## Archive for August, 2019

### Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes — in Job and Location

A few days back, I mentioned that I had a new job and had moved across the country, and I said I’d write more about that later. Well, it’s later.

After six wonderful years of developing a highly-rated, award-winning, interactive math textbook at Discovery Education, I’ve taken a new position at the Math Learning Center, a non-profit organization in Portland, Oregon. The Math Learning Center (MLC) is the publisher of Bridges, an award-winning elementary math curriculum.

The reason for the change? Well, actually, there are several…

• MLC is not-for-profit, so any money raised from curriculum sales is used to improve the materials and professional development offerings.
• The mission of the Math Learning Center is “to inspire and enable individuals to discover and develop their mathematical confidence and ability.” It’s pretty easy to get behind a goal like that.
• Last but not least, the MLC staff might be the friendliest group of individuals I’ve ever met. To boot, they’re bright, hard-working, and dedicated to the organization’s mission.

With all that, the decision to join MLC was a rather easy one. If you can’t tell, I’m pretty excited about the change. I’ll be the new Chief Learning Officer, affectionately known as the CLO.

Time out for a puzzle.

Can you fill in the blanks to form a 16-letter math term that contains the letters CLO in order? Hint: think about transformational geometry or turning off the faucet.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ C L O _ _ _ _ _ _

Relocating from Virginia to Oregon is a big deal. It’s nearly 2,800 miles — or 14 states, or 42 hours in a car — from our old house to our new one. Consequently, we hired a moving company to help with packing and shipping. When Lily from the moving company arrived, she asked if we had any “high-value items” to be transported, such as expensive jewelry or fur coats. (But not a real fur coat. That’s cruel.) I said that I didn’t think so, but then I asked what they consider a high-value item. Lily’s answer used a completely acceptable but surprising unit rate:

anything over $100 per pound With that metric, it was suddenly obvious that we had several high-value items in our home. The first was a pair of diamond earrings that I had given my wife recently for our 15th anniversary. Since 5 carats = 1 gram, these small hunks of rock have a retail value of nearly$4,000,000 per pound, significantly above the moving company’s threshold.

The other high-value items were, well, us. The “value of statistical life,” or VSL, is a measure of the value of a human life. Its exact amount depends upon which federal agency you reference. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for instance, pegs the VSL at $10 million. That means that I’m worth approximately$50,000 per pound, my petite wife is worth nearly $80,000 per pound, and our twin sons are worth well over$100,000 per pound each.

Granted, our value density isn’t as high as diamond, but we’re still pretty darn valuable.

A cannibal goes into a butcher shop, and he notices that the market specializes in brains. He sees that the butcher is selling engineer’s brain for $1.50 per pound, mathematician’s brain for$2.25 per pound, and politician’s brain for \$375.00 a pound. Flabbergasted, he asks the owner why the huge difference in price. The butcher replies, “Do you have any idea how many politicians it takes to get a pound of brains?”

In the end, neither the diamond earrings nor any member of our family were loaded onto the moving truck. A week later, we’re adapting nicely to Portland culture, and I start my job at Math Learning Center in just a few days. Wish me luck!

I know, I know. It’s been a really long time since my last post. Nearly six months ago — February 25, to be exact.

I’ve got a good excuse, though. I took a new job, and I moved across the country. (More about that later.)

For now, I’m going to ease back into this with a simple post full of jokes. And I know what you’re thinking: “It’s about time!” So in honor of you, here are a collection of math jokes about time.

Did you hear about the hungry clock?
It went back four seconds.

I lost my job at the calendar factory. My boss was mad that I took a few days off!

Mondays are an horrendous way to spend 1/7 of your life.

Traditional calendars are for the week-minded.

Did you hear about the two thieves who broke into a house and stole a calendar?
They each got 6 months.

A broken clock is still correct twice every day.

The problem with calendars? In one year, out the other.

What’s the difference between a mathematician and a calendar?
The calendar has dates.

The scientist dropped a watch into a beaker. She was hoping for a timely solution.

What did the hour hand say to the minute hand?
“Don’t listen to that other guy. He’s got second-hand information.”

A calendar doesn’t feel well and visits the doctor. The doctor tells him, “I’ve got some bad news for you. You’ve got 12 months.”

My calendar was printed upside down. It was an interesting turn of events.

Did you hear about the calendar who owed money to a mobster?
His days are numbered!

What type of candy never arrives on time?
Choco-late.

When I was young, we were so poor that I had to use old calendar pages to wipe after defecating.
The worst days are behind me.

What is a calendar’s favorite fruit?
Dates.

How many months have 28 days?
All of them.

How many seconds are in a year?
12: January 2, February 2, March 2, …

Okay, for reals regarding that last one. In a 365-day, non-leap year, there are 31,536,000 seconds. That’s kind of a fun number, because its prime factorization is…

$2^7 \times 3^3 \times 5^3 \times 73$

…and the only digits in the prime factorization are the four single-digit primes. Cool stuff.

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.