Culture Math FINALLY, MATH! Love About Town podcast hosts Kenice Mobley and Rohan Padhye will multiply, divide, add and subtract their way to the answers. You know what? DON'T Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally.
NPR

# < Culture Math

#### Culture Math

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JONATHAN COULTON: This is NPR's ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm Jonathan Coulton. Here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Thanks, Jonathan. We're playing games with Kenice Mobley and Rohan Padhye, who host the podcast "Love About Town." Are you ready for another one?

EISENBERG: OK.

KENICE MOBLEY: Yeah.

EISENBERG: Last time you were here, you totally blew us away by knowing things like the exact year sliced bread was invented.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Just to be clear, we weren't even asking that, I don't believe.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Yeah. It was just extra information thrown in.

EISENBERG: So we looked on our puzzle shelf. We are going to give you the hardest game that has been sitting...

EISENBERG: ...Around for us to play. This is called "Culture Math." OK.

EISENBERG: You're going to work together on this one because a lot to think about. We're going to give you an equation. You're going to tell us the result.

COULTON: For example, if we said the number of feet in a mile times the number of miles Vanessa Carlton would walk so she can just see you tonight, you would answer 5,280,000, which is the product of 528,000 feet in a mile times a thousand miles Vanessa Carlton would walk.

MOBLEY: My mother is a mathematician - or she majored in math and she's, like...

COULTON: Wow.

MOBLEY: ...Always tried to train me in math, so I'm just looking forward to disappointing her entirely. Let's do this.

COULTON: Wonderful. Wonderful.

PADHYE: Yeah. My mom has a Ph.D. in biology. My dad has a master's in engineering. My brother has a master's in engineering.

COULTON: Geez.

PADHYE: They are all incredibly good at math and I am about to disappoint them tremendously as well.

EISENBERG: All right. Here is your first one. How many numbers you pick when buying a standard Mega Millions lottery ticket plus the value of the winning lottery ticket in "In The Heights."

PADHYE: Oh, Kenice, we watched "In The Heights."

MOBLEY: We did watch it. We went to the theater and watched "In The Heights."

MOBLEY: OK, so I have purchased Mega Millions, but I always do the quick select that selects it for you. Is it one, two, three, four and then a fifth special one, or is it one, two, three, four, five and then a sixth special one? Rohan, what are your thoughts?

PADHYE: OK, so I think it's six...

MOBLEY: Six, OK.

PADHYE: ...Because one, two, three, four, five plus the sixth special one. And then the lottery ticket, I believe, was \$90,000.

MOBLEY: I think it's \$96,000.

MOBLEY: Because it has to run. It has to, like, hit the 96,000. Like, it's...

MOBLEY: Yeah, you have to imagine Lin-Manuel Miranda sang it...

COULTON: (Laughter).

MOBLEY: ...And I don't think Lin-Manuel Miranda would just say 90,000.

MOBLEY: He'd add an extra syllable in there.

PADHYE: No, you're right. You're totally right.

MOBLEY: OK.

MOBLEY: So we've got six...

EISENBERG: I love this.

EISENBERG: Yes.

EISENBERG: Beautiful.

COULTON: Wow.

MOBLEY: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: My uncle scratched a lottery ticket and won \$40,000.

MOBLEY: Woah.

COULTON: On a scratch-off. Wow.

EISENBERG: Yes, I will...

MOBLEY: That's so uncommon.

COULTON: Yeah.

EISENBERG: I will also tell you this. He bought about 40 lottery tickets a day for 10 years.

MOBLEY: OK.

COULTON: Oh, there you go. There you go.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I'm serious.

MOBLEY: So he's only broke even at best.

EISENBERG: Yeah, exactly.

MOBLEY: Every time I'm having, like, a super lucky day where I just feel like everything is working out...

EISENBERG: Yeah.

MOBLEY: ...That is when I go and I buy a lottery ticket. And I have won, like, \$2 at the most, but I just keep them as, like, a memento of, like, wow, you were feeling really great today. And so I just have, like - somewhere in this desk is a stack of lottery tickets.

PADHYE: Oh, my God. That is the...

COULTON: That's awesome.

PADHYE: That's the sweetest thing I've ever heard.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: All right, here's another one. The number of queens on a chessboard times the number of queens played by Olivia Colman on screen.

