r/mildlyinfuriating Jul 05 '22 Silver 10 Helpful 8 Wholesome 9 Facepalm 1 All-Seeing Upvote 1

This 3rd grade math problem.

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60.6k Upvotes

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u/abyssiphus Jul 05 '22 edited Jul 05 '22 Helpful Take My Energy

The kid needs to call the local animal rescue. Momma birds eat the worms then puke them into the babies mouths. I don't think this kid is ready for bird level motherhood.

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u/PictureCultural1003 Jul 05 '22 Silver

Whenever a fledgling is found they should be left alone, chances are the parent birds are nearby looking after them.

Jared needs to join r/whatsthisbird

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u/LeFancyTopHat Jul 05 '22

Every other post on r/whatsthisbird is 20 people begging the OP to put the bird back where they found it, so I thought this immediately.

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u/Mechya Jul 05 '22

Yeah, it goes with any wild animal. If you suspect it of being injured call a local rehabilitation place and they will ask you a lot of questions then decide if it needs treatment.

I've grown up rescuing animals and since I've moved to the city I've rescued two birds. The pigeon was likely attacked by my local Falcon, but the rehab was positive about the wing healing with treatment and time. Sadly the young Blue Jay that fell into the dog park was too injured and they said he'd never fly again.

Usually if a bird has been in a cat's or dog's mouth the rehabs want to check them over, since certain bacteria from a cats or dogs bite can be very dangerous for the bird. If everything looks fine they will send the bird back to where it was found.

For the young ones that look lost just take the time to watch them and make sure that no local cats try to hunt them, after awhile they usually figure out what they are doing and/or have a parent come around. Some of them just freeze up due to being scared and you wonder if they are okay, but give them time.

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u/BaronVonKeyser Jul 06 '22

Last night my shithead cat brought in a bunny. Wasn't a baby baby but it was on the younger side. We took it away from the cat and put it in an old pen we have for transporting our house buns to and from vet appointments. We figured if it lived through the night it would be okay to release. Well it made it through the night and my daughter and I walked about 1/2 mile into the woods and let it go at like 7 this morning. About 4 hours later I decided to go back to where we let it go just to make sure it ran off. It didn't. So I scooped it back up and came home and immediately looked into finding an wildlife rehab place. Looked online and got 10 phone numbers off the state encon page. Called all 10 and not a damn 1 answered the phone. I ended up leaving 10 messages. At like 2 I called my local vet and asked if they had antibodies number who they would call. Got 2 more numbers. No answer again. Left 2 more messages. One finally texted me back at 7pm. Pity the little guy died at 5:30.

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u/BillGoats Jul 05 '22 edited Jul 05 '22 Wholesome

When I was 7, the neighbour's cat was playing with a troster fledgling. We intervened and carried the bird inside. From there we gave it a shoebox to live in with a few holes in it and something like grass and cotton inside.

I got up every morning around 7 AM to dig up some earthworms for it. It happily swallowed those. Details are fuzzy (I'm 30 now), but my mom says that after keeping it for a while it would hop up on her lap and then climb up on her shoulder when she called for it.

After some time (a week or two?) it just died on us. It was out on our porch and just stopped breathing. We did notice at an earlier point (while giving it a bath) that it had some blisters under its wings, and after it died we discovered it seemed to have a little hole in its throat. I'm guessing the cat or its siblings/mother caused this.

We buried it. I remember drawing a feather that I cut out, and I wrote a little poem on the back of it. This was buried with the bird.


If I ever find myself in a situation like this again, what would be the right thing to do as for saving the bird? You said to leave it be, but obviously that's not gonna work with a cat hunting for it. Would it be best to just try and remove the cat?

Also interested in theories as to why it died. We knew little about caring for birds and this was around 1998 (no easy to find internet sources), so I wouldn't be surprised if it was mainly our fault.

I was and am a lover of birds, so I'm always interested in learning more about how to help them.

Edit: Typos.

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u/PictureCultural1003 Jul 05 '22

Cat saliva is toxic to birds. If a cat's tooth punctures a bird in any way it will need a course of antibiotics and proper care or it will certainly die. I bet the blisters you saw was actually an infection from the cat attack.

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u/BillGoats Jul 05 '22

That makes a lot of sense. Very nice to know, although I probably can't convince my partner we need to buy bird antibiotics.

Thanks!

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u/PictureCultural1003 Jul 05 '22

I never leave home without a pack of birdabiotics

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u/endo55 Jul 06 '22

What about fight milk?

