Where is Thomas going wrong?


Thomas has missed an excessive number of days of school, so he must meet with Principal Davis. Mr. Davis asks him “Why on Earth have you missed so many days?”

Thomas replies “There just isn’t enough time for school. I need 8 hours of sleep a day, which adds up to about 122 days a year. Weekends off is 104 days a year. Summer vacation is about 60 days. If I spend about an hour on each meal, that’s 3 hours a day or 45 days a year. I need at least 2 hours of exercise and relaxation time each day to stay physically and mentally fit, adding another 30 days.

Add all of that up and you get about 361 days. That only leaves 4 days for school.”

The principal knows Thomas is full of it, but can’t figure out why. Where is Thomas going wrong?

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  • 1 Answer(s)

    Thomas has added overlapping periods together one after the other, due to which hours / days get counted multiple times. e.g. He counts ‘8 hrs per day’ for sleep for all 365 days (which includes weekends, summer vacation etc.) and then counts the weekends and vacation days again, resulting in the ‘sleep hours’ counted twice. Similarly, since he counts’weekend days’  of all 52 weeks (which includes 8 weeks of summer vacation) and then counts the summer days again, it results in another spell of ‘double counting’. Similar with the hours for other activities also.

    Viji_Pinarayi Expert Answered on 19th November 2015.
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