Posts tagged ‘joke’

Interactions with Fractions

This math factoid, compliments of Learn Fun Facts, is just too good not to share…

\displaystyle \frac{18\,534}{9\,267} \times \frac{17\,469}{5\,823} = \frac{34\,182}{5\,697}

Ah, but maybe you missed it. Did you notice that each digit 1-9 appears exactly once in all three fractions? Pretty cool. But I have to say that this is still my favorite fraction equation:

\displaystyle \frac{1}{2} + \frac{1}{3} + \frac{1}{6} = 1

Simple. Beautiful.

On the other hand, I’m not sure I have a favorite fraction joke. I mean, how do you pick just one? The number of fraction jokes is a lot like

\displaystyle \lim_{x\to 0} \frac{1}{x}.

That’s right. There’s no limit.

5 out of 4 people have trouble with fractions.

I will express polynomials as partial fractions. I will compute the value of continued fractions. I will even find a least common denominator. But I draw the line between the numerator and denominator.

What is one-fifth of a foot?
A toe.

How many tents can fit in a campground?
Ten, because ten tents (tenths) make a whole!

Before you go, here’s a fun little fraction problem for you:

What is 1/2 of 2/3 of 3/4 of 4/5 of 500?

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November 3, 2017 at 6:58 am Leave a comment

Just Sayin’

Heidi Lang is one of the amazing teachers at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School. When she’s not challenging my sons with interesting puzzles and problems, she’s entertaining them with jokes that make them think. On her classroom door is a sign titled Just Sayin’, under which hangs a variety of puns. Here’s one of them:

Last night, I was wondering why I couldn’t see the sun. Then it dawned on me.

That reminds me of one of my favorite jokes:

I wondered why the baseball kept getting larger. Then it hit me.

Occasionally, one of her puns has a mathematical twist:

Did you know they won’t be making yardsticks any longer?

And this is one of her mathematical puns, though I’ve modified it a bit:

When he picked up a 20‑pound rock and threw it 5,280 feet, well, that was a real milestone.

I so enjoy reading Ms. Lang’s Just Sayin’ puns that I decided to create some of my own. I suspect I’ll be able to hear you groan…

  • He put 3 feet of bouillon in the stockyard.
  • When the NFL coach went to the bank, he got his quarterback.
  • She put 16 ounces of poodle in the dog pound.
  • The accountant thought the pennies were guilty. But how many mills are innocent?
  • His wife felt bad when she hit him in the ass with 2⅓ gallons of water, so she gave him a peck on the cheek.
  • Does she know that there are 12 eggs in a carton? Sadly, she dozen.
  • When his daughter missed the first 1/180 of the circle, he gave her the third degree.
  • She caught a fish that weighed 4 ounces and measured 475 nm on the visible spectrum. It was a blue gill.
  • When Rod goes to the lake, he uses a stick that is 16.5 feet long. He calls it his fishing rod.
  • What is a New York minute times a New York minute? Times Square.
  • I wanted to dance after drinking 31 gallons of Budweiser, so I asked the band to play the beer barrel polka.
  • The algebra teacher was surprised by the mass when she tried to weigh the ball: b ounces.

And because this post would feel incomplete without it, here’s probably the most famous joke of this ilk:

  • In London, a pound of hamburger weighs about a pound.

August 1, 2017 at 6:34 am Leave a comment

Fractional Fun

It’s well known that 5 out of 4 people have trouble with fractions, but even the mathematically advanced may have a little trouble with this puzzle. Your challenge is simple…

Find the sum of all items in the following table.

A hint is below the table, and the answers are below that. Good luck!

fishbird
woodenfortwoodenfort
whiskeybottlewhiskeybottlewhiskeybottlewhiskeybottle
sith
wraithwraithwraithwraith
tenttent

 

Hmm… it seems that you scrolled down here a little too quickly for the hint. Try harder. To put some distance between you and the hint, here are some fraction jokes:

How is sex like a fraction?
It’s improper for the larger one to be on top.

Which king invented fractions?
Henry the Eighth.

There’s a fine line between the numerator and denominator.
(And it’s called a vinculum.)

