Ask Chips: second installment

Sept. 24, 2004, midnight | 18 years, 8 months ago

The editors strike back

Answers compiled by Vivek Chellappa, Jeffrey Dunn, Allison Elvove, Ely Portillo and Katherine Zhang.

Submit your questions to the Silver Chips Online Editors here!

Bubblicious asks: "What is Chips' favorite bubblegum?"

Our all-time favorite gum, without a doubt, is Fruit Stripe Bubble Gum, available from at the bargain price of $17.50 for 12 packs. Not only does every pack come with a tattoo inside, there's a pink zebra on the front as well! The site sums up the awesomeness of this gum in one line: "What a gum! This gum is so unique! Striped with unique flavors! Wow!!!!"

The Man asks: Why aren't students allowed into the music department's spring fling?

According to Blair's Band Director Dustin Doyle, students are allowed into the music department's annual Spring Fling. However, the dance and raffles held during the event are generally directed at an adult audience. "This [issue] has been debated," Doyle said. "Technically, students are allowed to come. We just don't advertise it."

Blazer asks: Why do so many people ask all these random questions? Like me, for instance =)

There are several explanations for the need to ask questions. First of all, Ask Chips feeds on your questions, and you could simply be supplying our column the fuel it needs. Second of all, curiosity is a part of human nature - it's who we are. We have an inner urge to know, to discover and to question. And finally, it could just be put it nicely, you're bored. Ask Chips suggests finding a hobby. Knitting and tea-drinking comes highly recommended.

"heart broken junior" writes: My absolute favorite teacher, Ms. Newman is gone! is she coming back? will she return? what shall I do until then? is there anyway for me to reach her?

Kelly Newman, the former Blair drama teacher, is currently taking a year off from teaching at Blair to study abroad in England and is guaranteed a position in MCPS when she returns. To our knowledge, her MCPS status has not changed. In terms of contacting her, ask the Main Office if anyone there has any public email address or phone number. We're sure she'd love to hear from her students. If the secretaries don't have information or will not share it, don't sweat it. She'll be back before you know it, and in the meantime, try out for the school plays and remain active in Blair theatre.

For more information on Newman, click here.

"Barbie" writes: "How much make-up equals a pink convertible?"

Well, there are just a few factors that may influence the amount of make-up required to create a pink convertible. Of course, we assume you're speaking of a spiffy new pink Ferrari 360 Spider since that's the only car anybody would ever want. For the amazing car that we're going to construct, the obvious choice of make-up for such a fancy car would be the high-quality Vincent Longo Liquid Canvas Dew Finish Radiant Glow Foundation.

The amount of make-up needed is only influenced by the most important component of our beast, the 400 horsepower V8 engine. Apply the well-known car to make-up conversion formula given by where C represents the number of cylinders and H is the engine's horsepower. Substituting in the values for our 360 Spider, we find that our car will require approximately 51,135 ounces of make-up. So there you have it, a simple guide to calculating the amount of make-up required to build your dream pink convertible. Though it appears that it will be a costly investment; at $45 a bottle it'll cost a whole $2.3 million for your car!

"Stat Student" asks: "How do you integrate the normal curve?"

Assuming that you're talking about the standard normal distribution, the function is given by:

To simplify the problem, we'll only consider the definite integral from 0 to infinity. As the standard normal curve is symmetric, we may multiply the final answer by 2 to find the total area under the curve. First, let's consider the integral of P(x) squared. Using basic exponents we can expand this to two integrals.

These two integrals are independent; therefore we can change the integrating variable of the second integral to y. We may also factor out the constants from both integrals.

Since each integral only depends on its own integrating variable, we may combine the product into a single double integral.

In order to simplify the evaluation of this integral, transform to polar coordinates. We apply the following transformation:

This changes our integral to:

Applying a substitution of u = -r2/2, integrating and applying the limit produces:

Taking the square root and multiplying by two to find the complete area, we find it to be 1. As you may recall from your statistics class, this is exactly what we were expecting!

"melrose place" asks: "How does the SCO staff feel about circus peanuts?"

Good question! The editorial staff has been contacted; expect an editorial written shortly. Until then, let us say, for the record, that Silver Chips Online strongly supports all peanuts and peanut-related products, including circus peanuts. Now, the question is what are circus peanuts? Well, at first, we thought that circus peanuts refer to normal peanuts sold at the circus that cost $5.50 for a handful (plus a colorful bag). But alas, even we can be wrong. Circus peanuts refer to a candy invented in the 1800's, according to This candy is an orange-colored, foam-textured piece of work that, according to, has the consistency of wet flour when eaten. Much like the Bush administration's refusal to concede that Iraq may have been a mistake, we refuse to change our official position on peanuts and peanut-related products, especially when dealing with poor-quality cheaply made candy that isn't very good to eat.

Greg Donaldson writes: Is physics or honors physics a prerequisite for taking AP Physics? Or can you go directly to the AP class?

In order to take an AP Physics class, a student must have taken a year's worth of either honors, magnet or regular physics. Also, the student must have finished a year's worth of Precalculus before signing up for either the double period or single period class. According to AP Physics teacher James Schafer, this information is also in the yearly course bulletin.

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