Beer and Calculus Don’t Mix — Don’t Drink and Derive!

April 6, 2011 at 12:41 am 4 comments

After Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Cullen-Harrison Act to end prohibition, sales of beer in the U.S. became legal on April 7, 1933. (Not a moment too soon, I might add. My father was born on April 12, 1933, and he surely gave my grandmother plenty of reasons to imbibe!) Consequently, April 7 is now known as National Beer Day, and April 6 is unofficially New Beer’s Eve.

A definite integral walks into a bar and orders five pints of Guinness. The bartender pours them, and the definite integral finishes them one after the other. “Can I have five more?” he asks.

The bartender says, “Don’t you think you’ve had enough?”

“Don’t worry about me,” says the integral. “I know my limits.”

Someday, I hope to meet the guy who invented beer — and buy that man a beer!

Finally, a logic puzzle with a solution that seems appropriate…

You come to a fork in the road. One branch leads to the City of Truth, and the other leads to the City of Deceit. You can ask the person stationed at the fork in the road one simple question to help you determine the correct path to the City of Truth. If the person is from the City of Truth, he will answer your question honestly; if he is from the City of Deceit, he will answer your question dishonestly. What question should you ask?

“Did you know they’re serving free beer in the City of Truth?”

The truth‑teller will say, “No!” and run to get a beer. The liar will say, “Yes!” and run to get a beer. Either way, follow him.

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Up and Down — That’s Collatz For Ya Polyhedra Play Things

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. xander  |  April 6, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Another logic puzzle along similar lines:

    Out in the middle of the Pacific, there is a tiny atoll upon which is built a magnificent architectural wonder: an incredibly tall tower. The only way to reach the island is by boat, and all boats arrive at a single dock, which is run by the island’s tourist board. The board is made up of four members, each of who has their own idiosyncrasies.

    Alice always answers any question truthfully, while Bob always lies. Chuck answers truthfully if Alice was the last person to answer a question, and lies otherwise. Finally, Dave always flips a coin before answering questions, and only tells the truth if a head comes up.

    When you get off of the boat at the dock, there are three paths that you could take: obviously, one leads to the tower. The other two lead to certain death in either the shark pit or left over WWII minefield. Unfortunately, the paths are not marked in any way, so you are going to have to figure out which path is the correct path before setting out for the tower.

    What is the fewest number of questions that you can as the tourist board in order to assure that you get to the tower safely?

    The solution: Note. As noted, the atoll is very small, and the tower is very tall. Just walk in the direction of the tower, which you can obviously see from the dock.

    • 2. venneblock  |  April 6, 2011 at 4:16 pm


      • 3. xander  |  April 9, 2011 at 11:27 am

        That is definitely the correct reaction. 😉 Also, I should proofread better. That should have read “None. As noted…” Bah.

  • 4. Justin Smith  |  April 9, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Cheers!! My name is Justin Smith, and I am the founder of National Beer Day. When I started this holiday almost 3 years ago, I had no idea it would get so big so fast. It’s good to see this important day in our history start to get the recognition it deserves. Thank you for helping spread the word about one of my favorite days of the year!


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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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