While my pier columns are setting it was time to move on to the next question: How to set that 40o angle for the solar panels?
I attended 12 different public schools growing up. I don’t know how many math classes I failed or squeaked by in, but they were legion.
Makes me a little angry, too, because whenever somebody tried to teach me something allegedly useful like geometry, the question I kept asking was “What would I use this for?” And I kept not getting an answer. Many years later in tech school when I learned how to calculate the cubic inch displacement of a gasoline engine? Same formulae, now actually applied to a real-world thing, no problem. I’m not stupid. Just not interested in public school theoreticals uncoupled to anything in reality, taught by bored teachers who didn’t even know the answer to my very simple question – and who seemed offended that I’d dared ask.
This trip down memory lane doesn’t have a point, it has an angle…
But that’s the wrong angle.
I’m aware that it should be simplicity itself to calculate the lengths of the two parallel sides of an irregular rectangle – no idea what the name of that is – with two 90o angles and two 40o angles. If only I’d stayed awake or stopped reading science fiction during any one of those long-ago math classes, I would not now be having this problem. That sepulchral laughter in the background is coming from myriads of retired geometry teachers, most no doubt long gone.
Late last week I tore apart one of my friend T’s comically overbuilt battery shelves and found myself richer by four 6-foot 4X4s and 3 2-footers. No way those weren’t going into my new rack. I knew the 2-footers would turn out to be too long – since the 6-footers couldn’t get longer – but I didn’t know how much too long they were. And I could only think of one way to find out.
A halfway decent math student would have been inside and drinking beer long before I was half done. But there wasn’t anybody like that around here. I finally got it done…