles per hour x 0.65333 = 3.92 miles.

4.333 miles - 3.92 miles = 0.41296 miles remaining at the end of one hour.

The goat needs an additional 4.1296 minutes (4m08s) to reach the lake.

Context would have made math class MUCH more interesting.


That was brilliant. absolutely brilliant.

Damn that's fantastic. Clearly someone needs to create a comic about this goat. anyone?

Though rather than as a comic, I'd love to see a D&D module where this goat was the Big Bad. How's that for screwing with players' minds :)


Don't worry, I thought this was hilarious.

I wish to have this goat with me in battle.

That was pretty funny *still giggling* :)

I don't do roleplaying, but I absorbed enough over the years from having a D&D obsessed boyfriend to realize how fucking hilarious this is. Marvelous!

Too... much... geekery! Ack!


I was snickering to myself, clicked the LJ cut while taking a sip from my diet coke, and promptly projected it halfway up my nose (down my nose?) when I read "Also, that is one insanely fast goat."

I only started laughing harder from there.

Oh god, lol-ing forever. Reminds me of the word problems I did in high school, in my completely useless "critical thinking" math classes. Failed reflex save! EL OH FUCKING EL.

I used to know a necromancer who could probably resurrect that goat, given enough gold...

I like being a mid-high level antipaladin on my MUD because when I use up all my inventory weight space on silver and gold, I can resurrect a corpse to carry it for me. Then I can force the zombie to emote things like "shuffles around and moans" and "does the monster mash" in the common temple.

Of course, I also used my charm spell once to fetch the ghost of a gardener from one area and the living bush from another area and put them in the centre of the main city, which gives you an idea of my character's strange sense of humour.

I found the question funny in a sick way, but the follow up comments I saw when I clicked the link clinched it. All my old D&D dorkitude came rushing forward, and I spewed cherry pepsi out of my nose. It burns.
Maybe the Ancient Wyrm Goat was one of those fainting goats? Would explain how he got beaned with the cigarette butt.

I definitely did the math, but I didn't do it quite the way you did. The question was only "would the goat make it to the lake" not "where along his journey would the goat die", so I did enough math to figure that yup, no more goat, and called it good.

Question: Does this make me more or less smart than you? Show your work.

Question: Does this make me more or less smart than you? Show your work.

Character sheet creation! Roll 4d6 and pick the top three to find intelligence.


oh, man, I miss geometry, if only because I can use it to mess with problems like these...

ZOMG Imoen icon!! I've never seen a Baldurs Gate icon before!

"Hey Lolth...wanna bet the next one gets farther? Let's try Farmer Joe next!"

"Odin, for the last fucking time, I do NOT like barbeque! Now knock it off! And quit turning the lake to whiskey at the last second!"

That was a solid 40 seconds of loud laughter, right there.

Why couldn't math class have been this interesting?

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That is wonderfully geeky. Am bookmarking. *dies a little*

Most. Broken. Game. EVER.

(The math confuses me, but the gaming stuff is a lollercoaster.)

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It was. *shudder* My math skills have been forever screwed by their experimental asshattery.

I laughed so hard I cried. I have to send this to my BF since he's into D&D and his group has a barbarian sport called "Goatball." Maybe they should change the rules to include setting the goat on fire before they drop kick it across the field.

I'm smart-alecking this without looking at the answer:

If the lake is 5 miles north of the barn, and the goat is 12 miles east of the barn, a beeline to the lake would be (along the hypotenuse of a right triangle) 13 miles.

If the goat does indeed run the improbable speed of 25 miles per hour, it could run the whole distance in 31.2 minutes. However, 2/3 of the way there, we have the sudden deceleration. So, after traveling 8 2/3 miles in 20.8 minutes, the goat is reduced to going 6 mph for the remaining 4 1/3 miles...

... except, of course, that the goat dies 4 minutes and 8 seconds before reaching the lake.

I must be a geek. It made me laugh, so I had to solve it. Now, I hope that I got it right.

...And then I read the D&D comments and woke my boyfriend up a SECOND time. You win at the Internets today.

I'm still giggling over here xD That is about sixty kinds of awesome :D

*random girlfriend squee*

Oooh. Hey, Squigglz, long time no! (Yeah, and if I logged in as osondrea more often, I might see you, huh?)

A level 500 flaming goat, wouldn't that be the Devil?

This had David and I rolling in tears :) Made my night

No, that's a Level 666 Flaming Goat


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