Nine out of 10 of you have probably used some variation of the term "I'll never need any of this in the real world" when you were studying math in high school. True, the mechanics of long division and PEMDAS don't seem as important in day to day life as, say, knowing how to change a tire. But according to science, a lot of the problems you face every day can be quantified with a single equation. Like ...
7The Thickness of Beer Goggles
"Beer goggles," or the idea that alcohol makes you find people more attractive, sounds like a convenient excuse invented by douchebags who don't want to admit that they will simply have sex with anything that moves. But science says beer goggles are real.
For proof, spend more than 10 minutes in any college town bar.
It is, however, more complicated than "Alcohol = Boner." Thanks to the wonders of math, the effect can be precisely calculated.
Professors at the University of Manchester, England, worked out that the effect isn't really beer goggles, but bar goggles (or dance club goggles). It's alcohol plus a number of environmental factors, like so:
Incidentally, this is the same equation used to calculate your likelihood of picking up an STD.
An is the number of drinks consumed, limited only by your bodily fortitude.
d is the distance in meters between you and the object of your potential lust.
S is the smokiness of the room, rated between 0 and 10.
L is the brightness of the room, rated between 1 and 150.
Vo is a measure of your visual acuity, 6/6 being normal and 6/12 being "maced in the face."
"Oh yeah. This is probably a good decision."
If the result is less than 1, there's no beer goggle action at all. With 50 and higher, we begin to see a clear effect. If we test this with a single drink, a half-meter distance, clear air, good lighting and perfect vision, then the object appears in all its horrible glory.
However, if the guy just chugged eight beers and there's a three-meter distance, poor lighting and a smoky room, and he forgot his contact lenses, everyone is beautiful.
Surprisingly, alcohol alone doesn't seem to produce much of an effect if we ignore the other factors. With a clear, well-lit room and good vision, we plugged eight beers into the equation and only got 2.6. After 15 beers, it's still only 9 (if our math is wrong, someone will surely correct us in the comments). According to this, the secret isn't so much to go easy on the booze, just to make sure you stay in the non-smoking section and carry a flashlight.
Or do your drinking in the well-lit halls of hospitals and mental institutions.
6Why We Procrastinate
Statistically speaking, since you're reading a Cracked article right now, chances are good that there's something more important you should be doing. A Canadian academic named Professor Piers Steel, himself a chronic procrastinator, spent 10 years on the study while trying not to play computer games instead, and came up with an equation to figure out why we put things off so much.
"It was only supposed to take five years, but then World of Warcraft came out."
Here, U is the desirability of the task, E is the confidence that you will succeed at it, V is the value of completing it, I is the task's immediacy or availability and D is your sensitivity to delay.
Consider for example the prospect of studying for a big exam. We'll put your confidence at 5 because you haven't actually been to any lectures this semester. The value of the task can be 5, too, because reading about third-year accounting rips your soul through your nasal passages. Immediacy can be set to 2 because you know you're going to have to invest the entire night in it, and delay sensitivity we'll put at 10 because even the drapes have a good chance of distracting you at this point. Crunch the numbers through Steel's formula and we see the desirability of this task is about 1.25.
Compare this to the desirability of sleep and sex for an explanation of why your GPA never cracks 2.5.
Alternatively, you could read the entire back catalog of Cracked articles. We'll set your confidence in being able to read Cracked for 12 hours at about 1,000. The value of doing so we can also assume is 1,000. The availability can be 1,000 because you're already here. We'll say your sensitivity to delay is just 1, because you really feel like heating up some Pop Tarts and reading Cracked. 1,000 x 1,000/1,000 x 1 = 1,000, which is almost 1,000 times higher than your desire to study for your accounting finals.
The only thing more desirable than Cracked is having sex while reading Cracked.
Math! It's on our side.