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Math Help - Useless book + video tutorials not working = I need some help

  1. #1
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    Useless book + video tutorials not working = I need some help

    Okay, so I'm using a book that is the WORST book I've ever seen for graphs and examples. They tend to START with a graph with everything filled out and so much junk on them that you can't tell what you get at the start of the problem and what they filled in.

    I've attached a print out of the problem I'm working on. The 'help me solve this' and 'view an example' are NOT helping.

    What I need is a restructuring of the diagram given with the problem so I can tell what they're talking about. Right now the numbers and the problem are about as clear as if you'd dropped random numbers and line cut outs into a box and shook them up.

    Can anyone re-draw this for me so I can see what they're really asking?

    <rant>
    Man I'm just done with this for awhile, I've spent 2 hours on six problems after spending another hour trying to get their video instruction to work, and that's after spending another hour reading the book and trying to work the examples!

    I have no clue how I'm going to be able to handle the mid term or final this way, I am/was a 4.0 student and ended the semester with a 98% in college algebra, and I'm already asking for help in section 2.5 I suppose the online courses are just more difficult in general.

    Oh, lovely, my calculator batteries just died and the dog just peed in the house. I'm going to call this a GOOD day.

    </rant>
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Useless book + video tutorials not working = I need some help-problem.jpg  
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolvenmoon View Post
    Okay, so I'm using a book that is the WORST book I've ever seen for graphs and examples. They tend to START with a graph with everything filled out and so much junk on them that you can't tell what you get at the start of the problem and what they filled in.

    I've attached a print out of the problem I'm working on. The 'help me solve this' and 'view an example' are NOT helping.

    What I need is a restructuring of the diagram given with the problem so I can tell what they're talking about. Right now the numbers and the problem are about as clear as if you'd dropped random numbers and line cut outs into a box and shook them up.

    Can anyone re-draw this for me so I can see what they're really asking?

    <rant>
    Man I'm just done with this for awhile, I've spent 2 hours on six problems after spending another hour trying to get their video instruction to work, and that's after spending another hour reading the book and trying to work the examples!

    I have no clue how I'm going to be able to handle the mid term or final this way, I am/was a 4.0 student and ended the semester with a 98% in college algebra, and I'm already asking for help in section 2.5 I suppose the online courses are just more difficult in general.

    Oh, lovely, my calculator batteries just died and the dog just peed in the house. I'm going to call this a GOOD day.

    </rant>
    DistanceToFirstSightingOfWhale \times \tan(10deg48min) = 61.1 m


     DistanceToFirstSightingOfWhale = \dfrac{61.1 m}{ \tan(10deg48min)}

    DistanceToLastWhaleSighting \times \tan(36deg29min) = 61.1 m


     DistanceToLastWhaleSighting = \dfrac{61.1 m}{ \tan(36deg29min)}

    You just need the difference between those two.


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolvenmoon View Post
    Okay, so I'm using a book that is the WORST book I've ever seen for graphs and examples. They tend to START with a graph with everything filled out and so much junk on them that you can't tell what you get at the start of the problem and what they filled in.

    I've attached a print out of the problem I'm working on. The 'help me solve this' and 'view an example' are NOT helping.

    What I need is a restructuring of the diagram given with the problem so I can tell what they're talking about. Right now the numbers and the problem are about as clear as if you'd dropped random numbers and line cut outs into a box and shook them up.

    Can anyone re-draw this for me so I can see what they're really asking?

    <rant>
    Man I'm just done with this for awhile, I've spent 2 hours on six problems after spending another hour trying to get their video instruction to work, and that's after spending another hour reading the book and trying to work the examples!

    I have no clue how I'm going to be able to handle the mid term or final this way, I am/was a 4.0 student and ended the semester with a 98% in college algebra, and I'm already asking for help in section 2.5 I suppose the online courses are just more difficult in general.

    Oh, lovely, my calculator batteries just died and the dog just peed in the house. I'm going to call this a GOOD day.

    </rant>
    Don't feel bad. That is a very clumsily written word problem. It just goes to show that Math people aren't English people. I would have just used the diagram as a hint, as they label "x" as the difference between positions of the whale - that would be a clue as to what the heck the thing is asking.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member pacman's Avatar
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    you blame the book? partly, the BOOK should help you. BUT, the way i see it, you started late in loving mathematics, that's why you are too slow to grasp it. Please be patient with MATH, it only gives its secrets to those who learn to appreciate and love it. Peace be with us.
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  5. #5
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    Alright, coming back to this today. I'm having trouble pulling this graph into a triangle that I can work with.

    I can actually use what you've given me to get the right answer, but I'm not getting why.

    Could you help me reinterpret the diagram into a right triangle with another triangle up against it? I'm not sure how to use the angles they give me. The book doesn't even touch on this type of problem.

    (Oh, tech support hasn't replied yet. I still can't access the videos)
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  6. #6
    Super Member Matt Westwood's Avatar
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    There's 2 right triangles:

    a) From where the whale starts, the bottom of the lighthouse, and the top of the lighthouse.

    b) From where the whale stops, the bottom of the lighthouse, and the top of the lighthouse.

    These 2 triangles share the line which is the bottom to top of lighthouse.

    What you might want to do is just take the diagram as it is, and solve by trig the horizontal lines at the bottom and subtract their difference. Ignore the words, they're just confusing.
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  7. #7
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    Okay, this is what they're giving as examples. I managed to get the 'show example' to print.

    I'm finding the example clear as mud (The problem changed because I had it help me solve it) I had a friend work it out a much different way and am about to try his way.

    Attached the example, and am going to try it the friend's way (which is the same way Matt suggested)
    Last edited by Wolvenmoon; August 31st 2009 at 02:41 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Got it, finally. Re-read the entire book and managed to break through it. Ugh. Time for bed.
    Last edited by Wolvenmoon; September 1st 2009 at 07:40 PM.
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