Nice to see a bit of applied algebra (which even I can understand. Absolutely rubbish at the maths thing) courtesy of one Dr James Hind, from Nottingham Trent University:

T = 70 + 0.5E + 15F – 10S

“is the code parents can use to crack the probability of backseat breakdowns.”

To crack the answer (if there’s about to be an in-car meltdown) is where T = Time, E = Time being entertained, F = Delaying the tantrum by 15 minutes with Food, S = Having siblings increases chance of tantrum by 10 minutes.

In case you were hoping the calculations (that you made, hoping for a quiet 2 hours) is “Unfortunately, two children with no entertainment and no snacks can brew up a tantrum in just 40 minutes.”

Made me wonder whether there might be a similar rule of thumb for working out that moment when someone’s likely to blow and throw all the toys out in, say a work meeting (and it has to be an actual, in person, meeting – no use flouncing out of a Teams. Where’s the drama in that?)

Apologies to those who actually understand how the algebra thing works, but here’s my effort:

T = 120 + 0.05E + 30B – 10xP

T = Time (minutes the call is scheduled for, E = Time where you actually have something useful to add, S = Delaying the tantrum by 30 minutes because biscuit are present and P = increases chance of a spat dummy by 10 minutes for every meeting containing more that 10 people.

If I worked this out, then unfortunately T-minus is at least 85 minutes away… but then we’re all grown-ups in the room, aren’t we.

In other news, I found out that ‘vibe mapping’ has made the transitions from Tom Ravenscroft’s Friday night’s 6Music show listener banter to the World Of Brand – I’m unsure how I feel about this.

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About Richard Hill

Creative director, writer, designer, illustrator based in the UK with global project experience and consulting skills across sectors.

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