## Posts tagged ‘imaginary’

### Math of iPhone 5

Math teachers across the country are cringing. Everyone knows that you shouldn’t write it as iPhone 5. The correct format is 5*i* · *Phone*.

I overhead a teenager tell his friend that the iPhone 5 is “unreal.” Not exactly, punk. The proper term is *imaginary*.

### Mitch Hedberg’s Numerology

Comedian Mitch Hedberg died six years ago today, on March 29, 2005. He was just 37 years old.

He was known for one-liners, and one of my favorites involves data analysis (sort of):

I went to a pizzeria, I ordered a slice of pizza, and the [guy] gave me the smallest slice possible. If the pizza was a pie chart for what people would do if they found $1,000,000, [then he] gave me the “donate it to charity” slice. I would like to exchange this for the “keep it” slice, please!

Here’s an MJ4MF original, based on one of Hedberg’s lines:

Sometimes in the middle of the night, I’ll wake with a profound result or an elegant proof, so I keep a pen by my bed to write such things down. But sometimes, if the pen’s been moved, I might lie awake for hours trying to convince myself that my thoughts weren’t really that profound or the proof wasn’t really that elegant.

Here are a few other Hedberg lines that are slightly mathematical:

My lucky number is 4,000,000,000. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come in real handy when I’m gambling. “Come on, 4,000,000,000! Aw, f**k! Seven. Not even close. I need some more dice. Four billion divided by 6, at least.”

I angered the clerk in a clothing shop today. She asked me what size I was, and I said, “Actual.” Because I am not to scale.

I hope the next time I move, I get a real easy phone number, something that’s real easy to remember. Something like 222‑2222. I would say, “Sweet.” People would say, “Mitch, how do I get a hold of you?” I’d say, “Just press 2 for a while. And when I answer, you’ll know you’ve pressed 2 enough.”

That last one reminds me of a classic math joke:

We’re sorry. The number you have dialed is imaginary. Please rotate your phone 90° and try again.

### Song: New Math

Bo Burnham is an off-color, singing comedian. His song *New Math*, while slightly distasteful and potentially offensive, is catchy, funny, and filled with many jokes for mathy folks. When I listened to the song on his live CD, I noticed that some of the funniest jokes elicited almost no laughs from the audience. So below, I provide annotations for the math in the song, knowing full well that things just aren’t as funny if they have to be explained. As E. B. White said, “Humor can be dissected as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process and the innards are discouraging to any but the pure scientific mind.” Oh, well.

So here’s a song that takes something that’s not so fun — math — and makes it offensive.

What’s a pirate minus the ship? Just a creative homeless guy.

And an anteater plus a large hungry mutant ant? An ironic way to die.

And what’s domain, domain, range? A kid with too much in his pants.

Domain refers to *x*‑coordinates and range refers to *y*‑coordinates. So “domain, domain, range” implies XXY, the genetic makeup for a male with Klinefelter’s syndrome.

And two balls minus one? Six titles at the Tour de France.

A reference to Lance Armstrong, who survived testicular cancer.

Split a decision with long division,

Take the circumference of your circumcision.

Live like your data, and when you’re all “set,”

Put it all together, and whatever you get…It’s new math.

What’s a bag of chips divided by five? Well, that’s a Nike worker’s meal.

And Santa Claus multiplied byi? Well, I guess that makes him real.

The imaginary part of a complex number contains *i*, the imaginary value equal to the square root of ‑1. Since *i* × *i *= 1, the product of two imaginary numbers is a real number. The implication is that Santa Claus, being imaginary, becomes real when multiplied by the imaginary number *i.*

And the square root of the NBA is Africa in a box.

How do you trace a scatterplot? Give the pencil to Michael J. Fox.Take the approximate moral proportion

Of the probable problem of a pro-life abortion.

Live like your data, and when you’re all “set,”

Put it all together, and whatever you get…It’s new math.

And if you made a factor tree

Of the factors that caused my girl to leave me,

You’d have a tree…

Full of Asian porn.

Well, C-A-L, see you later.

A clever way to divide and pronounce the word calculator: C-A-L-C-U-LATOR.

Mathematical minds make industrial smog.

And what’s the opposite of ln(x)? Duraflame, the unnatural log.

ln(*x*) is the natural log, so it’s opposite would be an unnatural log.

Support the farmers with a pro‑tractor.

One of my favorite jokes!

Link Kennedy and Lincoln with a common factor.

Numerologists have made a lot of hullaballoo about the coincidences between Kennedy and Lincoln. You can read about them, and their veracity, at snopes.com.

Live like your data, and when you’re all “set,”

Put it all together, and whatever you get…Yeah, it’s new, it’s new, it’s new, it’s new…

It’s new math.Okay, word problems…

If there’s a fat guy in a pastry shop with a $20 bill and he’s ready to buy,

In order to predict his volume change, you need to know the value of π.

A pun since π could refer to the mathematical constant (pi) or to the dessert (pie).

And if there’s a metal train that’s a mile long

And at the very back a lightning bolt struck her,

How long till it reaches and kills the driver,

Provided that he’s a good conductor?

Another pun, conductor referring either to a train engineer or an electrical conduit.

And if 10% of men are gay,

And 20% of men are Chinese,

What are the odds that a man chosen at random

Spends his free time and his mealtime while on his knees?And if Kim is half as old as Bobby,

Who is two years older than 12‑year old Tory,

For how many more 30‑day months

Will their threesomes be considered statutory… rape?

A distasteful reference to standard algebra age problems.

Because math can be sexy…

Cause having sex is like quadratic expansion —

If it can’t be split, then it’s time to stop.

A trinomial expression (in the form *ax*^{2} + *bx* + *c*) can often be factored into two binomials. But the general rule for high school algebra classes is to simplify the expression only if it divides nicely; otherwise, leave it alone.

And having sex is like doing fractions —

It’s improper for the larger one to be on top.

An improper fraction is a fraction where the numerator is larger than the denominator.

And having sex is like math homework —

I do it best when I’m alone in my bed.And squaring numbers are just like women —

If they’re under 13, just do them in your head…

In school, students are often expected to memorize the values of the squares of small positive integers.