Infomercial Bad Math: Fur Wizard

The Fur Wizard is different than other lint brushes. You see, instead of having the lint brush on one side, it has one on each side. That’s a total of two sides! Wow!

During the course of their ad touting all the amazing things this brush can do, they say this (around 0:20):

Fur Wizard is faster because of the double-sided action. It cleans up twice as much in half the time of other lint brushes!

No. With two sides, it can do the work in half the time, or twice the work in the same amount of time. You only get credit for doubling the output, you don’t get to quadruple it.

And can it even double the output? Hardly. Remember, the two brushes are on opposite sides, you can’t use them simultaneously.

Can it really do twice the work in the same amount of time? Hard to see how. Since you can’t use the brushes at the same time, two lint brushes are going to get the same amount of lint up in the same amount of time. If one is two-sided, maybe you need to clean it less often, but that’s hardly going to do double the work.

Can it really do the same work in half the time? Hard to see how. I guess you can gather twice as much lint up before you need to clean the brush, but that’s hardly going to halve the time.

Their claim is absurd. And by the way, the Fur Wizard costs there are plenty of two-sided lint brushes out there. Amazon and Walmart have them for $7.

YMCA Track Math: Part II

Slow people who won’t stay on the inside irritate me. But this kills me every time.

The track is 19 laps to a mile. 19. A prime number. It makes it impossible to easily run quarter-miles, half-miles, any interval smaller than a mile. It also doesn’t divide into kilometers. For a numbers guy like me, this is torture.

Additionally, the track is small enough that the inside and outside are significantly different lengths. Is the outer edge 19 to a mile, or the inner edge? Yes, I asked the staff. No, they had no idea. Yes, they looked at me funny.

I am seriously considering driving twenty minutes further to go the next YMCA, whose track is eighteen to a mile, a nice abundant number.


YMCA Track Math: Part I

At my local YMCA, slower people are to stay on the inside of the track. There is a clearly posted sign.

I do walk/sprint intervals and need to dodge around folks when I run. The last two sessions the same woman has been briskly walking, sticking to the outside of the track. The first time as I passed her, I turned around, got her attention, and pointed at the sign.

Yesterday she was back, and still on the outside of the track. This time I got her attention and told her, “Please stick to the inside, like the sign says.”

A couple of laps later she got my attention. This gem of a conversation ensued.

Her: I’m sorry, but I just wanted to explain what’s going on. I did see the sign. I try to stay out of the way when you’re coming around

Me: Well ok, but –

Her: I can only get here for a little while. I drop off the kids and have to get to work, there isn’t much time. I do it this way to get as many steps as I can.

Me: I understand, thanks for explaining, as long as you’re aware and moving out when I come around, no big deal.


And I put my headphones back on and jogged away. Two seconds later, I realized what I had just heard. She does it to get more steps in!? That doesn’t make any sense at all!

Super Bowl LII Post-Mortem

The Patriots lost to the Eagles last night. Darn shame. As usual, a couple plays here and there made the difference. The Patriots tried a sneaky pass to Tom Brady, it bounced off his fingers. The Eagles tried a sneaky pass to Nick Foles, he caught it for a touchdown. In the end, the better team won. The MVP of the game was really the Eagles front office and coaching staff. They are deep, versatile, aggressive, and smart. The smarts and aggression paid off with 4th down conversions. They deserved it.

And yet — I can’t help but wonder. Would it have been different with Brandin Cooks playing? And Malcolm Butler, why on earth wasn’t he used once? And of course, losing Julian Edelman for the entire season.

Oh well. We’ll get ’em next year. And knowing the Patriots, that’s very likely true!