Maths in the Press

'[The] affirmative action survey ... found that transformation in the private sector was cosmetic, with whites appearing still to land the top jobs. About 96% of whites were in top management positions, as opposed to 3.5% of blacks.'

  • Cape Times, 18 March 1997

'The firefighters say they used 50 000 cubic litres of water per second. Over the 15-odd hours they battled the flames, that's nearly 50 million cubic litres. A thousand swimming pools-worth for those who live in the suburbs, a dam for those who don't.

  • Mail & Guardian, March 7-13 1997 (Thanks to the M&G for explaining correctly what 50 million litres looks like. But can they tell us what a cubic litre is? And perhaps they mean 50 000 litres per minute, not second...)

'Hansie Cronjé has lost the toss 13 out of 14 times - quite an amazing record, especially since he was calling some times and not calling others.'

  • SABC TV3, February 1997. (This quote was published in Mathematical Digest long before Hansie Cronjé's match-rigging came to light.)

'Cash-strapped public servants are furious about the 15% salary increase MPs have been awarded... The hike means an MP or Senator who was receiving a salary of R125 000 a year will now receive R167 000, and MPLs who were on R118 000 will now get R143 750.'

  • Spotted by Amanda Turner in The Star, 16 August 1996

'That's where Gary [Kirsten] scores between 100 and 110% of his runs.'

  • SABC cricket commentator, January 1996

'Go for a color inkjet printer, with a resolution of 300 to 600 dots per square inch.'

  • Newsweek, August 1995

'People who burned 1500 calories a week while exercising vigourously enough to raise their metabolic rate sixfold, enjoyed a 25% lower risk of dying than those who expended energy at only a tenth of that intensity.'

  • Time, May 1995 (Now all we need from Time is a way to reduce the certainty of paying taxes)

'61% of adults support a total ban on tobacco advertising on radio. Sixty-nine percent of these are non-smokers and 46% smoke.'

  • Cape Times, 30 May 1995

'Expenditure on education is already the largest budget item, gobbling up 265% of the cake.'

  • Cape Times, 12 April 1995

'The rand close at three comma fifty-seven point one'

  • SAFM Financial Report, 16 March 1995

'Of those who said they did not own a gun, 89% were black men, 56% were white men, 92% were black women and 77% were white women.'

  • Cape Times, 1 October 1994