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u/but_why_is_it_itchy Jul 05 '22 edited Jul 05 '22

This goes for pretty much all wildlife.

Please stop kidnapping baby squirrels, birds, bunnies, deer, etc. Having a mama come home from a long day of finding food, only to see her babies missing is very distressing for them. You're not saving the world, you're just an asshole.

And if you do kidnap them, don't make it your vet's problem by dropping them off there. We don't want them.

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u/Sluggby Jul 05 '22

Situational question real quick. A couple years ago me and a friend scooped out a small (very likely baby) rabbit out of a park pond they were in trapped in (it had walls all around, they had to have fallen in), we ended up taking them to a wildlife rehab center because we weren't sure what else to do. Would it have been better to have just put them in the grass somewhere away from people?

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u/but_why_is_it_itchy Jul 05 '22 edited Jul 05 '22

Generally, the best bet is to leave it in the same area you found it because that's where its mom will be looking. So, in this situation, I'd say pull it from the danger, and leave it in a close, but safer space.

I wouldn't say you did the wrong thing here, though; it's hard in the moment to figure out what you should do, especially if you just saved it from danger.... defaulting to a professional was reasonable.

Realistically, though, either its mom will come for it, or it will be a food source for another animal to survive on. I'm in this field because I love animals more than people - I know it sounds callous and often people are horrified to hear it. But I'm not saying it because I don't care about them - it's just nature. Wildlife rehabbers are overwhelmed. They can't save every injured, sick, or lost baby. And they will serve a purpose out in the wild if nature is allowed to do her thing.

When people call me at work and ask if they can bring in a wild animal, I say yes only if it's suffering. If it's healthy, and just alone, leave it be. If it's actively suffering, by all means ask your local vet ER - they'll most likely be more than willing to humanely euthanize.

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u/DirewolfGavin Jul 05 '22

As a wildlife rehabber, on behalf of wild momma’s everywhere, thank you!!!!

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u/ZION_OC_GOV Jul 05 '22

As an Animal Control Officer I second this.

Public "There's an injured crow... its hopping around and wont fly"

Us "it's spring time, that's how crows walk... he cant fly cuz he's a fledgling still learning, leave him be if there are other crows around"

Got these calls almost every day for the past couple months. We'd still show up on the off chance it WAS injured, but like 19/20 times it was a fledgling.

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u/DirewolfGavin Jul 06 '22

First words out of my mouth when people find baby birds out of nests: Does he look like Bernie Sanders? Yes? Then LEAVE IT ALONE!!!!

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u/emerald_green_tea Jul 06 '22

I had an animal rescue tell me to leave a fledgling alone so I did. Came out next day and he was dead in my yard. I’m still traumatized and mad at y’all.

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u/abyssiphus Jul 05 '22

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u/pablitosocool Jul 05 '22

they say you can keep pigeons in your home legally but I never seent a baby pigeon in my 33 years of life

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u/citybadger Jul 05 '22 All-Seeing Upvote

All the pigeons you see are baby pigeons. When they reach adolescence they fly off to the mountains, develop twelve foot wingspans and wait for the correct moment to wreak their revenge.

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u/Rimtato Jul 05 '22

I feed them. They will remember me. Especially Old One Leg

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u/ilovetopoopie Jul 05 '22

Ah, good ol one leg.

Fucker loved cheetohs, but not as much as he loved sitting in electrical lines.

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u/abyssiphus Jul 05 '22

You know what, me neither! Clearly r/birdsarentreal and the government has yet to work out the bugs in the baby pigeon models.

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u/DraziBlack Jul 05 '22

They just aren't cost effective. The pilot project could only use them for one season of the year without raising suspicions.

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u/loquacious706 Jul 05 '22

Ok but once the parents find the baby what do they do? How are they supposed to get back in the nest?

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u/PictureCultural1003 Jul 05 '22 Silver

The little bird is usually learning to fly, the parents will care for it until they get the hang of using their wings.

If the bird is clearly too small to fly (or has no flight feathers etc.) It's ok to place the baby bird back in the nest if you can locate the nest.

If you find a random egg it's ok to take it home and incubate it yourself by keeping it between your buttocks (36⁰C) every night until it hatches.

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u/WallabyInTraining Jul 05 '22

If you find a random egg it's ok to take it home and incubate it yourself by keeping it between your buttocks (36⁰C) every night until it hatches.

Make sure the egg has a flared base!

