I love when a spur of the moment idea on a class exercise turns up many questions and a spark of interest in other topics from the students. We were working on "powers and roots" last week .... you know fractional exponents and negative exponents and such, and to answer the age old query of "who uses this stuff?" .... (or more often put "when am I ever going to use this?"), I scanned through my resources and found a problem that I expanded upon to take all period. It had to do with an equation relating the mass of a mammal to the circulation time of the blood. ... and as part of the problem, they used the given equation to calculate the circulation times of various mammals. One of the mammals was the blue whale, and that just fascinated everyone (me included). There are tons of cool sites on the blue whale.
Things I've learned: they can weigh up to 200,000 lbs, and span 100 feet (10 family size cars one site said). If they were out of water by chance, they would crush under their own weight. They are the larges animal (mammal?) and the loudest. ...
Anyhoo, here's to finding more problems like this that have extra goodies for all to savor.
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