Mental Math

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Everybody has been stuck at some point in their lives without a calculator and too lazy to draw out 72 x 11 on paper to figure it out.  Or how about figuring out 9% of 60 in an instinct?  125 x 125?  No problem.  This week Perek brings a handful of useful tips and techniques to help you increase speed and ease for all your mental math needs.  As pointed out in the audio, at the beginning, it may help to write a couple things down.  Grab a paper and pen and follow along, the GoodGuys are already getting promotions and sportscars due to their newfound math skillz.  Below are some brief explanations of the techniques discussed.  Also check out the video below about the Soroban (abacus) we discuss at the end of the show.

Multiplying by 9

Multiply by 10 and subtract the original number from that result.  7×9?  taxe 7×10, and then subtract 7.  This helps more and more as numbers get larger.

Multiply by 11

For 2 digit numbers this couldn’t be easier.  Add the 2 digits together, and place that result in between the original 2 numbers.  72×11?  7 plus 2 is 9, put that 9 in between the original 7 and 2, to get 792.  To carry a 1 when the 2 numbers add up to more than 10, just add that 1 to the next digit to the left.  86×11?  8 plus 6 is 14, so keep the 4 and carry the 1.  Out the 4 in the middle and add 1 to the next digit to the left.  Did you get 946?  good.  You are already better than Mitch at mental math.

Multiply by 5

To increase the probability of doing this in your head, divide the number by 2.  If the original number is even, tag a 0 on the end of the halved result.  That’s it.  If the original number is odd, you will end up with a .5 once you divide by 2.  Just get rid of that decimal and you are done!  This is awesome on big numbers.  2,682×5?  Well, what’s half of 2682.  Most people can do THAT better than they could attempt to do that whole problem in their head.  Half of 2,682 = 1341.  Since 2682 is even, tag on a zero.  13,410.  There’s your answer.  For odd numbers, how about 4,215.  Half of that is 2,107.5.  Drop the decimal for 21,075.  Easy as pie.

Divide by 5

This is even easier to remember than multiplying by 5.  All you have to do is double the number, and then move the decimal one to the left.  193/5 seems difficult on its own.  but doubling 193 is easier.  193 doubled is 386.  Move that decimal over and you get 38.6.  193/5 is 38.6.

Square any number ending in 5

This one is a little more interesting, but still easier than the long way.  Take any number ending in 5, and forget about the 5.  So, 95×95?  That’s 95 squared.  forget about that 5, and all you have left is the 9.  Multiply the 9 by 1 + itself, so 9+1 = 10.  multiplying 9×10 is easy right?  90.  The last step is to tack on a 25 at the end.  9025.  95 squared is 9,025.  A little practice on this and you can do it in a couple of seconds.

Criss Cross Multiplication 

This concept I absolutely love.  It is so much easier to do in your head than the way we learned in school.  It’s going to be tough to describe it properly in words, so here’s a link to a video that can help!  This site has other examples that I duscussed as well.

http://www.mathtutordvd.com/public/Rapidly_Multiply_any_2_Digit_Numbers.cfm

Percentage flip rule

9% of 80, go!  That’s hard for me.  But the flip rule says that 9% of 80 is EQUAL to 80% of 9.  That’s easier for me.  I would take 10% of 9 (.9), and then multiply that times8 to get up to that 80%.  .9×8 = 7.2 (9×8 is 72, move that decimal back to get 7.2).  This is only really useful when one number is a multiple of 5 or 10.

 Day of week calculation

Warning!  Advanced maneuver in your head.  Not so bad, but just not exactly a clearly logical path (if you break it down it is, of course, totally logical).  Here is a link to a good site that lays it out:  http://www.eccentricgenius.com/wp/2008/10/29/any-day-of-the-week-the-perpetual-calendar-made-easy/

So – as I mention too many times in the show – these are all going to seem a little weird or difficult at first.  The important thing to remember is that these methods, although they will need practice, will pay off later because (IMO) they are much easier to keep track of in your head.  I’m gonna start practicing now.  Quick!  What is 127 divided by 5?

