Archive for October 26, 2010

Song: New Math

Bo Burnham is an off-color, singing comedian. His song New Math, while slightly distasteful and potentially offensive, is catchy, funny, and filled with many jokes for mathy folks. When I listened to the song on his live CD, I noticed that some of the funniest jokes elicited almost no laughs from the audience. So below, I provide annotations for the math in the song, knowing full well that things just aren’t as funny if they have to be explained. As E. B. White said, “Humor can be dissected as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process and the innards are discouraging to any but the pure scientific mind.” Oh, well.

So here’s a song that takes something that’s not so fun — math — and makes it offensive.

What’s a pirate minus the ship? Just a creative homeless guy.
And an anteater plus a large hungry mutant ant? An ironic way to die.
And what’s domain, domain, range? A kid with too much in his pants.

Domain refers to x‑coordinates and range refers to y‑coordinates. So “domain, domain, range” implies XXY, the genetic makeup for a male with Klinefelter’s syndrome.

And two balls minus one? Six titles at the Tour de France.

A reference to Lance Armstrong, who survived testicular cancer.

Split a decision with long division,
Take the circumference of your circumcision.
Live like your data, and when you’re all “set,”
Put it all together, and whatever you get…

It’s new math.

What’s a bag of chips divided by five? Well, that’s a Nike worker’s meal.
And Santa Claus multiplied by i? Well, I guess that makes him real.

The imaginary part of a complex number contains i, the imaginary value equal to the square root of ‑1. Since i × = 1, the product of two imaginary numbers is a real number. The implication is that Santa Claus, being imaginary, becomes real when multiplied by the imaginary number i.

And the square root of the NBA is Africa in a box.
How do you trace a scatterplot? Give the pencil to Michael J. Fox.

Take the approximate moral proportion
Of the probable problem of a pro-life abortion.
Live like your data, and when you’re all “set,”
Put it all together, and whatever you get…

It’s new math.

And if you made a factor tree
Of the factors that caused my girl to leave me,
You’d have a tree…
Full of Asian porn.

Well, C-A-L, see you later.

A clever way to divide and pronounce the word calculator: C-A-L-C-U-LATOR.

Mathematical minds make industrial smog.
And what’s the opposite of ln(x)? Duraflame, the unnatural log.

ln(x) is the natural log, so it’s opposite would be an unnatural log.

Support the farmers with a pro‑tractor.

One of my favorite jokes!

Link Kennedy and Lincoln with a common factor.

Numerologists have made a lot of hullaballoo about the coincidences between Kennedy and Lincoln. You can read about them, and their veracity, at

Live like your data, and when you’re all “set,”
Put it all together, and whatever you get…

Yeah, it’s new, it’s new, it’s new, it’s new…
It’s new math.

Okay, word problems…

If there’s a fat guy in a pastry shop with a $20 bill and he’s ready to buy,
In order to predict his volume change, you need to know the value of π.

A pun since π could refer to the mathematical constant (pi) or to the dessert (pie).

And if there’s a metal train that’s a mile long
And at the very back a lightning bolt struck her,
How long till it reaches and kills the driver,
Provided that he’s a good conductor?

Another pun, conductor referring either to a train engineer or an electrical conduit.

And if 10% of men are gay,
And 20% of men are Chinese,
What are the odds that a man chosen at random
Spends his free time and his mealtime while on his knees?

And if Kim is half as old as Bobby,
Who is two years older than 12‑year old Tory,
For how many more 30‑day months
Will their threesomes be considered statutory… rape?

A distasteful reference to standard algebra age problems.

Because math can be sexy…

Cause having sex is like quadratic expansion —
If it can’t be split, then it’s time to stop.

A trinomial expression (in the form ax2 + bx + c) can often be factored into two binomials. But the general rule for high school algebra classes is to simplify the expression only if it divides nicely; otherwise, leave it alone.

And having sex is like doing fractions —
It’s improper for the larger one to be on top.

An improper fraction is a fraction where the numerator is larger than the denominator.

And having sex is like math homework —
I do it best when I’m alone in my bed.

And squaring numbers are just like women —
If they’re under 13, just do them in your head…

In school, students are often expected to memorize the values of the squares of small positive integers.

October 26, 2010 at 8:52 pm 2 comments

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.

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

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