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Really (un)impressive data!


gold graphThere is was, plain to see – a staggering jump in the price of gold recently (from the Kitco website), and a graph to prove it! But wait, dear mathematicians, and hang onto your investment dollars! Use your mathematical sleuth skills to check this graph out a bit more carefully. Yes, the graph does show a “significant” jump, but have a closer look at the y-axis values. In fact, what looks to be a large leap is, in fact, just a few dollars gain. A closer examination shows this “jump” to be an increase of only some $11.50 which amounts to a percentage increase of 11.50/1129 x 100% or, just 1.01%. Now, that could be significant for some but hardly the kind of leap that you would expect by looking at the graph. Some banks offer a better return! So, another golden moment for Statistics!

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NCEA Level 2 Algebra Problem. Using the information given, the shaded area = 9, that is:
y(y-8) = 9 –> y.y – 8y – 9 =0
–> (y-9)(y+1) = 0, therefore y = 9 (can’t have a distance of – 1 for the other solution for y)
Using the top and bottom of the rectangle,
x = (y-8)(y+2) = (9-8)(9+2) = 11
but, the left side = (x-4) = 11-4 = 7, but rhs = y+? = 9+?, which is greater than the value of the opp. side??
[I think that the left had side was a mistake and should have read (x+4)?]

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