Professional Gaming

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Who doesn’t love to play video games?!  From kids playing Mario Bros to college students playing Halo, we all have some experience with the gaming community.  However, few of us are devoted enough to turn gaming into a profession.  In this episode, we interview Lester Chen (Twitter: @LesterHKM) about his experience as a professional gamer!  Find out what it takes to be one of the best gamers in the world!

We also review our JEOPARDY! challenge and Mitch proposes a new challenge that has us all watching what we eat.  Thanks for listening and a HUGE thanks to Lester for the great interview!

 

MacroNutrient Challenge:
Every meal you eat (snacks too) must include one distinct food item from each of the main macronutrient groups: Carbohydrate, Fat, and Protein. The goal is to smooth out the insulin/blood sugar response and see if that helps us sustain energy/appetite throughout the day.
Scoring:
  • 1 point for each meal or snack that is compliant. Max = 5 per day (3 meals, 2 snacks)
  • Perfect Site bonus: 1 extra point any time all your meals in one day are compliant (need to have at least 3 meals)
  • Streak bonus: That perfect site bonus turns into a streak bonus on days you are perfect in a row. So if you had 3 days in a row of perfect sites, your streak bonus that day will be 3.
IMPORTANT: If you put ANYTHING in your mouth that is a macronutrient without eating something from the other two groups, you are ineligible for the perfect or streak bonus that day. Combo foods are not considered a full, compliant meal. So even though a glass of whole chocolate milk contains some carbs, protein, and fat, you can only use this as one of your three items, so you can choose which one it counts for.
 
Macronutrient Foods:
All fruits/grains/vegetables/sugars count as carbohydrates
Meat, Fish and Eggs are protein
Fats are oils, butters, avocado, nuts
 
Note: Don’t forget about your drinks. Beer and regular Soda, fruit juice, etc are carbohydrates, so add a fat and protein if you’re going to have one to keep your streak intact

Nutrition

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This episode we welcome Michael Pilhofer of MSP Fitness back to the podcast. Last time we talked about Crossfit, and this time we tackled the behemoth of a topic; NUTRITION! Michael has been a personal trainer for 6 years, and if you listened the last time he joined the good guys, you know he’s a sponge for all sorts of information as he developed his own wellness philosophy.

nutrition basics

With such a hefty topic, we took a high level approach and left you with some nuggets that should inspire you to dig a little deeper. Nuggets include but aren’t limited to:

–          The audio fader-board metaphor for adjusting macro-nutrients (my favorite)

–          Intro to gluten

–          Is Calories in – Calories out a legit philosophy or is there more to it?

–          Why it’s so hard to change dietary habits

–          Intro to the popular “Crossfit” diets; Paleo and Zone

–          Food journaling (shudder)

If you’re interested in diving in a little deeper into some of the topics we discussed, check out these links:

Info on Zone diet:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/zone-what-it-is

http://www.zonediet.com/

Gluten:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gluten-free_diet

Paleo:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleolithic_diet – I do not know why Wikipedia chose such a disgusting picture for this article. So go here and here for better pics of paleo awesomeness.

Taubes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDneyrETR2o

Also, check out the MSP Fitness site, for more info on the programs Michael offers at the gym, and check them out on Facebook.

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JEOPARDY! QUESTIONS:
Rules:  You have 15 seconds to answer each question.  Follow the link below and click on “Online Test Recap & Discussion (Central), January 9, 2013”.  Answers are included in the next post down.  Good luck and let us know how you do
 

 

2012, A Year In Review

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Another year of GGTK podcasts are in the books!  In this special edition podcast, we review some of our personal favorite podcast moments.  From different religious services to 50 Shades of Grey to our first (and only) hate mail, the making of this podcast has been an adventure for us all!  We also want to take an opportunity to thank each and every listener for tuning in, sending us emails, and spending your time listening to our rants.  We appreciate all of you.  Thanks again for listening and Happy New Year from the Good Guys To Know.

– Chad, Perek, Mitch and Geo

 

Is Santa Claus Real?

