Archive for May 12, 2011

Pentagon Flower and Polygonal Jokes

Frisbee golf is a sport enjoyed by many mathy folks. Almost certainly, this is a result of the physics that surround the flight of the disk.

When a ball dreams, it dreams it’s a Frisbee.
         — Stancil Johnson

I love Frisbee golf, because I can make the Frisbee bend and curve around trees in a way that I’m not able to do with a real golf ball. But I also love it because Frisbee golf courses are typically located in beautiful natural settings, like my home course at Bluemont Park in Arlington, VA, which meanders through an urban park with trees, flowers, and a creek.

While playing a round with my sons yesterday, I encountered some flowers with five‑fold rotational symmetry. Taken by the perfect pentagonal shape in the middle of the flower, I snapped a pic to share with you:

Pentagon Flower

Speaking of closed plane figures bounded by straight sides, here are pieces of some recently overheard conversations at the Icosagon Cafe:

  • “He’s degenerate, but I say, ‘Let digons be digons!'”
  • “I don’t have the energy for another attempt. Trigon.”
  • “That hot chick walked away. Pentagon.” (Warning: OFFENSIVE; see definition 2 of pent in the Urban Dictionary. )
  • “I took an antidote for the wizard’s curse. Hexagon.”
  • “I just looked at the calendar. Septagon. Octagon. Nov is here!”
  • “Nonagon. They’re all here!”
  • “Someone stole my pack of cards. Decagon.”
  • “My parrot just died. Polygon.”

Just outside the cafe, a hendecagon was walking by…


May 12, 2011 at 2:02 pm 2 comments

Avoid, On the Whole, Mathematicians

I was recently shown a chapter from Graham Masterson’s book How to Drive Your Man Wild in Bed. The chapter gives suggestions on how to choose a mate, and it includes a list of professions to avoid. At the top of the list, Masterson writes:

Avoid, on the whole, mathematicians…

Of course, I think this advice should be ignored. My reaction, of course, is  an ego defense, since I’m a mathy folk. But it also seems to me that a heterosexual male horror writer should not be trusted when dispensing advice about pleasing men in bed.

As it turns out, math and sex have a lot in common…

  • Explicit discussions of either topic are generally not received well at social events.
  • Historically, men have had control, but recent efforts have tried to get women more involved.
  • People engage prominently in both activities on college campuses.
  • Most people wish they knew more about both subjects.
  • Both activities are typically practiced indoors.
  • Both involve long and hard problems and can produce interesting topology and geometry.
  • Both merit undivided attention, but mathematicians are prone to thinking about one while doing the other.
  • Saint Augustine was hostile to both.
  • Alan Turing took an unusual approach to both.
  • Both typically begin with a lot of hard work and end with a great but brief reward.
  • Professionals are viewed with suspicion, and most of them are underpaid.

May 12, 2011 at 4:31 am 6 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.

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.

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May 2011

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