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By - February 17, 2010

Do You Like Math, Susie?

Dear Matty,
I am 9 years old and in the third grade. My Social Studies teacher tells me that my parents are killing polar bears every time they drive their SUV. Is my teacher right? I love my parents, but I also love polar bears. I feel so sad. What should I do?

Susie in Sioux City

Dear Susie,
Polar bears are hearty creatures that live in the circumpolar north. They feast upon seals and each other. Something tells me that a certain Social Studies teacher must have a lot of pent up guilt and frustration. Your teacher has obviously witnessed many polar bear killed by SUV’s. If he stood by and did nothing, he may actually be liable for criminal charges. You may want to suggest that he enroll in some sort of grief counseling.

There is a scientific experiment you can do, for extra credit, in your parking lot after school. Find a polar bear (check with your local zoo) and load him into your parents’ SUV. Ask your teacher to meet you in the school parking lot. With the polar bear behind the wheel of the SUV and your teacher in his Prius, have them accelarate toward one another at top speed until their vehicles collide.

Now, this is the part where this becomes educational rather than just entertaining. If the SUV is traveling east at 60 mph and the Prius is traveling west at 45 mph, how much Arctic ice melts when they collide? Extra credit if you can measure the amount of carbon dioxide that would be released if Al Gore provided five minutes of condescending commentary on the event before leaving in his private jet.

Be sure to check on the polar bear, and don’t forget to recycle the Prius. Good luck with your experiment. Let us know how it goes!

Most sincerely,
Matty

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