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As the holiday season rolls around, nostalgia strikes the hearts of even our coldest grinch listeners.  Looking back at the innocence of youth, we all remember the traumatic experience of learning that jolly old St. Nic, might not be real.  In this podcast, the good guys take a critical look on the age-old holiday question: Is Santa Claus real?  We start by examing the historical figures that gave rise to the modern day shopping mall Santa Claus and finish up by using physics to examine whether or not Santa could feasibly deliver Christmas presents to all of the good girls and boys.  Thanks for listening and Happy Holidays from Chad, Geo, Mitch and Perek!

Find the all of Santa’s calculations at http://www.mapleprimes.com/maplesoftblog/7059-The-Physics-Of-Santa-Claus

The Good Guys’ Guide to Choosing

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Scenario:

Imagine yourself with $1000, you go to the store and there is one beautiful flat-screen 60-inch TV for $899.  How do you feel?  Now imagine that you have $1000 and you walk into another store, where you see a wall full of 20 beautiful flat-screen TVs, all between $799 and $899, but with different features.  How do you feel?

 

The Paradox of Choice:

The paradox of choice is a theory by American psychologist Barry Schwartz claiming that, after a certain threshold is reached, an increase in the number of choices will cause a significant amount of psychological distress. This distress, according to Professor Schwartz, can manifest itself in many ways. One way is through buyer’s remorse. The theory states that buyer’s remorse is created through increasing opportunity costs associated with increased choices. Opportunity costs associated with alternate choices compound and create strong feelings of dissonance and remorse.

As the number of choices increase, it is easier to imagine a different choice that may have been better than the one selected. The constant comparison to one’s expectations induces regret, which reduces the satisfaction of any decision, even if it fills the individual’s needs. When there are many alternatives to consider, it is easy to imagine the attractive features of rejected choices and there is a decrease in overall satisfaction.

Consider the amount of choices in a simple supermarket. There are likely to be hundreds of different options of a single product. With so many options, expectations are as high as possible. It is the expectation that the product is perfect for an individual and will have no drawbacks.  This leads to expectations rarely being met, a significant psychological issue. In the example of a supermarket, a wrong product choice can be immediately put into perspective. However, for more involved decisions, the consequences of a wrong decision are significant.

 

Scenario:  

You need to buy a box of ping pong balls for your annual christmas tournament.  You know that the typical price per ping-pong ball is 5 cents (and thus you know that Mitch has been overcharging you this whole time).  One box advertises: 33% cheaper!  The other box advertises: 33% more balls!  Which is a better deal?  

 

Assuming one ball holds 20 balls:

33% off give you 20 balls for 66 cents.  That’s 3.3 cents per ball

33% more gives you 26.67 balls for $1.  That’s 3.75 cents per ball

 

So…. They’re not equal!  Choose the discounted price rather than the increase in quantity.

 

 

Buyer’s Remorse

The anxiety may be rooted in various factors, such as: the person’s concern that they purchased a current model now rather than waiting for a newer model, purchased in an ethically unsound way, purchased on credit that will be difficult to repay, or purchased something that would not be acceptable to others.

In the phase before purchasing, a prospective buyer often feels positive emotions associated with a purchase (desire, a sense of heightened possibilities, and an anticipation of the enjoyment that will accompany using the product, for example); afterwards, having made the purchase, they are more fully able to experience the negative aspects: all the opportunity costs of the purchase, and a reduction in purchasing power.

Also, before the purchase, the buyer has a full array of options, including not purchasing; afterwards, their options have been reduced to:

  • continuing with the purchase, surrendering all alternatives
  • renouncing the purchase

Buyer’s remorse can also be caused or increased by worrying that other people may later question the purchase or claim to know better alternatives.

