An Hour Left to Live

January 12, 2011 at 8:36 am 2 comments

I’ve been thinking about my bucket list — you know, a list of all the things I want to do before I die — and some day I’ll get around to posting it. But perhaps more interesting is a list of the things I’d do if I had just one hour left to live…

  • Calculate how much time I have left in minutes and seconds. The first time would take less than a second — of course, it’s 60 minutes = 3,600 seconds. But then I’d have used a second, and I’d probably spend a couple more seconds wondering why I bothered to retain such useless trivia, at which point I’d need to update my calculation. So the second time I’d actually have to put a little thought into it, and the computation would actually take a few seconds to complete, and by the time I realized that I had 59 minutes, 24 seconds = 3,564 seconds remaining, I’d wonder why I’d wasted 1% of my time calculating how much time I had left. To avoid wasting any more time, I’d write a program to perform the calculations automatically and display the amount of time remaining. That would only take a few minutes, surely, but then there’s the debugging. Ah, those damn bugs! And since this will be my last program ever, I’d want it to be really cool, so I’d create an animation that shows a guy riding a unicycle along a hilly trail, up and down and up and down, and then, with just a few seconds left, the rider would pedal really fast up a large hill and launch himself into the stratosphere, and I’d watch him float into space as my time expires. And as I take my last breath, one thought would fill my head: “Wow. I only had an hour left — and I managed to waste that one, too.” 
  • Write a blog post explaining how I’d spend my last hour.
  • Complete the hardest Sudoku puzzle I can find — and then remember that I really, really, really despise Sudoku. (Yes, I know that’s blasphemous.)
  • Play Ultimate frisbee.
  • Spend it with my wife and sons, just hanging out.
  • Prove the Riemann Hypothesis. (I know I could do it. I do my best work under extreme pressure.)
  • Wonder how it is that I have so many good ideas in my head, yet the only book I authored during my lifetime was Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks.
  • Take approximately 10 minutes to drink each beer from a mixed six-pack which would contain one each of the following: Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial Pale Ale; Clipper City Heavy Seas Loose Cannon Ale; Founders Breakfast Stout; Terrapin Gamma Ray; Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calabaza; and, of course, Guinness Extra Stout Draught. In fact, on the off-chance that I ever find myself in this very situation, it would really suck to find that I didn’t have such a six-pack in my fridge. Consequently, I am leaving right now to purchase my “Apocalypse Pack.” Later…

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Presentation at Central Connecticut State University Word Squares Revisited

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. xander  |  January 12, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Regarding the Riemann Hypothesis: I’m sure that you would solve it in your last hours, but lacking sufficient paper, you would have to write in the margins “I have discovered a truly remarkable proof which this margin is too small to contain.”

  • 2. scarletleonard  |  January 15, 2011 at 4:38 am

    Had to come and read this, hubby is the math guy and this made me chuckle since it’s probably exactly what he would do.

    So to save time in the future I’m going to tell him to code his man on a unicycle 1 hour countdown tomorrow and I’m going shopping for the beer.


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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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