Food for Thought and Laughs
I was presented with an interesting Fermi question today:
How many pounds of food will you eat in your lifetime?
My first estimate: About 20 tons — approximately 1.5 pounds per day (roughly 500 pounds a year) for 80 years.
My second estimate: Unless by pounds you mean British currency, and by food you mean caviar, in which case my estimate would be closer to 21 million.
This made me think of several math and food jokes.
At a restaurant…
“What can I get for you?” asked the waiter.
The mathematician replied, “I’ll have the seven‑layer dip as an appetizer. For my entree, prime rib, dim sum, and the three‑bean salad. To drink, a root beer, and pi for dessert.”
Meanwhile at the cannibals’ house…
The cannibal family was eating dinner. One son says, “I really hate my math teacher.” The other son says, “I know. He’s so tough!” The mother tells them, “Quit complaining. If you don’t like the meat, just eat the noodles.”
And at the university…
What do you call a smiling, sober, courteous person at a math department social event?
One of my favorite pieces about math and food comes from Dave Barry:
Algebra is a vital tool for our young people to learn. The traditional method for teaching it, of course, is to require students to solve problems developed in 1928 by the American Association of Mathematics Teachers Obsessed With Fruit. For example: “If Billy has twice as many apples as Bobby, and Sally has seven more apples than Chester, who has one apple in each hand plus one concealed in his knickers, then how many apples does Ned have, assuming that his train leaves Chicago at noon?”