 

Cognitive Dissonance

theory of cognitive dissonance, a state of psychological discomfort when at least two elements of cognition are in opposition, and which motivates the person to appease it by changing how they think about the situation. Psychologists have focused on three main elements that are related to cognitive dissonance and buyer’s remorse. They are: effort, responsibility, and commitment. Effort is the resources invested in a purchase (material, intellectual, psychological, and others) and effort is directly related to the importance of the purchase. Purchases that require high amounts of effort but don’t bear high rewards are likely to lead to buyer’s remorse. Responsibility refers to the fact that the purchase is done out of free will. Buyers that have no choice on the purchase will be less likely to feel dissonance because it was not out of their own volition. Commitment refers to the continuing of an action. The purchase of an automobile has high commitment because the car must be driven for usually a long duration. Purchases with higher commitment will lead to more buyer’s remorse.

 

How do marketers use buyer’s remorse?

Buyer’s Remorse is a powerful experience for consumers. For years, marketers have been attempting to reduce buyer’s remorse through many different methods. One specific technique employed by marketers is the inclusion of a coupon towards a future purchase at the point of sale. This has many benefits for both the consumer and retailer. First, the consumer is more likely to return to the store with the coupon, which will result in a higher percentage of repeat customers. Each successive time a purchase is made and is deemed satisfactory, buyer’s remorse is less likely to be experienced. Customers can justify their purchases with product performance.

Another technique used is the Money Back Guarantee, a guarantee from the retailer that the product will meet the customer’s needs or the customer is entitled to a full refund. This technique is highly successful at lessening buyer’s remorse because it immediately makes the decision a changeable one. The unchangeability of an “all-sales-final” purchase can lead to a larger amount of psychological discomfort at the point of the decision.  This makes the stakes higher, and poor choices will cause significant buyer’s remorse.

 

Imagine yourself in preschool: 

One marshmallow now or 2 in 15 minutes?

 If postponed, had greater self-esteem, higher SAT scores, better educational and economic achievements as adults (Mischel et al., 2011)

 

Ever bought something when you’re depressed?  Was it a good choice?

An excerpt from “The Financial Cost of Sadness” by Lerner, J.S., Le, Y., and Weber, E.U.:

 

Experiment 1

We randomly assigned 202 participants (116 females, 86 males; ages ranged from 18-63 years, with a mean of 25) to a neutral-, sad-, or disgusted-mood condition. Participants were students and local residents from the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory participant pool who responded to an advertisement offering $15 for participation. Each participant sat in a private cubicle within a laboratory. Drawing on established methods (Gross & Levenson, 1995; Lerner,

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et al., 2004), our emotion-induction procedure was the same in all three experiments. Participants first watched three-minute video clips about the death of a boy‘s mentor (Gross & Levenson, 1995) in the sadness condition, about an unsanitary toilet (Lerner, et al., 2004) in the disgust condition, and about the Great Barrier Reef (Lerner, et al., 2004) in the neutral-state condition. Depending on condition, participants next wrote an essay about a situation during which they had experienced sadness or disgust, or an essay about their nightly activities. Both before the emotion-induction procedure and immediately after the choice task, participants reported how intensely they felt 19 emotions, including emotions measuring sadness, disgust, and a neutral state.

Participants then made 27 choices between receiving cash amounts today (between $11- $80) and larger cash amounts (between $25-$85) at points in the future ranging from one week to six months (Kirby, Petry, & Bickel, 1999). Following standard behavioral-economics procedures (Weber et al., 2007), we incentivized participants to express their true preferences by randomly selecting one of the choice pairs for one of the participants in each session (median of 13 participants per session) and paying out that person‘s preferred alternative. Choices of a reward that day were paid at the end of the session in cash. Later rewards were paid by a check mailed at the later time.

The emotion-induction procedure was effective in both magnitude and specificity. Sad- condition participants reported feeling more sad (M = 3.72) than feeling neutral (M = 1.66), t(78) = 6.72, p < .0001, disgusted (M = 1.00), t(78) = 13.68, p < .0001, or any other measured negative emotion, including anger (M = 1.30), t(78) = 13.50, p < .0001, and fear (M = 1.31), t(78) = 13.12, p < .001. Comparable specific effects were found for the neutral and disgust conditions. All

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results hold if we control for pre-induction emotions. Although we will not report the results, these procedures were equally effective in Experiments 2 and 3.