MOBLEY: OK, this is fantastic. So we've got her as Elizabeth, right? So that's one.

MOBLEY: We have her in "The Favourite" as Queen...

MOBLEY: ...Whatever. So that's two. I feel like simply every British actress is, like, required by law to play several queens. Has she played a queen in anything else? I...

PADHYE: Those are the two that I - those are the only two that I know.

MOBLEY: Those are the two that you know. OK.

PADHYE: And then there's the one queen on the chessboard.

MOBLEY: What do you mean there's one queen?

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

MOBLEY: I was like, what are you talking about? There's two.

COULTON: (Laughter).

MOBLEY: Crikey. OK. Do we want to just add another one just in case, given the breadth of all British actresses?

MOBLEY: OK. So we've got three times two - six.

COULTON: That is correct. yeah.

PADHYE: What's the third one she was in?

MOBLEY: Yeah, what's the third one?

EISENBERG: Yeah, so Queen Elizabeth in "Hyde Park On Hudson," Queen Anne in "The Favourite" and Queen Elizabeth II in "The Crown."

MOBLEY: She's really doing it.

EISENBERG: OK. How many denominations of bill are there currently issued by the U.S. Federal Reserve...

MOBLEY: OK.

EISENBERG: ...Plus the number of billboards outside Ebbing, Mo.?

PADHYE: So there's three outside of Ebbing, Mo.

MOBLEY: Three billboards. OK.

PADHYE: All right. And then so there's the \$1 bill.

MOBLEY: OK.

MOBLEY: Yeah.

PADHYE: Ten dollar bill. There's a \$20 bill. There's a \$50 bill. There's a \$100 bill.

MOBLEY: Do they make a \$1,000 bill?

PADHYE: I'm going to say that they do.

MOBLEY: I keep every \$2 bill that I find because they no longer put them in circulation.

MOBLEY: So no, that's not one of them.

MOBLEY: OK. So we have seven plus three would be 10.

MOBLEY: OK?

EISENBERG: Yeah.

COULTON: Yeah. It's 10.

MOBLEY: Yes.

EISENBERG: And...

COULTON: Wow.

EISENBERG: You know, you did it. You got it right. But let me just tell you that currently in circulation - \$1 bill, \$2 bills.

MOBLEY: What?

PADHYE: So they are - \$2 bills are in circulation.

EISENBERG: Currently issued by the U.S. Federal Reserve - \$2 bills.

MOBLEY: Then I'm not keeping them anymore. They're useless to me.

COULTON: Well, they're - I mean, they're worth \$2 each (laughter).

PADHYE: Yeah (laughter). They aren't worthless. They're actually worth \$2.

EISENBERG: And then five, 10, 20, 50 and 100.

MOBLEY: Oh.

EISENBERG: And I guess that's...

MOBLEY: So there isn't a thousand one.

COULTON: Yeah, currently nothing bigger than 100.

MOBLEY: Dang.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

MOBLEY: OK.

MOBLEY: I'm just imagining, like, mob movies or when they're, like, showing large amounts of cash.

EISENBERG: I know.

MOBLEY: All those amounts are much smaller in my head now. I'm like, wow. So those are hundreds at best?

COULTON: Yeah. That's not a lot of money.

MOBLEY: No. That's nothing.

COULTON: That's not a lot of money for that crime.

MOBLEY: Yeah.

EISENBERG: I know. Yeah. Now they just Venmo and, like, emojis to, you know...

EISENBERG: Little - a kitchen knife and a sad face, and they're like, oh, yeah. I get it.

(LAUGHTER)

PADHYE: Yeah. There's a horse's head and a bed in the Venmo.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: All right. This one might be hard.

COULTON: The total number of rings of power mentioned in the opening poem of "Lord Of The Rings"...

MOBLEY: OK.

COULTON: ...Divided by the number of rings in the Olympic logo.

MOBLEY: I think there's five rings in the Olympic logo...

PADHYE: Yeah, there's five rings in the logo...

MOBLEY: ...Because there was three on top and two on bottom...

PADHYE: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. You're right.

MOBLEY: ...Of a different color. So we have five. So we're dividing the rings of power. So there's one for man, one for elves, one for dwarves. There's, of course, the secret ring that Sauron made that rules over all of them. But I feel like there's another group in there.

MOBLEY: How dare you, OK?

COULTON: These are rings of power, Rohan. Take it seriously.

