I hate math. Wait, that's not true. I used to hate math, but in recent years have discovered a new-found love for it.
Except this week.
At work we had a Christmas contest. Guess the number of Hershey's Kisses in the festive containers, and win them, plus a $20 gift certificate for somewhere. I don't know where. I didn't win.
But, using mathematics, I thought I was a shoe-in. Guessing is so full of guess-work, and is usually incorrect, mostly due to the guessing. I figured I'd put a little effort into my attempt by doing some pretty serious math.
The two containers were cylinders, so I figured out the volume of each cylinder. Pi x r2 x h.
3.1415 x 1.75" squared x height (8.5")
The volume of each cylinder was approximately 81" cubed, not including the slightly convex lids.
Then I took one Hershey Kiss, and accounting for the air space around them inside the container, I pretended they were cylinders as well. One cylindrical Hershey Kiss occupies approximately 0.78 inches cubed.
So, how many Kisses fit inside the cylinder? According to the math, about 104. I multiplied that by two, for the two cylinders, for a total of 208 Hershey Kisses.
However, our manager was sneaky, and threw in some tiny red Christmas balls. I then had to figure out the approximate volume of one of the Christmas balls, and subtract them from the total. I tried to measure the width of one Christmas ball through the clear section of the container. It was a pretty rough guess, but I came up with 1-1/4". Using that number, and again pretending that each ball was a cylinder to account for the empty space around it, I determined the volume of a Christmas ball.
I decided to assume that 3/4 of the containers were Hershey Kisses. I came to the conclusion that there would be 78 Kisses in each container, multiplied that by 2 for a total of 156.
What a freakin' waste of time.
The draw was held. The answer was given. A winner declared.
Total Kisses was 212. The winner plucked a random number out of the air: 206. My original guess was 208.
I remember my math teachers always telling me to never second-guess myself, and go with my first answer. Had I followed their advice, I would have won the kisses. But I didn't learn my lesson in High School, so I probably won't learn my lesson this time either.