Monday, May 26, 2008

Chickens and Pythagoras

For the third day in a row, I've done almost nothing but work on the chicken coop. With the chickens safely installed in the doghouse portion, I turned my attention to the fenced chicken run, while Greg finished the "patio" -- the bricked area directly underneath the doghouse, where they can get out of the weather.

The run is made of 2x4s and 1/2-inch hardware cloth. It could house a chicken, or probably a cow. I seem to not know how to make anything that's not heavy-duty.

I had quite a time trying to figure out the measurement of the angles, since the shape is a slanted rectangle (parallelogram?). I have a tool that has degree marks on it, but I couldn't figure out how to use it. However, helping my kids through math problems recently made me realize that I probably needed to trot out the Pythagorean theorem, do a drawing that contained a right triangle, and figure out the other angles.

The nice thing about having kids in school is that you're constantly using old math skills to help them on tests, and you suddenly find that they really ARE useful to know in real-world situations. I'm surprised somebody hasn't started marketing algebra to baby-boomers who are worried about getting Alzheimer's -- what a way to work your brain...

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