3 Questions to Determine if You’re a Math Geek
Yesterday morning on Cooley and Kevin, a local sports radio show, the hosts and producer each posited three questions that could be used to determine if someone is a real man. (The implication being, if you can’t answer all three, then you ain’t.) I didn’t like that many of the questions focused on sports, but I’m not surprised. I was, however, surprised by some of the non-sports questions. What do you think?
Thom Loverro (guest host):
- Who wrote The Old Man and The Sea?
- What was the name of the bar owned by Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca?
- Name three heavyweight boxing champions.
Kevin Sheehan (regular host):
- Who was Clark Kent’s alter ego?
- Name one of the two fighters in the “Thrilla in Manila.”
- Who won the first Super Bowl?
Greg Hough (producer):
- Name one James Bond movie and the actor who played James Bond in it.
- Who did Rocky beat to win the title?
- With what team did Brett Favre win a Super Bowl?
During the rounds of trivia, Loverro remarked, “If you can name three heavyweight champs but haven’t seen Casablanca, then you’re still in puberty.”
This made me wonder:
What three questions would you ask to determine if someone is a real woman?
One possible question might be, “Name two of the three actresses who tortured their boss in the movie Nine to Five.” Then I remembered that women don’t play the same stupid games that men do. And I realized that strolling too far down that path will lead to hate mail or a slap or both. So, let’s move on.
It also made me wonder if there are three questions you could ask to determine if someone is a real math geek. Sure, you could use the Math Purity Test, but that’s 63 questions. A 95% reduction in the number of items would be most welcome.
So, here are my three questions:
- What’s the eighth digit (after the decimal point) of π?
- What’s the punch line to, “Why do programmers confuse Halloween and Christmas?”
- Name seven mathematical puzzles that have entered popular culture.
And my honorable mention:
- What’s the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
One of my initial questions was, “Have you ever told a math joke for your own amusement, knowing full well that your audience either wouldn’t understand it or wouldn’t find it funny?” But I tossed that one, because it’s a yes/no question that was personal, not factual. Eventually, which questions were kept and which were discarded came down to one simple rule: If nothing was lost by replacing a question with, “Are you a math dork?” then it should be rejected.
How’d I do? Opinions welcome. Submit new or revised questions for determining one’s math geekiness in the comments.