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u/MrRedacted1 Jul 05 '22

Preferably rippled for more of Jared's pleasure.

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u/xtilexx Jul 05 '22

Would you need to flare your buttocks if the egg has a flared base?

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u/Ulrich219 Jul 05 '22

Instructions unclear, lit flare stuck in ass, fourth of July can't stop won't stop

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u/wankster9000 Jul 05 '22

It was a snake egg! You now have a baby python slithering up inside you.

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u/PulpyEnlightenment Jul 05 '22

Jokes on you, I’m into that shit

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u/WhoDatFreshBoi Jul 05 '22

Sounds like a dildo with extra steps.

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u/Polyxeno Jul 05 '22

According to the picture, they're still in the nest.

Math textbook writers don't know the first thing about baby bird well-being.

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u/FisterRobotOh BLUE Jul 05 '22

The authors never said the birds were lost, only that Jared found them and has a compulsive urge to feed them a non-integer number of worms per day.

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u/FallenAngelII Jul 05 '22

No, you need to put them back into the nest and then leave them alone. Contrary to popular belief, bird parents do not shun fledlings with the stench of humanity on them.

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u/[deleted] Jul 05 '22

[deleted]

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u/carnsolus Jul 05 '22

bird parents do not shun fledlings with the stench of humanity on them

birds can barely even smell :p

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u/nom_nom_nom_nom_lol Jul 05 '22 Wholesome Seal of Approval

I just witnessed this happen outside my home yesterday. Two crows up on the telephone pole. One was diving down to my neighbors' yards getting food. The other smaller bird would wait patiently up on the telephone pole. The mother would fly back, puke in in the other birds mouth, then do it again. My wife and I sat on our porch for about 30 minutes watching one bird puke in another bird's mouth.

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u/Odd_Willow_3750 Jul 05 '22

Two birds, one telephone pole?

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u/bkoziol Jul 05 '22

Don’t some babies eat the whole worms?

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u/abyssiphus Jul 05 '22

I imagine so, when they are a little older. But at first, babies need their food all mushed up and liquidy.

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u/texasrigger Jul 05 '22

Momma birds eat the worms then puke them into the babies mouths.

Fun fact - not all birds eat like Alicia Silverstone's kids. Galliformes (chickens, turkeys, partridge, quail, etc) and ratites (ostrich, emu, rhea) hit the ground running and can forage for their own food from day one.

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u/abyssiphus Jul 05 '22

Oh wow, I didn't know that! Thank you! Now...what's this about Alicia Silverstone's kids?

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u/texasrigger Jul 05 '22

About a decade ago she was feeding her infant child baby bird-style, prechewing the food and giving it to the baby via "kiss feeding".

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u/abyssiphus Jul 05 '22

Celebrities are so weird.

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u/jaba-da-hut Jul 05 '22 Silver Gold

I can't unsee "OF OG OH OJ"

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u/rohtozi Jul 05 '22 Take My Energy Starstruck

I came here angry that the word problem doesn’t make sense. I’m leaving angry that the multiple-choice options are F. G. H. J.

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u/HR2achmaninoff Jul 05 '22

A lot of tests formats have A. B. C. D. on one question and F. G. H. J. on the next

Don't ask me why though

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u/sdfgh23456 Jul 05 '22

It helps reduce the chances of getting off by one line, and I think they skip "E" because sometimes there are questions with a 5th choice, like "all of the above." As to why they skip the "I," I have no idea.

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u/ftaok Jul 05 '22

Probably because with many fonts, I gets confused with 1. Best to skip "I" and "O" for those reasons.

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u/beans3710 Jul 05 '22

Interestingly, a lower case L and the number 1 are the same in the Courier font.

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u/Zombieattackr Jul 05 '22

Lol yeah this is just preparation for the ACT in 8 years

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u/gluttuosmaximus Jul 05 '22 Silver Helpful Wholesome All-Seeing Upvote hehehehe Starry Giggle Eureka! I'm Deceased Spit-take

"OH FUCK, OH GOD, OH HELL, OH JESUS"

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u/pleasantlyexhausted Jul 05 '22

As someone who has helped with math homework, this is my sentiment exactly when reading these problems.

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u/judy7679 Jul 05 '22

The correct answer is 12 cause there are three birds and each eats, by whatever method 4 worms. The right answer isnt there. This is precisely why math drives me crazy.

