Archive for August 7, 2010

Rounding the Bases

Last week, I saw an amazing presentation by Jim Tanton. It involved an “exploding machine,” where dots placed in a box couple and explode, forming a new dot (or dots) in an adjacent box. For instance, he described a 1 ← 2 machine, in which two dots placed in a box explode and become one dot in the box to the left. Playing with these machines leads to a lot of mathematics about bases. Honestly, I’ll never be able to do this justice with a text description — so if you have an hour to spend with some cool math, check out Dots and Boxes for yourself.

Speaking of bases, I’ve recently heard a couple of new twists on old jokes. Nearly everyone knows this old classic:

Why is 6 afraid of 7? Because 7 8 9.

But I recently heard a fantastic twist:

Why don’t jokes work in base 8? Because 7 10 11.

And another golden oldie, which I first saw on a t-shirt:

There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don’t.

But I happen to think the following meta-joke is much funnier, although that could be a result of having just recently discovered it:

There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary… and nine others.

August 7, 2010 at 3:37 am 1 comment

About MJ4MF

The Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks blog is an online extension to the book Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. The blog contains jokes submitted by readers, new jokes discovered by the author, details about speaking appearances and workshops, and other random bits of information that might be interesting to the strange folks who like math jokes.

MJ4MF (offline version)

Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks is available from Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, NCTM, Robert D. Reed Publishers, and other purveyors of exceptional literature.

Past Posts

August 2010

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