Fractions vs. Decimals
The Battle of the Century
Ringside Announcer (RA): Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the Battle of the Century: Fractions vs. Decimals!
Old Man Fractions has been king of the hill for so long he can remember the pharaohs. But relative new-comer decimals has been rocketing through the ranks past previous contenders like Mixed Numbers and Percents, buoyed by the rise of science and handheld technology. Tonight they settle the issue once and for all, mano a mano.
Color Commentator (CC): That’s right, Jim. And they have both clearly prepared. Fractions has developed his upper body so much he looks positively improper. Decimals has emphasized speed work, and is awfully quick to the point. Hey, looks like they’re ready to start.
RA: They come out swinging! Fractions looks like his strategy is to corner decimals and work his weaker visual representations. Oh there’s a pie model and a fraction strip combo! Decimals finally lands a 100 grid haymaker and gets back out to the center of the ring.
CC: Looks like that speed work is paying off, Jim. Decimals is coldly calculating without having to hit any special menu buttons on the calc, if you know what I mean.
RA: Not really, Howard, but I’m used to it. Oh! Decimal made a rounding error and Fractions lands an uppercut.
CC: That’s exactly the answer, Kid Decimals!
RA: The traditionalists are out of their seats, cheering on Fractions. Even the French are into it!
CC: He’s certainly got that je ne sais quoi, eh, Jim?
RA: Huh? Back to the action, Fractions is pressing his advantage. But decimals sees an opportunity and – oh! The referee calls time!
CC: I don’t think it was intentional, but that was definitely below the vinculum.
RA: The referee gives Decimals a warning and they’re back in. Fractions still looks a little wobbly, and Decimals presses the advantage, really working over Fraction’s arcane and misunderstood algorithms.
CC: Invert and multiply that! Whew!
RA: Fractions gives a nice example of unit fraction multiplication and is back in the fight. Oh, and lands a nice left hand on a complicated long-division problem.
CC: Decimals looks like he doesn’t know if his point is going left or right, Jim.
RA: It’s back and forth at this point folks. Fractions simplifies nicely, and catches Decimals a good one. Decimals lands a nice easy comparison, but Fractions hits a unit confusion counter-punch.
CC: That’s half of something, alright.
RA: Then Decimals comes right back with a repeating combination! Oh, and a non-terminating, non-repeating wallop! Fractions has no answer for that.
CC: Right in the Pi hole! Practically transcendental ring work, Jim.
RA: They’re really taking a beating out there. Howard, I think the crowd’s getting confused about what’s important here.
CC: I think you’re right, Jim, there’s kind of a baffled silence. Not that unusual at a rational battle like this one, though!
RA: That’s time. The fighters move to their corners. The judges communicate their decision to the ref. It’s pretty close on my scorecard, Howard. What do you think?
CC: Did you double check your answer, Jim? Nothing would surprise me –
RA: The ref is ready and brings both fighters to the center of the ring.… he pulls up both fighter’s hands! It’s a draw!
CC: The judges have called them equivalent! Oh, man! Looks like we’re in for a rematch.
Photo credit: tanita1 @ Flickr