### Math Problem is a Problem

Can anyone help me with this 1st grade level math problem?

K said...

Easy-Peasy Holy Juan. You see, you've got two half-cats, then, you take away from your litter four whole cats. Wait, if you have only two half-cats... where the hell do you get the four whole cats from to remove from the litter. Wait, how long will this problem take to figure out... 'cause we've got two half-cats here and the half-cat mortality rate is not so good. Okay, so, eventually, you'll have no cats and then will have to find four somewhere without ever having them or attaining them, and get rid of them? This maths is craps. No wonder the youth of today are all nuts.

ochenas said...

Duchamp said it first but I'll follow up: "ce ne sont pas des chats, ce sont des dessins de chats". Although he was talking about pipes.

Carpanza said...

Assuming that the cats in hats are to be treated as potential cats; when does the actual quantum state of being a cat stop being a linear combination of states? Is the cat simultaneously in and out of the hat? Is there a radioactive source, a Geiger counter, and a bottle of cyanide linked together in a cruel death trap, creating a SchrÃ¶dinger paradox?
Clearly there are greater than four cats.
We need to define the half-state of a cat-in-a-hat, defined as H(c). There are equal probabilities of measuring either one or zero cats, so there are two unique instances of cats.

4+ 2 *H (|0> |1>)/sqrt(2) + one ghost cow.

Quintessence said...

I guess the assumption is that there *were* six cats, but then the cats in hats were "taken away" so that there are now 4 cats. Due to being vague, this could also be interpreted as the two cats in hats being kept and the other four cats walking away for a total of two remaining cats. There are other ways to interpret the question, of course, but due to the level and the included __ - __ = __ these are the two I'll go with. Awfully confusing way to present subtraction, though. No wonder so many people have difficulty with math...

Rob said...

The second set of cats look like they are unhappy, exuding negativity, so I'm certain they are negative cats.

I'll say the correct answer is 2 cats minus negative four cats equals six cats.

Kristen said...

I think it's 6 - 2 = 4. The cats inside the hats are going to disappear in some kind of sleight of hand. What I don't understand is the second part "There are ____ more cats." Around my house, the answer would be "there are no more cats because we don't like to clean the kitty litter box."

Oh, I just noticed the heading: "subtraction stories and facts." Sounds like they'll accept any answer as long as you have a good story to back it up!

The Token Liberal said...

I believe the "there are ___ more cats" has an implied "than hats" at the end. Which means this is not actually a math problem, but a sentence diagramming exercise.

Lord Auron said...

2 hat cats minus 4 cats. Provided that hat cats are equivalent in mass to cats, we are left with -2 cats, or 2 anti-cats.