Math is the reason the liberal arts were invented, says my co-worker Kevin.
Last week, Ana Karen wrote an Our Corner about speeding and how little time you save and how much you’re putting yourself at risk when you speed.
In the column, she used the math I computed to base her column on.
Well, my math was wrong. “Execrable” and “appalling” were the words used by one reader, and I can’t say I disagree. I’m pretty embarrassed, since I even double checked and triple checked my work during the staff meeting in which I did all this.
But the point of Ana Karen’s column still stands, and now I have the correct math to prove it.
If you drive an average of 44 miles per hour from the Enumclaw Courier-Herald office to the Bonney Lake Justice and Municipal Center (like I do every Tuesday and Thursday) it will take you 15 minutes to arrive at your destination if you’re never slowed by other cars to stopped by lights: 44 miles / 60 minutes = 11 miles / x minutes. Solve for x.
I’m having flashbacks to middle school pre-algebra.
If you speed up to an average of 50 miles per hour, as Ana Karen said in her column, you don’t save that much time: 50 miles / 60 minutes = 11 miles / x minutes.
I’ll do it for you; x equals 13.25. Which means the extra six miles per hour on average only saves you close to two minutes.
And while my pride compelled me to publicly correct my math mistakes, I don’t think I want to make that the main point of this column.
The point is, we journalists make mistakes. We spell names wrong, gets dates wrong, get facts wrong.
It’s going to happen to everyone at some point. But it can be extra embarrassing for us, because 24,000-plus people are going to open their newspaper Wednesday morning and laugh at the guy who apparently can’t count his way out of a kindergarten class.
But, lo and behold, someone contacted us right away and let us know something was wrong. I went back, found he was right, and proceeded to gladly correct my mistake.
Journalism, especially newspaper journalism, isn’t a spectator sport. We want you to be an active participant in the process.
If something is bugging you about an article, let us know. We plaster our contact information all over the paper and the website so you can get in touch with us.
If you like what you read, give us a call. I won’t go so far to say journalists have the most thankless job in the world (I think that’s reserved for police, teachers and parents) but we work hard to make sure you are up-to-date with what’s happening in your community.
And if you see something wrong, you have to make sure we know. Our jobs are literally all about giving you accurate information. If we got something wrong, help us fix it.