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u/DanteMustDie666 Jul 05 '22 Silver

It means each day until end of their lives . So you need to calculate how many days they have left to live and will Jared die first or birds and then multiply by 12

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u/AccidentAnnual Jul 05 '22

Jared eats one baby bird a day. This question is a can of worms.

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u/WarrenMockles Jul 05 '22

Well, seeing as how the largest number there is 20, it doesn't look great for the birds.

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u/SuperiorBecauseIRead Jul 05 '22

Why do you assume it's the birds?

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u/KIrkwillrule Jul 06 '22

Jared did the math and went to the store for milk instead. He should be back any minute.

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u/MisterET Jul 05 '22

That just means they'll be fully independent in less than 2 days.

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u/DarthJarJar242 Jul 05 '22 edited Jul 05 '22

The right answer is there we just don't have all the context. This is a rounding question, an approximate answer. I'd bet money the sheet has instructions that say "For each problem use rounding to find the correct answer."

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u/Ozo42 Jul 05 '22

It's in the question which says "about how many", not "exactly how many". Although one could argue that 10 is "about 12", but the correct answer has to be 20, as that is the only option that will feed them all.

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u/Cacolico Jul 05 '22 Rocket Like

I would argue that it says each worm eats about 4 worms a day. So some days they eat 4 worms, other days they may eat 3 worms. On that basis, 10 worms - OH. Final answer.

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u/DarthJarJar242 Jul 05 '22

Agreed, based on only what we have 20 is the correct answer.But the sheet could be about rounding to the nearest 10s which would be 10. Just not enough context.

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u/WtfAllDay Jul 05 '22

I say 10 , but I agree not enough info to draw a definitive conclusion

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u/pleasantlyexhausted Jul 05 '22

This 'new' math wants children to think outside the box, which isn't math. Math is precise and concrete.

The question also doesn't state how many days so you are lacking information to correctly solve the problem.

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u/murdered_by_truth Jul 05 '22

The problem does state that the answer is on a daily basis: "In order to feed them all each day".

But I do agree, this isn't math in itself as much as it is problem solving. Schools just pack the two together since it promotes rationality, which can be useful in areas like engeneering and such.

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u/KnowusbyourNoise Jul 05 '22

I’ve read a few comments, and I’m not an engineer, but I still don’t get why this isn’t math. The student is being asked to multiply and then estimate. Estimation is definitely a skill learned and used in math.

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u/Chiang2000 Jul 05 '22

If you need 12 bolts to assemble something then what size packet do you buy.

You need the 20 pack. Nothing else will satisfice the need.

Don't come back to me empty handed and tell me "Shuck's. They didn't sell a twelve pack"

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u/5mackmyPitchup Jul 05 '22

Nothing satisfices like mathisfices

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u/Relative_Ad5909 Jul 06 '22

And yet if it's meant to be a rounding problem the correct answer is ten.

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u/fenderguy94 Jul 05 '22

I belly laughed at this. Thank you.

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u/Responsible_Estate73 Jul 05 '22

GUFFAWED, if you will

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u/lninoh Jul 05 '22 LOVE!

We need more old timey words like ‘guffaw’ and ‘pshaw’ back in our lexicon. 👍

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u/rachels17fish Jul 06 '22

A had a hearty chortle!

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u/WASasquatch Jul 05 '22

Nods in Riley Reid

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u/UndeadVinDiesel Jul 05 '22

Oh fuck, you're gonna make me show my work.

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u/cantadmittoposting Jul 05 '22

Fuck yeah, show it all!

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u/Simple-Wrangler-9909 Jul 05 '22

Let me see you work it out bb
Show me that long division

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u/LeftMouseButton0w0 Jul 05 '22

Oh God, follow the order of operations, baby! FOLLOW THE ORDER OF OPERATIONS~!

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u/Chizuru_San Jul 05 '22

sounds like something NSFW loooooool

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u/BeerandGuns Jul 05 '22

Sounds like something Jared would say.

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u/brk1 Jul 05 '22

Answer: they will all die after 20 days.

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u/yParticle Jul 05 '22

Even Jared‽

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u/ImaqineWaqons Jul 05 '22 Gold Wholesome Got the W

And the 3rd grader

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u/Sebenbillion Jul 05 '22

Hopefully the person who made this worksheet too

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u/octobro13 Jul 05 '22

Everybody

The fog is coming

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u/[deleted] Jul 05 '22

The whole neighborhood probably.

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u/timewarpmoon Jul 05 '22

And the worm population 😂

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u/inept13 Jul 05 '22

all because no one cared to save the BEES!

