## Archive for December 7, 2013

### The Mathematics of Gift Wrapping

Has this ever happened to you?

You place a gift on the wrapping paper. You estimate how much you’ll need. You cut. You place the gift on the paper. You fold over both sides.

*Crap.*

That’s when you realize your estimation skills are on par with those of a government contractor.

But, no worries! Math is here!

The hypotenuse of a right triangle is longer than either leg. Consequently, turning the wrapping paper at an angle will allow the paper to cover the gift.

My wife hates it, but whatever! What initially appeared to be a terrible estimate yielded a 15.8% savings in wrapping paper.

Based on my calculations, if all gifts were wrapped this way, the country would save $147 million each year on wrapping-paper related expenses. (Where’s that statistic when politicians discuss the economy?)