Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How to compute the KQ

A couple of days into the new school year, and parents across the country are STILL walking around with deliriously happy grins on their faces as they greet each other with joyful cries of “mazal tov!”

Their beloved offspring, in contrast, don’t appear to be QUITE as thrilled that the powers that be over at the Education Ministry saw fit to shorten summer vacation (i.e. chofesh hagadol, for the Hebraically-oriented amongst you).

But, dear readers, there is an upside.

Because one person’s misery is another person’s blog fodder, and in this case, the younger generation’s less-than-celebratory mood inspired me to shake the dust off the old blog and discuss… the kvetching quotient (i.e. the KQ, in Our-Shiputzim-Speak).

Parents the world over are very familiar with the KQ – although many prefer to call it:

“A quantitative measure of the incessant complaining that features prominently in every family outing and that seems to increase exponentially as the kids reach adolescence.”

Yet, I wondered, does it really? (Increase exponentially, that is.)

And so, in order to get to the bottom of this pressing issue, I turned to the Our Shiputzim Mathematical, Statistical, and Actuarial Department - you probably didn’t even know that we HAD such a department, did you? – who came up with the following helpful formula:

KQ(E) = c / (3y + t)


  • KQ = the kvetching quotient
  • E = a given event or trip
  • c = the average number of complaints, snide remarks, sarcastic comments, overly-dramatic sighs, and (if you’re talking about Israeli kids) loud “oooofs” per hour
  • y = the number of younger kids
  • t = the number of teenagers

In other words, according to our experts, adolescent grumbling does, indeed, have a much greater impact on the KQ than the milder, less-grating type of whining which precedes it.

Do you agree with our experts’ findings? Why or why not? Don’t forget to show your work…

Open-mouthed smile


P.S. The latest Haveil Havalim is available here. Special thanks to Batya for including our visit to the Nesher Cement Factory.


  1. Oh, I'm glad to see that our tax dollars are working for us! This is significant research - well done!

  2. This is much too math-y for me. I'll have to consult with my engineering student daughter and get back to you.

  3. Toby - LOL! :-)

    Malke - I do hope that they covered the KQ in one of her courses... :-)


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