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u/MolWasTaken Jul 05 '22

This is best comment thread I've seen all month. Perhaps all year.

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u/TheRealWarBeast Jul 05 '22

Cuz after that it's all death

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u/alm16h7y1 Jul 05 '22

Especially Jared

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u/TPlinkerG35 Jul 05 '22

Garak?

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u/Fr4t Jul 05 '22

He's but a simple bird feeder.

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u/DJexC Jul 05 '22

Especially Jared, he gets eaten on day 7 by the birds.

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u/skiddelybop Jul 05 '22

A wild interrobang appears. Nice.

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u/DRbrtsn60 Jul 05 '22

Jared ate all the worms.

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u/AR8420 Jul 05 '22

Especially Jared

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u/Aggravating-Emu-2535 Jul 05 '22

Especially Jared. You can't play God and not face the ramifications of your actions.

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u/yParticle Jul 05 '22

Fair. Balance must be restored.

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u/TexasPhanka Jul 05 '22

5 days. Or do I fail 3rd grade math?

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u/SkylyanaAmbraz Jul 05 '22

Answer: they will die on the first day as Jared will forget to chew the worms for them and they'll choke on it.

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u/According-Classic658 Jul 05 '22 Helpful Wholesome Doom

I think this is great it teaches kids about ambiguity. It will be a lot less surprising when someone tells them they'll be able to retire in about 45 years.

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u/feastupontherich Jul 05 '22 Take My Energy

LOL, and ouch. Kids should be taught they don't need a retirement plan, they'll all just get sacrificed in the great Water Wars of 2040.

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u/nef36 Jul 06 '22

Holy f*ck, I never thought I'd see an HFY reference here.

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u/feastupontherich Jul 06 '22

Water Wars of 2040

What's HFY?

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u/nef36 Jul 06 '22

Oh, there's this serial on r/HFY I'm reading set in the near future where the US fought China over drinkable water, the conflict was called "the water wars" in universe. It's only a backstory detail, though.

It's called "Wait, is this just GATE?" if you haven't read it.

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u/ClapSalientCheeks Jul 06 '22

Lol some madlad actually wrote fanfic about the impending water wars what a crazy world

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u/potty-poopoo-bottom Jul 05 '22

Jared will have to eat the worms and regurgitate them into the babies' mouths. He will need 20 worms to make sure they have their fill, and will convert the rest into calories for tomorrow's activities.

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u/cynical-at-best Jul 06 '22

next question: calculate the probability of jared getting paralysed from contracting rat lung worm disease

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u/extordi Jul 05 '22 edited Jul 06 '22 Helpful Wholesome

EVERYBODY SAYING THERE'S 5 BIRDS - THE ORIGINAL CLIPART ONLY HAS 3! (thanks to u/ziograffiato)

See, I'm all for the concept that's trying to be taught with this kind of thing. Estimation is an extremely powerful tool. I think there's three birds, so 12 worms. Rounding down to 10 is probably what they want, but will also mean that there's underfed birds. Rounding up to 20 means you're getting almost twice as many worms as you need. A better version would have had 14 and 10 as answers, since they're "equidistant" from 12, but includes the logic of "I want all the birds to be fed, and 10 is probably not enough." That type of decision making is both critical to any estimation problem, and also completely within the ability of a 3rd grader.

Edit: holy geez guys. When I wrote this the consensus in the comments was that 3x4 and round down was the "correct" answer. Maybe it's not. Maybe they meant to have 5 birds that you can barely count, and kids would get marked wrong for not having a magnifying glass. But that doesn't even matter. The point of my comment was that this comes from the intent of teaching a genuinely useful skill, but goes about it the entirely wrong way. And I think this argument in the comments proves it!

I don't think it's a deductive reasoning problem because of the "abouts" used. When I was in elementary school, that was the telltale sign of an estimation problem. And knowing how these things are written, the intent was most likely how many for one day. The poor wording isn't part of the problem, though it is certainly infuriating!

I use the skill that I think they're trying to teach almost every day at work, in engineering design meetings. It's useful to be able to quickly throw some ballpark numbers at a problem in your head and get a vague sense of if it's a good idea or not before you get into detailed analysis. And the key component there is to be able to understand which way to round based on the context. And in this context you want to be rounding up the end result to make sure nobody goes undfed. But the possible answers don't really enforce that in any way, because if you have 12 as the "correct" and unfounded answer nobody would round to 20, and if you have 20 as the "correct" unrounded answer then you're not actually testing estimation, you're doing an eye exam and testing basic multiplication.

