Maggie A's Meanderings




 July 14, 2013

Radio Stations and New Math

When I'm driving in the car on cross-country trips, I have the chance to listen to a radio station for long stretches at a time. It was on these trips that I discovered that radio stations don't use the same math that you and I do. They must be using "New Math."

Because when a DJ announces that they're going to play ten songs in a row, the way I learned to count to ten (1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10) isn't the same way the radio station counts to ten because there's a commercial before I reach "10." (And that's not including the number of times they come on in between songs to talk about how many songs in a row they're playing or to tell me what radio station I'm listening to.) Now, when I'm just driving around town and it's supposed to be X number of songs in a row, I always assumed that I had tuned in somewhere in the middle of the stretch of X songs. But on those long trips where I was tuned in before they started the set of X number of songs and listened through the set, that's when I discovered radio stations' New Math use.

But it's not just counting songs, radio stations must also use New Math when it comes to counting time. Because when a radio station says it's going to play 30 minutes of commercial-free music and I would check the time at the beginning of the set, time goes faster for the radio station. Maybe they're going by Einstein's concept of relative time. Because the time that's relative to the radio stations is not the time that's relative to me and my watch.

I've noticed the same thing holds true when a radio station says it's commercial free in certain hours. I'll tune into a radio station while it's still supposed to be a commercial-free hour --- according to my watch it's 10 minutes before the hour they're supposed to start playing commercials --- but what do my wondering ears hear but a commercial......not just one commercial, but an entire set of commercials.

It must be more of that "New Math" again.

Cartoon of radio stations' bizarre use of math

For another area where the media doesn't see things the same way as normal people do, read
"Hollywood's Bizarre Take on Rape" and "The Real Ending to Tarantino's 'Death Proof.'"

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