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When traveling in Mexico last year, we bought some odd film stills of a movie called "El Profesor Erotico" (1976). At the time, I thought that it was an old campy Mexican TV show. Further research on the internet showed that it was a B-movie of the Argentinian variety*. We had purchased 4 photographs, got them framed and wanted to hang them on a wall.

In the past, I've done all sorts of division, taping and remeasuring work out how exactly to hang sets of pictures. After thinking about how negative and positive space are a matter of perception, I realized the solution to this would be to use simple 8th grade algebra.

This technique will save you tons of hassle of measuring, remeasuring, chicken scratch division and putting blue tape all over the place.

* I have no idea what they are doing with the blow-up doll, but all the film stills are equally puzzling and funny.

Step 1: Sketch your space

Each frame is identical. The plan was to hang them in a row, on the same wall with an equal amount of white space between each picture. On the left side of the wall is a door frame and the right edge is another door. These edges will like be margins on a page with an equal amount of wall space as the center.

Draw a simple diagram of the space. Take your time and refer back to this when you are doing the measurements. I drew mine exceedingly quickly. The doorways are the large rectangles that drift into an imaginary floor and the pictures are the tiny squares.



<p>I am 35 years old. This is the first time in my life I've come across any sort of practical application for algebra I learned in school. </p>
<p>As a math teacher, I am glad that now there is a tendency to focus on applicable aspects of algebra. Students even seem to be more intested in the subject. I've heard of a contest among students, the task was to count skittles that could fit ito 1 jar.</p><p>Here is also a bunch of interactive tests that I use during my classes.<br><a href="http://yourhomeworkhelp.org/math-tests/2nd-grade-math-tests/" rel="nofollow">http://yourhomeworkhelp.org/math-tests/2nd-grade-m...</a></p>
<p>As jmarsh2 mentioned. I have a good teaching tool now for my kids, brains both of them always have a logical excuse to argue with my logic. Got them now on why its important to do the easy math when told to.. thx.</p>
Note:<br><br>correction to formula:<br><br>X=the number of picture frames<br><br>Not the size!!!!
<p>@Lrcooper54 Scott has it exactly right. X is not the number of pictures - it is the width of the pictures. Did you even read the article? I hope you didn't screw anyone up. Grrrr!</p>
you could develop the formula so that (n+1)y +(n)x = w where w is the width of the wall and n ifs the number of items to be hung.

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Bio: Scott Kildall is an artist who indulges in network performances and creative coding. He currently is an artist-in-residence at Autodesk.
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