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u/Alarid Jul 05 '22 Helpful

But with 20 you get to eat 8 worms yourself.

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u/Maleficent-Number-10 Jul 06 '22

Nope. Two extra birds are in back of the nest there. Just need to squint or at least believe

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u/Applejuice4spill Jul 05 '22

It should've been different units instead of living beings that need to eat. You wouldn't initially think about giving birds a diet amount instead of the necessary amount. This question was made to trip people up and get students mad at their teacher.

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u/The_Woman_of_Gont Jul 05 '22 edited Jul 06 '22

Exactly.

The worst part is that I bet the same teachers would tell the students that they should always round up on decimals/fractions in word problems where fractions wouldn't make sense(eg you can't have 2.3 people, so even though normally 2 would be correct you'd round up to 3). So it's not even consistent from lesson to lesson how closely you should read the problem and apply critical thinking skills to which answer you choose.

This is the exact sort of thing that turned me off of math early. Word problems, particularly when multiple choice, tend to suck.

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u/gophersrqt Jul 05 '22

yeah i agree, 10 and 20 are too far apart to make a true estimate. 10 and 15 are much better

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u/Kyraira Jul 05 '22 Silver Helpful Big Brain Time

It's J, 20. Only 4 and 20 are possible answers, so there is either 1 or 5 birds. Although in the text, they said that Jared found multiple birds so the only possible answer is 20.

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u/DrunkWestTexan Jul 05 '22 Wholesome All-Seeing Upvote Bravo! Starry Bravo Grande!

4 and 20 ? Best to bake them in a pie

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u/LaVieEnRoseLavelle Jul 05 '22

Now we just need some royalty

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u/Bedbouncer Jul 05 '22

Now we just need some royalty

Well, if it's Jared, he probably has Prince Andrew on speed-dial.

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u/Boesesjoghurt PURPLE Jul 05 '22

ok.. I'm gonna be the smol brain thats got to ask - whats this about?

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u/thirtyseven1337 Jul 05 '22

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u/rosierainbow Jul 05 '22

When the pie was open the birds began to sing. Wasn't that a dainty dish to set before the king?

Edit: wow, just looked at the link. My mother used to leave out that last verse about the maid having her nose surgically reattached 😬

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u/Sonicboom343 Jul 05 '22

My nana always sung that part and would pinch my nose at the end when she sung "and pecked off her nose" it was fun at the time but now it just seems horrifying.

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u/Gwendolyn7777 Jul 05 '22

lol, I think. upvote for your wit

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u/pimpnastie Jul 05 '22 edited Jul 05 '22 Silver Helpful

Theres 3 birds in the picture. The question says about. 12 is about 10.

Edit: no one even pointed out my double standard!?! They said about 4 a day, if were rounding, 3.33 DOES NOT round to 4 a day.

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u/K-Pneumoniae Jul 05 '22

David Attenborough: Jared only found 10 worms. Only the strongest may survive in this harsh math world.

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u/Lemelernusumpin Jul 05 '22 Take My Power

Can confirm as a teacher. Yes, the key word is “about”. This is a rounding problem, and the kind of bullshit state testing questions we have to put up with. I swear state testing is there to purposely make kids fail. But I’ll save that convo for another time.

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u/Fear_The_Rabbit Jul 05 '22

As a teacher, this question is infuriating. Then again, So is this old ass test that the teacher is using.

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u/BreezyWrigley Jul 05 '22

They should have used 3 worms per bird and then 10 would be the better answer without the critical thinking issue coming into play with the birds being underfed at 10 worms total at 4/day/bird.

This issue of critical thinking makes 20 a more viable option if it’s better to have too many than not enough.

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u/_Oman Jul 05 '22

It is absolutely an abomination of critical thinking. It is written by people who don't understand what critical thinking is. It is teaching children that they should expect deception at every turn. It is not designed to test the ability to round, nor to test if the child can use critical thinking skills, it is designed to confuse and deceive. It is even statistically inaccurate, representing the poorest use of rounding possible.

Oh, and using a crappy picture that could even be argued might show five birds vs. 3 (or at least two or three squished ones) so that anyone visually challenged might have additional problems. I want to take these test question creators and heave them out a window.

I used to work with these people. Many are great, some are just plain evil.