From a rational perspective, there should have been no carry-over of the incidental emotions induced by the video-watching and essay-writing to the financial decisions. Nonetheless, substantial carry-over occurred. Sad participants were more impatient than neutral participants in their choices, i.e., more willing to forego larger rewards in the future to obtain smaller rewards now. We used maximum-likelihood estimation to fit each participants‘ choices to an exponential discounting function, D(t) = δt, where smaller values of δ (the annual discount factor) indicate more impatience.1,2 Sad participants were more impatient, discounting more (Mδ = .21, medianδ = .04) than neutral participants did (Mδ = .28, medianδ = .19; Mann-Whitney Z = 2.04, p = .04).3 In monetary terms, whereas the median sad participant accepted $37 today rather than wait 3 months to receive $85, the median neutral participant required $56 today. Importantly, disgusted participants (Mδ = .31, medianδ = .24) discounted about the same as neutral participants did (Z = .46, ns) and less than sad participants did (Z = 1.87, p = .06). Thus, sadder was not wiser for these intertemporal choices. Even though the induced sadness was incidental to these decisions, it actually increased preference for immediate rewards whereas disgust did not.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of factors go into your decision and your satisfaction with your decision.  My advice:  

1) Only put a great deal of research into something that has the potential to give major rewards

2) When you’ve decided to buy something, consider buying from an environment that has fewer options rather than more

3) Only make large purchases when you’re in a good mood

4) Always choose the 33% cheaper.

5) Embrace your psychological defenses – you DEFINITELY made the right decision.

Swearing

Hello loyal listeners! This episode we discuss the history and theory of swearing. Why do we swear, why shouldn’t we swear? It would be great to listen now right? Unfortunately, due to an unforeseen technical difficulty (my house getting robbed), this episode will be delayed until Monday night the 26th. Please check back and we’ll hit you up then, thanks for listening!!

It’s Monday night and we’re back in action – thanks again for listening!

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Running Mate

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Our guest on today’s podcast is Matt Anderson, author of Running Mate: In Order to Form a More Perfect Union. It’s a fictional thriller about a modern day presidential race where the Republican candidate shocks the establishment by choosing the Democratic nominee as his potential vice president. What follows is a thoughtful and exciting exploration of how the country scrambles to digest this bombshell, and along the way, forces the reader to really think about whether the current ultra-partisan political climate is really what the founders intended, or if there could possibly be another way…

We also talk about the writing and publishing process. Get the Running Mate eBook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Itunes. Order a softcover and learn more at runningmatebook.com. Thanks, Matt!

***************ALSO**************

As promised, here is the Dollar Menu challenge video!

 

Men’s Fashion and Style

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The quickest way for you to set yourself apart from the pack at the workplace, at a party, or at a job interview, is to be well-dressed.  In this episode the good guys dive into uncharted territories by discussing fashion tips that can be used by all guys who are looking for a leg-up on the competition.  Do you think you are a fashion forward fella?  Have a listen to this podcast to see if you follow the rules of male fashion and style.  Thanks for listening!

 

Rule 1:  Good tailoring is crucial!  Find a good tailor and put him to work making your clothes fit you like they should.

Rule 2:  Wear a tie when you are asking for money.

Rule 3:  Dark skies = dark clothes

Rule 4:  Ties should run button to button.  They should cover the top button on your shirt and the top button on your pants.  Nothing more, nothing less.

Rule 5:  Listen to the podcast for many more male style tips

 

Aquatic Civilization

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How do we find enough room for our ever-expanding population?  Eventually, it’ll be time to invest in some real estate under the waves, and we’re not talking about Disney’s The Little Mermaid here.  Imagine huge domes containing farms, houses, movie theaters, gyms and the like, all on the ocean floor.  Recent scientific breakthroughs have moved this dream a little closer to reality, and society is already taking the first steps toward aquatic life.  Check out this hotel nearing completion off the coast of Fiji.  Listen up as the Good Guys discuss the merits and challenges of extending our civilization into the other 70% of the planet.

Jules’ Undersea Lodge

Energy Islands

More technical discussions of underwater civilization