7 Questions You Didn't Know Could Be Answered With Math

#3. The Best Time for a Marriage Proposal

The truth is that there are probably going to be a million different pressures urging you toward that bent knee -- love, friends, parents, suspicious-looking radiance and a tummy bulge -- and not a single one of them is going to pull a calendar off the wall, circle a date and tell you to just get on with it. Thankfully, math has found an elegant solution to your problem.

These can only delay the Big Day for so long.

The Formula:

Don't worry, you don't actually have to calculate that intimidating algebraic mess. Professor Tony Dooley from the University of New South Wales School of Mathematics and Statistics, who came up with the formula, assures us that the answer is 0.368, and we all have to take his word for it.

University of New South Wales
Does this look like the face of a man who would lie about love?

The only thing you need to do is pick the youngest age you would want to get married, subtract that from the oldest age and multiply that by 0.368. Then you add that number to your youngest age, and voila.

For example, if you start thinking of settling down at 21, but you don't mind being single until you're 30, then: (30-21) x 0.368 = 3.312 + 21 = 24 and three months, which is when you should consider popping the question.

"It was either this, or a lifetime of masturbating quietly into my socks."

On the other hand, if you're an emotionally stunted man-child who doesn't start considering marriage until 40, but you're prepared to go on until death if necessary, then your ideal time to start proposing to whoever is dumb enough to give you their phone number is somewhere around 50, and also, you are probably actor Doug Hutchison.

Those sunglasses aren't fooling anyone, Doug.

The formula is based on established equations in financial and medical sectors that pinpoint maximum rewards and minimal costs: all terribly romantic, and exactly what every girl wants to hear in a candlelit restaurant. As are Dooley's well considered and immortal words: After reaching your Optimal Proposal Age, "You should prepare to pop the question to the very next girl you date -- as long as she's the best of the bunch so far!"

"Will you be my last-ditch effort at happiness?"

#2. How to Ride a Bike


The first time we realized that all adults are essentially lying, morally bankrupt sociopaths was somewhere between "Dad, don't let go of the back of my bike" and "Dad? Dad? Daaaaaad?"

"This means a nursing home, you son of a bitch!"

Once your brand new BMX had been retrieved from the neighbor's hedge, however, riding a bike was probably never a problem again. So much so, in fact, that the whole experience would be used as an analogy for the rest of your life to describe things that are so easy that your brain is incapable of failing at them.

"Don't worry, son, it's as easy as driving stick while drunk!"

Some people recently decided to calculate exactly how easy riding a bike is, and after three universities from around the world collaborated on a formula dozens of symbols long, they concluded that they still only barely have any idea.

"But we have determined that bicycle crashes are goddamn hilarious."

The Formula:

The confusion we all had as children over exactly how the fuck we were supposed to get something 3 inches wide and perpetually rolling to stay upright without rockets and some kind of anti-gravity support platform was, in fact, totally and utterly justified. It's complicated as shit. Look at it!

Delft University

Clever people from the University of Nottingham in England, Cornell University in Ithaca and Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands came up with a 62-page mathematical report on the subject, full of lots of squiggles we don't understand that explain exactly what is necessary to keep a bike upright. And we assume that what it really all boils down to is keep moving or you'll fall off.

Delft University
Researchers are still working 'round the clock to determine just how ridiculous biking shorts need to look in order to be effective.

#1. The Secret to Happiness


Philosophers, religious leaders, artists, poets and expensive therapists have been looking for the secret to happiness ever since the very first caveman laid down on the very first sofa, put his hands over his eyes and started weeping uncontrollably. Luckily for us, a group of psychologists and "life coaches," after a study interviewing 1,000 people, have solved the problem in just 13 key taps.

"If we can just turn this formula into a beverage, we'll be rich!"

The Formula:

Here, P stands for personal characteristics, E for existence (health, financial stability and friendships) and H is higher order, and covers self-esteem, confidence, ambitions and sense of humor. All of these can be established by answering four questions:

1. "Are you outgoing, energetic, flexible and open to change?"

"Follow-up question: Do lab coats turn you on?"

2. "Do you have a positive outlook, bounce back quickly from setbacks and feel that you are in control of your life?"

3. "Are your basic life needs met, in relation to personal health, finance, safety, freedom of choice and sense of community?"

4. "Can you call on the support of people close to you, immerse yourself in what you are doing, meet your expectations and engage in activities that give you a sense of purpose?"

Such as sudoku.

Answer on a scale of one to 10: P is the answer for Questions 1 and 2; E for Question 3 and H for Question 4. Put them into the formula and you'll get a rating out of 100. Over 80, and you get a happiness medal to keep forever and ever, because chances are it won't last long. Under 20, and you probably can't read this over your wailing. But at least now you can quantify exactly how miserable you are!

You're welcome.

For more easy solutions, check out 6 Famous Unsolved Mysteries (That Have Totally Been Solved) and 5 Things We All Do That Make Hackers' Lives Incredibly Easy.

And stop by LinkSTORM to learn how to put Tetris and Snake on your calculator.

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