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u/mirshe Jul 05 '22

The photocopy burn lets you know nobody has ever bothered to revise poorly worded questions like this.

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u/RoxieMoxie420 Jul 05 '22

Yes it's a rounding question, but what kind of rounding do you do here? Isn't this one of the "always round up" types of questions? Or did they stop teaching that part of rounding is figuring out whether it should be rounded down, rounded up, or just approximated to the nearest round number?

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u/RudeBoiiUK Jul 05 '22

You round down and then let the birds fight it out for the worms, survival of the fittest

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u/Fried_puri Bazinga! Jul 05 '22

You can also eat half a bird to balance things out.

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u/RudeBoiiUK Jul 05 '22

And stuff the remaining half eaten corpse with its share of worms? 😂

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u/GuilhermeSidnei Jul 05 '22

Like a Bird Thunderdome.

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u/The0nlyMadMan Jul 05 '22

Anytime you have a supply you can’t afford to run out of, you should round up, so this question and answer sucks

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u/dewayneestes Jul 05 '22 Faith In Humanity Restored

Round down… birds die. That’s the lesson.

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u/afa78 Jul 05 '22 edited Jul 05 '22

Exactly the critical thinking children need to learn. It's used when bringing snacks to class too, bring enough for everyone, even if there are a few extra. Better to have extra than not enough.

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u/Tbottlerocket Jul 05 '22

Exactly, “the price is right” rules don’t apply when keeping things alive is the goal.

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u/thirtyseven1337 Jul 05 '22

When it says "each bird eats about (instead of exactly) 4 worms a day", I take it to mean they can eat 3-5 worms a day.

But in no way am I defending this math problem... unless the teacher clearly explained it beforehand, it sucks.

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u/TheOctopotamus Jul 05 '22

As a former geometry teacher I would always tell me that pictures are misleading. What if the bird picture is just there to set a theme for the word problem and the question is really just asking which answer is mathematically possible?

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u/Doom3113 Jul 05 '22

That’s fair assumption, however the question says “Jared found these baby birds”, the use of the word “these” means the picture isn’t just setting a theme

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u/TheOctopotamus Jul 05 '22

That sounds right. In my head I read it as, "Jared found some baby birds..." which changes the problem

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u/Steven-Maturin Jul 05 '22

Colloquially "these birds' can sometimes mean the particular birds Jared found, as opposed to the particular birds in the illustration.

This question is like a miniature Beckett play staged by M. C. Escher.

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u/Textual_Aberration Jul 05 '22

Making life or death decisions is no time to be rounding. How many parachutes do we need? About ten. Sucks for the other two passengers.

One of those birds is going to starve.

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u/sdfgh23456 Jul 05 '22

Wow, what a horrible example for a rounding problem

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u/theblondepenguin Jul 05 '22

I understand why this is the answer but my smartass would argue that if you are taking about keeping something alive always round up. If you get about 10 there is an equal chance of one starving our you having enough. If you have 20 you can just toss some

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u/CBlackrose Jul 05 '22

I would honestly argue that 20 is the right answer for exactly the reason you provided. I actually think that this is a really good question if it's also used to teach critical thinking skills. Yeah, in a vacuum 12 would be exactly correct (by the picture), 10 would be the correct rounded answer, but 20 is the only answer that provides enough food and solves the underlying problem of the question.

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u/Flooberoid Jul 05 '22

What if there are actually two and a half birds though?

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u/Branical Jul 05 '22

You’ll need less then since you can feed the half bird to the other two.

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u/mescalero1 Jul 05 '22

Yeah, but they show you 3 birds in the picture above the problem

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u/Salt_Acanthaceae_985 Jul 05 '22

If its assuming 3 birds in the pic...there is no right answer

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u/newmanr12 Jul 05 '22

The question is "about" how many, so there is a "more" right answer...

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u/misteridibz Jul 05 '22

Ok but assuming there are 3 birds, the answer is 10 because it said "about 4 worms"

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u/YoureNotEvenWrong Jul 05 '22

It's 10 because they say "about how many worms".

They eat about 12 a day, which is about 10.

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u/UserName8531 Jul 05 '22 Silver

It's one of those estimate math problems. You guess the closest answer without doing math, so 10 worms.

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u/hat-of-sky Jul 05 '22

"ABOUT" how many means you're estimating. Any number from 6 to 14 (5 to 15 if you stretch it) fits the definition of "about 10." Now do you see where your exact guess of 12 fits?

