Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Problem With Math in German News

There's a short story out there from yesterday....over the terrible woes of a Swiss youth group on a holiday trip in Germany.

They'd taken the option of traveling by German rail.  So they arrive at the station, and frankly....they are in pretty bad shape....flu-like symptoms....to the extreme.

Based on commentary....they were all in need of constant toilet seats and puking.  Yeah, that particular cabin was in rough shape as it pulled into Mannheim.

Happily, for everyone....including the regular passengers....the Bahn guys took a leadership role and just said enough....calling for ambulances.

Now, as you read the story...it's an odd mix of facts.  This came out of the Local.de.  Seventeen ambulances were called out to the bahnhof, with fifteen medical personnel.  I read this several times....trying to figure the mathematical statement and how you could drag seventeen vehicles to a site with fifteen drivers.  Eventually, I came to realize that the ambulance crews were totally separate and just there to toss the kids onto the vehicle and go.  The medical team were totally separate.

Then you came to the last part of this story.....the seventeen ambulances would transport fourteen young folks to the local hospital.  Again, mathematically  it doesn't make much sense.  Then you realize that the whole emergency plan was mostly chaotic and they probably sent every single ambulance in the local area that was manned that evening.

Sometimes, you have to think long and hard through these stories.

As for the coach area after this mess?  All the Bahn guys will say is that it was taken off the line and disinfected.  In the flu season, riding the train is probably one of the top five ways of getting a flu-like virus....so it's pretty practical to use alcohol hand-rub when you sit on such a train or exit it.

As for the fourteen kids?  I'm guessing they have a pretty good story to tell the rest of their life, and they probably won't be traveling by train ever again.

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