## Posts tagged ‘Christmas’

### Silent Letter Night

Several weeks ago, Will Shortz presented an NPR Sunday Puzzle in which he stated a word and a letter, and the resulting collection would be rearranged to form a new word in which *the added letter is silent*. For instance, if Will gave RODS + W, the correct answer would be SWORD, in which the W is silent. (Note that the collection of letters is also an anagram of WORDS, but the W isn’t silent.)

At a time of year known for silent nights, it seems like a puzzle involving silent letters is completely appropriate. I’ve borrowed Shortz’s idea and extended it a bit; some of the clues in the list below have more than one silent letter added. Many items in the list are related to today’s holiday; and, because this is a math blog, the others are related to mathematics. In full disclosure, two of the answers are proper nouns.

Enjoy, and happy holidays!

- TO + W =
- TON + K =
- TOGS + H =
- GEE + D =
- TIN + G + H =
- SIN + G =
- SIN + E =
- CORD + H =
- HOLE + W =
- HEART + W =
- TINNY + E =
- COINS + E =
- NOELS + M =
- PILES + E + L =
- FRAME + T =
- REDACT + E + S + S =
- RACISMS + H + T =

### Math Jokes for the Holidays

Happy holidays from MJ4MF!

Okay, pop quiz!

- How many total gifts did my true love give me during The Twelve Days of Christmas?
- How many candles are burned in a menorah during the eight days of Hanukkah?
- How many candles are burned in the kinara during the seven days of Kwanzaa?

If you’re feeling in the holiday spirit, you can sing a mathematical song, possibly one that starts like this.

Deck the halls with boughs of holly,

Fa (La)^{9}…

Or if not, you can just enjoy these jokes…

Which burns longer, a red candle or a green candle?

Neither! Candles burn shorter, not longer!Did you hear about the modest computer scientist who declared one of Santa’s helpers obsolete, with the hope of eventually phasing him out?

He was elf deprecating.

### The Twelve Days of Crisp Math – Day 1

Lots of religions and cultures celebrate holidays at this time of year, and most of them last more than just one day.

- Diwali (Hindu) — 5 days
- Kwanzaa (African-American) — 7 days
- Chanukah (Judaism) — 8 days
- Las Posadas (Latino) — 9 days
- Christmas (Christianity) — 12 days

And while Ramadan isn’t always celebrated in December (it varies quite a bit in the Gregorian calendar; in 2012, it occurred during July and August), it just feels wrong to exclude 23% of the world’s population from this discussion.

- Ramadan (Muslim) — 30 days

Though each holiday lasts a different number of days, on average they last about 12 days:

With that in mind, I’ll be posting one math joke a day for the next twelve days to celebrate **The Twelve Days of Crisp Math**. Consider it my holiday treat to you. And what better date to start than **12/12/12**? Just to keep with the theme, today’s joke was posted at 12:12 a.m. (Eastern Time), and each joke during the celebration will be posted at the same time every day.

Granted, math isn’t a religion, but lots of folks treat it like one. In fact, many mathematicians think that they are gods…

Ecologists think they’re biologists;

Biologists think they’re organic chemists;

Organic chemists think they’re physicists;

Physicists think they’re God; and,

God thinks he’s a mathematician.

…or vice versa, I suppose.

Without further adieu, here is the joke for the First Day of Crisp Math.

The failing math student went to the professor’s office to get some help. When he arrived, several students were ahead of him, so he waited patiently for his turn. When he finally went in, he asked his question, and the professor spent the better part of an hour trying various explanations, but nothing worked. The student was clearly frustrated.

“Well,” said the professor. “I suppose after you graduate, you’ll be waiting for me to die so you can spit on my grave.”

“Oh, no,” said the student. “After I graduate, I ain’t never gonna stand in line again!”

### MJ4MF on Bookviews

Alan Caruba, author of Bookviews, chose *Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks* as a December pick of the month:

“It takes all types” is the common cliché, and people whose lives revolve around the use of math are a type unto themselves. That’s why G. Patrick Vennebush has collected

Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks[…] Teachers in particular will enjoy and want to use this book, of course, but it will provide lots of laughs for anyone else whose work involves working the numbers. It is also proof they can be very funny, too.

Thanks, Alan!

His review also said, “[*Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks*] is a great stocking-stuffer.” There are only 10 shopping days left until Christmas. Have you bought a copy of *MJ4MF* for the geeks on your holiday list?

Q: What’s purple, round, and doesn’t get much for Christmas?

A: A finitely presented grape.Q: An interesting mathematician, an extroverted actuary, and Santa Claus were walking together on a city sidewalk when they noticed a $20 bill on the ground. Who picked it up?

A: Santa, of course — because the other two don’t exist!Q (no A): If you multiply Santa by

i, does that make him real?