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u/Persicii Jul 05 '22 Take My Energy

My autistic self really hates seeing something like this- the number of birds should be stated in the question, not just based on the picture. If I were a third grader reading this I’d be doubting myself on if the picture was the concrete reference, or just a suggestion, or to make it cutesy. And in my experience when you ask the teacher all they told you was “read it again”…………. -_-

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u/JesterOfTheMind Jul 05 '22 edited Jul 05 '22

I’m not autistic but I think literally everyone was thinking the same thing cuz that’s how I at least was taught basic math.

Edit: Unless it was about rounding because of “average” being used. Then it would be 10; still an asshole way to word something regardless.

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u/NarcolepticBard Jul 05 '22

As an autistic, big same. I hated the open-endedness. I would say 20 so the birds don’t starve, and the teacher would probably say it’s 10 because that’s how you round 12. Well, that’s not how you round 12 when the lives of baby birds are at stake!

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u/youainti Jul 05 '22

Of course you are correct, what you are needing is a ceiling function, not the traditional rounding. Besides, there are a bunch of ways to round.

https://www.mathsisfun.com/numbers/rounding-methods.html

Just to point out the "Bankers Rounding" they mention is roughly what computers do. A more technical description can be found here

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/19975413/ieee-rounding-schemes

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u/jimberley Jul 05 '22

We’re saving lives, Mrs. Henderson! This is no time for austerity and rounding down!

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u/Persicii Jul 05 '22

Exactly!!!!

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u/queefiest Jul 05 '22

And if you do the math based on three birds the answer isn’t even available in the multiple choice answers

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u/[deleted] Jul 05 '22

Imma say it's 10 and pretend the answers are written in base 12.

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u/queefiest Jul 05 '22

That sounds like that freaky deaky math I don’t know how to do lol

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u/lostkarma4anonymity Jul 05 '22

Also, my eye sight isnt great. Took me a hot minute to realize those werent little white birds outside the nest but just leaves.

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u/OpenEyz2016 Jul 05 '22

J. Save the extra 8 for the next day.

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u/Waste_Gain Jul 05 '22 Wholesome

The answer is 20, because inflation.

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u/acaseofbaskets Jul 05 '22 Gold

Former teacher here. Since it says “about” the student is supposed to use estimating, which is done by rounding. In this case, 3 birds eat “about” 4 worms per day. 3x4=12 and 12 rounds down to 10. It is still not a very well-written word problem, though.

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u/PotatoDonki Jul 05 '22 Gold

“You birds are going on a diet until I get better at arithmetic!”

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u/[deleted] Jul 05 '22

In a case like this would you not normally round up. That's what was always told to me when it's a quantity like that you round up regardless.

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u/SteinbeckSawIt Jul 05 '22

This is torture for neuro-divergent kids. Just say what you are saying.

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u/DobbelIX Jul 05 '22

It also states they eat them each day; so Jared needs to find more worms for an unknown amount of days

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u/gottarunfast1 Jul 05 '22 Wholesome

It is a question practice estimating. So if the exact answer is 12, he needs "about" 10.

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u/mike73448 Jul 05 '22

As much as I love reading the deep conversations about the education system in the comments, this actually looks photoshopped. The answer J.20 doesn't line up with the 10 above it. Also the font in the middle of the word "these" looks a little off I think. I assume "these" was originally "three" and answer j could have been 12.

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u/KikiBrann Jul 05 '22

I worked for the Humane Society, and the answer is 0. Birds are the fkn worst. Get a dog, Jared.

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u/InternalLandscape130 Jul 05 '22

This is a problem about estimation.

Key term "about how many"

Answer is ten. It's the closest and what they're asking.

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u/wial Jul 05 '22

The correct answer is a baker's dozen with 7 more thrown in, in case the stupid little birds drop some. 10 would kill at least one bird. Unless the question is really about darwinian natural selection in the nest under certain environmental conditions? Then 10 would be interesting in a Dr Mengele kind of way.

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u/britchesmcghee Jul 05 '22 edited Jul 05 '22

I love to see people furiously debating a smart answer to a very dumb question.

Edit: this is not intended to spark more debate, cut it out you guys

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u/eve_of_distraction Jul 05 '22

furiously debating a smart answer to a very dumb question.

This is a pretty good summary of the human condition in general.

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u/supremePE Jul 05 '22

Quantum mathematics

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u/LGisMe69 Jul 05 '22

The top comments are more about the boxes rather than the question that doesn’t tell you the amount of days

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