November 22, 2014


Useful conversions first - close to the Everglades:
Water and Math in the Caloosahatchee Watershed
One acre-foot represents VOLUME and it equals:
    • 326,000 U.S. gallons
    • 43,560 cubic feet
    • 1233 cubic meters
    • 893 gallons per day for 365 days
  • Your bathtub holds about 5 cubic feet. How big is the Caloosahatchee River ?
  • In the dry season, the Caloosahatchee River flow can go as low as 300 ft3 (0.007 acre-foot) per second, or 18,000 ft3 (0.4 acre-foot) per minute, or 1.1 million ft3 (25 acre-feet) per hour, or 26 million ft3 (600 acre-feet) per day.
  • In the rainy season, the Caloosahatchee River flows at about 2,000 ft3 (0.05 acre-foot) per second, or 120,000 ft3 (16 acre-feet) per minute, or 7.2 million ft3 (170 acre-feet) per hour or 170 million ft3 (4,000 acre feet per day) per day.
  • The Caloosahatchee watershed contains 1408 square miles, or 900,000 acres. It receives an average of 53" (4.5') of rain every year. That comes to 4.1 million acre-feet of rain that drains into the soil, runs off hardened parking lots and roads, or evaporates
     (Courtesy of Friends of the Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves)
And now, please allow me a to add a few words, a little rumination perhaps - on "science" and some attitudes.
First of all, the above is NOT really "math" or "science" - it is really arithmetic and it is part of what is generally labeled as "literacy". Just like reading and writing, it is an indivisible part of our civilization - and functionality. We need to know how to count our money, right ? We are priding ourselves as being literate. Well, are we really ?
Have you heard of "functional illiteracy" ? It has to do with, for example, writing a message that we post on our fridge - that could be understood by others. Others who are supposed to not only read it - but interpret it and act on it.
Surprise - there is 48.7% "functionally illiterate" people in the USA !
And this is not even considering math or arithmetic skills.

Governor Scott entered history with his 'disclaimer' that "I'm not a scientist". That is true, he has not been trained as one. We can only hope that he does comprehend some level of "science" and can act correspondingly. Also, that he can read and interpret the message on his fridge posted there for him by the experts, the highly trained science people.
It all has to do with literacy and functional literacy.
And at the bottom of it all is EDUCATION - which relies on a certain level of INTELLIGENCE that we claim to posses as human species.

Regarding those two categories (education and intelligence), it does not do much good when highly visible and role-model public personalities, a governor, TV or radio hosts, politicians, celebrities or such, publicly declare that he/she is "no good in math" - and we are really talking only simplistic addition/subtraction skills.
Such a confession does happen every once in a time - much too often in our 'intellectually' dominated media where people do not seem to read and 'think' numbers. Avoiding them since childhood. Hmmm -
Can you imagine the impact of such a public statement ?
Leading by example ? This type of a 'disclaimer' is not only dumb, it is actually a very-very serious intellectual public crime -
Crime on our children who see, hear or read it - and form their attitudes. What a role example, what motivation !
What a leadership.