COULTON: Yeah. Come on.

(LAUGHTER)

MOBLEY: It's, like, a very dramatic - he's, like, doing this very - it's - now I watch it, I'm like, this is over the top. But in high school, I was like, this is cinema at its finest. So I think there might be five rings. I don't think they're going to give us the challenging math of having to divide four by five...

MOBLEY: ...Which would be four-fifths, I guess. So let's go with one...

MOBLEY: ...Because it's five and five, which - shoot.

COULTON: You were right about the Olympic rings.

MOBLEY: No.

COULTON: But there are actually - there's no way you would know this if you didn't remember the poem in your head. There are actually 20 rings of power.

MOBLEY: That's too many rings.

EISENBERG: I agree.

COULTON: So here's the poem. (Reading) Three rings for the elven lords under the sky, seven for the dwarf lords in their halls of stone, nine for mortal men doomed to die, one for the dark lord on his dark throne.

COULTON: So that's a total of 20.

PADHYE: The 20. So it's four.

MOBLEY: Nine rings for mankind - that's...

EISENBERG: I know.

MOBLEY: That's too many.

COULTON: They didn't all come into play in the movies, so, you know...

MOBLEY: You wouldn't be able to remember everyone's name.

EISENBERG: I mean...

MOBLEY: That's ridiculous.

COULTON: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: All right. Let's try this next one.

EISENBERG: OK. The number of planets in our solar system, not counting Pluto...

MOBLEY: Yes.

EISENBERG: ...Minus the number of Planeteers in the cartoon "Captain Planet."

MOBLEY: OK. I'm fairly certain that there are five in "Captain Planet" because four of them made sense, and one of them was lame.

PADHYE: Yes. It's earth, wind, water, fire, heart. What the frick (ph) is heart? What is heart?

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Boo.

MOBLEY: OK. So we have eight planets minus five equals three.

EISENBERG: Oh, that was too easy.

EISENBERG: That was too easy.

EISENBERG: Well done.

PADHYE: I remember, as a kid, being like, Earth, wind, water, fire. And then the guy was like, heart. I was like, heart?

MOBLEY: Heart?

MOBLEY: Didn't he have, like, a pet monkey or something? I was like...

EISENBERG: Yes. I was going to say the monkey doesn't count.

COULTON: Feel like they always do that. There's the four obvious ones, and then there's the one, like, comic relief guy who's got a pet monkey.

EISENBERG: Right.

COULTON: All right. This is the last one. You guys have done really very well in this game.

EISENBERG: I mean, ridiculous, ridiculous. Thank you. Like...

COULTON: This is just a master class.

EISENBERG: In advance, I give you an applause, a digital applause and a real one in my room here.

COULTON: Yeah. The number of seasons of "Survivor" divided by the number of seasons in a year.

PADHYE: So there are four seasons.

MOBLEY: There are four seasons. OK. So they're, like, in - we're in, like, the 30s of seasons of "Survivor."

MOBLEY: It's 40s?

PADHYE: Yeah, yeah, yeah, for sure. It's, like, above that.

EISENBERG: It's a lot.

PADHYE: Yeah. I'm going to say that there are 44 seasons of "Survivor."

MOBLEY: Oh, the blink that she made - I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. No, no, no - crikey. OK.

PADHYE: No. Maybe they are in the 30s, then, Kenice.

MOBLEY: Alright. Do we want to split the difference and say, like, maybe there's 40 seasons.

PADHYE: Yeah. Let's say there are 40 seasons.

MOBLEY: And then divided by four would equal 10.

MOBLEY: But I will feel so bad if it was the other one.

PADHYE: No, no, no. Let's do that. I like that.

MOBLEY: Are you sure?

PADHYE: Yeah, because I clearly - I'm just guessing.

COULTON: I am just astounded. Once again, you have found your way to the correct answer.

MOBLEY: Yes (laughter).

EISENBERG: Well done - just, like, amazing. I'm thankful. I am in awe. And you made it super-fun. So great job.

MOBLEY: Thank you.

EISENBERG: Yeah, you guys are great. Kenice Mobley and Rohan Padhye hosts the podcast "Love About Town." Thank you so much for joining us.

MOBLEY: This is such a fun - yeah, big fan.

PADHYE: This is so much fun. I love this.

MOBLEY: Yeah.

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