Monday, May 07, 2012

Random STEM Question of the Day #2

My friend Sarah and I took a road trip to Marceline, MO this past weekend. For those that don't know, Marceline is Walt Disney's childhood home and we've been running a Disney blog since the beginning of this year.

Sarah and I have been on quite a few road trips together and we always play the license plate game. If you're not familiar with it, the goal is to find license plates from as many states or other unique identifiers as possible (e.g. Ontario, US government, etc...). She always wins due to her having far more experience (her family went on roadtrips as a kid and mine, not so much) as well as likely better vision.

One of the best sources of license plates from far off locales is trucks. Thus, to ensure the game keeps moving along, you really need to make sure you're passing trucks.

On the way home, however, Sarah noted that there sure seemed to be a lot more trucks in the opposite lane (going the opposite direction) than we were passing which was frustrating since the highway is divided and the division it too large to tell what states they were from (not to mention squinting at plates on oncoming traffic is a bad idea if you're a driver).

Immediately, I figured this was due to the bias imposed by the fact that the trucks going the same direction were, well, going the same direction, so our relative velocity would be far less.

But there sure did seem to be a lot of trucks going the opposite direction.

Perhaps there was a preferred direction.

So the question of the day is, how many trucks should you see going the opposite direction compared to the ones going the same direction?

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