When I started reading this I was working myself up for a rebuttal but by the time I finished I decided it wasn’t worth it.

When I started reading this I was working myself up for a rebuttal but by the time I finished I decided it wasn’t worth it.

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Plus, think of all the math practice they’ll get, if you make them set up the mortar themselves!

My Little Mortar: Azimuths are Magic!

I’d buy it!

Outstanding!

Carrying and setting up a heavy machine gun and it’s ammo supply takes some muscle. Dick and Jane would need some of their friends to help out?

They get PE credit for it. Digging a gun emplacement is also a lot of work. Sandbag walls are like free-form Legos. Lots of possibilities.

Little Red Wagon = Problem solved

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I have stated, quite seriously, that firearms classes should be mandated in middle schools. Not only for the safety aspect (although that is a worthy goal all by itself), but for the education in math (ballistics), chemistry and engineering. And it would appeal to the average teenager a hell of a lot more than lectures about a train leaving Chicago at 9:00 travelling 40 MPH…

Not much chance of that, though, when administrators are fearful enough to suspend kids over pop-tarts, jewelry, and avatars. (sigh)

In High School someone asked the math teacher what one used Quadratic equations for. She couldn’t say. I was told by another math professor in college that a lot of the math is taught so one can learn the next subject and eventually get to useful math. On my own I read that the Quadratic Equation can be used to model the velocity of a projectile shot straight up, as it reaches its peak and descends.

Whether or not this is true, there are lots of opportunities for applied mathematics using the lessons from the High School classes that does not require an understanding of calculus and matrices. Ballistics would have the benefit of being interesting to people who were not intending to get mathematics or engineering degrees. Heck, it might even encourage some to get STEM degrees.

Quadratics apply to ballistics in general, as approximations (treating the acceleration of gravity as constant and ignoring friction). I wonder if mentioning that answer would get you ejected from class. These days where principals are required to have IQ below 60, probably yes.

Even excluding firearms, I actually was taught (in high school, years after I first learned the formula) that these formulae could be used for ballistics — when you throw a baseball in the air, where does it peak? What’s the best angle to hit the ball to get over the Green Monster at Fenway?

*sudden realization of what the six step explosives formula is, strikes*

Math is cool.

Posted this on Facebook as well, but frankly, my duaghter would be a stronger asset as an ammo handler or target spotter for a water cooled .30 team, provided the movement of the gun, mount, and ammo was handled by machine or others, than she would be as a rifleman on the line. i doubt her ability at nine to deliver high volume effective fire with a military caliber rifle, much less keep up on patrol — but running belts to the gun she can do.

“Powder monkey” has a long history. 😉

Indeed it does. When I shoot my black powder mortar (3″ bore, 6 caliber), I generally enlist the help of young kids to get the bits of tinfoil from the powder charges out of the chamber, and to seat the charges in the chamber. I haven’t gotten around to actually making a worm and a tool for powder charge insertion.

This is not funny. Either the original creator did not have a working knowledge of the risks in operating crew served weapons, or the originator did not have the common sense to realize that air pistols, rifles, and rimfire pistols and rifles, are the best training tool for children.

AM, the substitution of an expected mundane element with an unexpected absurdist one makes it funny. There, how’s that for a dry, unfunny explanation of what is funny?