## Archive for August, 2011

A few days ago, I posted about the repeating digits that had been occurring in the Amazon sales rank of Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. For three days in a row, a repeating digit occurred three times in the sales rank each day.

The story continues.

On August 1, it happened again… but something cooler happened, too. The sales rank of MJ4MF on August 1 was 88,111. Though sad in regards to book sales, it’s numerically fantastic! Not only does it contain a digit that repeats three times (1), the other digit (8) repeats twice, and — hold on to your hat! — the repeated digits 8 and 1 occurred on the date 8/1!

Does it get any cooler than that?

Well, maybe. It might have been a little cooler if the rank were 8,111, which would match the full date 8/1/11.

But 88,111 could also be thought to represent a “Dead Man’s Hand” in poker. Officially, a Dead Man’s Hand contains a pair of aces and a pair of eights, but many sources also use the term to refer to a full house with aces over eights.

What did the geometrician say when someone took his playing cards?
Decagon.

This reminds me of a poker game that I played with an engineer and a statistician. In the middle of the second hand, the police raided the game. An officer asked the engineer, “Were you gambling?”

The engineer replied, “No, officer, I was not gambling.”

The statistician replied, “No, officer, I was not gambling, either.”

Finally, the officer turned to me. “Were you gambling?” he asked.

I replied, “By myself?”

### Flight of Fancy

Several weeks ago, after my team won the 2011 Grand Masters National Championship in Ultimate Frisbee (sorry, I just couldn’t resist saying that again), a teammate and I headed to the Dayton airport. The plane that was to take us to Dulles had a mechanical problem, though, so our flight, originally scheduled for 7:05 p.m., was delayed until 10:55 p.m. The following diagram sums up what it feels like to be stuck in the Dayton airport for four extra hours with only a Cinnabon to provide solace:

Then last night, after spending four days at the NCTM Interactive Institute for High School Mathematics, I headed to the Orlando airport. This flight was similarly delayed, though weather was the culprit this time. Although delayed only two hours, we departed too late to arrive to Reagan National before the airport curfew. Consequently, we were diverted to Baltimore-Washington International, where we could wait over an hour for a bus to drive us 75 minutes to Reagan National Airport, at which point we’d be dropped off at a closed airport and left to fend for ourselves. (Reagan National closes at midnight, and the DC Metro trains stop running at midnight.)

So I shared a cab with a pleasant young lady who lives near me in Virginia, and after sitting in a construction zone for 35 minutes and driving 46 miles, I finally arrived home. The picture below shows the taxi meter upon arrival. This is the greatest amount (by a lot) that I have ever seen on a taxi meter.

You might also notice the clock at the bottom of the picture. I arrived home at 1:25 a.m., only to be awoken at 6:56 a.m. to the sound of my Golden Retriever getting sick. Nothing says, “Welcome home!” quite like a nice pile of yellow doggy vomit on the bedroom carpet.

For my next trip, I plan to drive.

On the upside, at least I wasn’t stuck behind this guy:

When a statistician passed through the airport security checkpoint, officials discovered a bomb in his bag. He explained, “According to statistics, the probability of a bomb being on an airplane is 1/1000. Consequently, the chance that there are two bombs on one plane is 1/1,000,000, so I feel much safer if I bring one myself.”

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.