Kenny Shopsin and the MJ4MF Blog
I had a lot of fun compiling the jokes that I included in Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. However, I felt a lot of angst when I finally delivered the manuscript to my publisher. But if you had asked me why, I couldn’t have told you.
…a book is a stagnant thing. Once it’s printed and bound and out there, there’s no changing it. It’s done.
Upon hearing that sentiment, that’s when I finally understood the feelings I had when delivering MJ4MF to the publisher.
The truth is, I have collected math jokes since college, and I kept all of the jokes in one large file. It was a living document — I would add a new joke whenever I heard one, I would change a joke whenever I heard a better version, and in some cases, I would include two versions of the same joke because I couldn’t decide which was superior. Once I prepared the file for publication, though, there was a finality that was unsettling. I made decisions about which jokes and which versions to include. But had I made the right choices?
I think what finally put me at ease was a comment I received from my friend Latrenda Knighten, who agreed to write an endorsement for the book. She said:
I’ve never been asked to write an endorsement, so I’m not sure if [what I’ve written] is any good or not. However, I loved the book! I started reading it late one night and kept reading until after midnight. I actually found myself laughing out loud.
I figure if my book can make an elementary mathematics coach from Baton Rouge, LA, stay up past her bed time to read some math jokes, then the decisions I made must have been reasonable.
But back to Kenny Shopsin. His comment is what inspired me to create the MJ4MF blog. Sure, I can’t change what’s been printed in the book… but I can use this blog to share new jokes (or better versions of old jokes) that I receive from readers. I’ll just keep my fingers crossed that you get a chuckle from whatever you read, whether it’s the printed version or this web-based one.
Here are a few jokes that combine my love, mathematics, and Kenny Shopsin’s love, food.
What’s the difference between a math PhD and a large pizza? A large pizza can feed a family of four.
(That joke actually elicited boos from a crowd of math teachers at the 2009 NCTM Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.)
What is the ratio of the circumference of a bowl of ice cream to its diameter? Pi a la mode.