Okay, you’ve waited long enough. Here’s your hint. The items in the table are a fird (fish + bird), wooden forts, bottles of whiskey, the Sith lord Darth Maul, wraiths, and tents. (By the way, thanks to www.HikingArtist.com for the cool drawing of the fird!) Hope that helps.

To put some space between the hint and the answer, here are some more fraction jokes:

A student once told me, “To prove to you that I understand equivalent fractions, I only did three-sevenths of my homework.”

I was scared half to death… twice.

What is one-fifth of a foot?
A toe.

Okay, you’ve waited (and endured) enough. Without further adieu, the answer is 2.5. The images in the table are:

  • one fird
  • two forts
  • four fifths
  • one Sith
  • four wraiths
  • two tents

the sum of which is

\frac{1}{3} + \frac{2}{4} + \frac{4}{5} + \frac{1}{6} + \frac{4}{8} + \frac{2}{10} = \frac{300}{120} = 2\frac{1}{2}.

You’re welcome.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day!

November 11, 2016 at 11:11 am Leave a comment

Loot™ — Best Game Ever?

Loot

Loot™ by Gamewright

If Loot isn’t the best game of all time, it’s at least the best game for International Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19).

For those who don’t know, Loot is a pirate-themed card game in which you can do three things:

  • Send a merchant ship out to sea.
  • Attack a merchant ship with pirate ships.
  • Play a pirate king or admiral to increase your attack strength.

I bought the game on a whim when visiting Powell’s City of Books several months ago, and it’s clearly the best random purchase of my life. (It far exceeds the tattoo of Rene Descartes that mysteriously appeared on my posterior the morning after one helluva night in Hoboken, NJ. Don’t ask.) The game has many appealing qualities:

  • Simple to learn. It takes less than 10 minutes.
  • Fast to play. A game can be completed in 20 minutes.
  • Strategically challenging. The strategy is not obvious. (I’ve played quite a few times, and I’m not even sure that my strategy is effective, let alone optimal.)
  • And not least important, the following is a direct quotation from the official rules:
    We find that the game’s even more fun when everyone talks in pirate accents.

How do you not love a game that gives that kind of directive? When playing in teams, we ask the following questions to elicit a pirate response:

  • What’s the circumference of a circle divided by 2π?
  • What’s the eighth most common letter in the English language?
  • What is d ÷ t?
  • What’s the 18th letter of the alphabet?
  • Which set of numbers includes the rationals and irrationals?
  • Which letter appears most often in refrigerator?
  • What electrical property is measured in ohms (Ω)?

Here are some other mathy pirate jokes that might amuse.

What has 12 legs and 12 eyes?
A dozen pirates!

What is the pirate alphabet?
ABCCCCCCCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

What do pirates and Descartes have in common?
They think, therefore they ARR!

How much did the pirate pay for his peg and hook?
An arm and a leg!

Did you know that 3.14% of sailors are pi-rates?

Finally — even though it’s not Pi Day — here’s an image you might enjoy, compliments of Illuminations.

Loot

September 14, 2015 at 12:40 am Leave a comment

11 Opinions and 2 Jokes about Opinions

Not a new joke, but a good one…
Opinion Minus PiA vision without a plan is just a hallucination. (Salome Thomas-El, I Choose to Stay)

You have the right to your opinion. And I have the right to think you’re an idiot.

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. (John F. Kennedy)

Honestly, I don’t remember asking for your opinion, but since we’re sharing, then please go screw yourself.

Remember when I asked for your opinion? Neither do I.

It’s okay if we have different opinions. I can’t force you to be right.

Of all of your opinions, the one I value most is the one you keep to yourself.

Oh, I offended you with my opinion? I’m sorry, dear. You should hear the ones I keep to myself.

In order to be offended by your insult, I first have to respect your opinion. Nice try, though.

When I want your opinion, I’ll remove the duct tape.

Some doctors are saying which patients they like best. The first says, “I prefer librarians. Their organs are alphabetized.”

The second says, “I prefer mathematicians. Their organs are numbered.”

The third says, “I prefer lawyers. They are gutless, heartless, brainless, and spineless, and their heads and asses are interchangeable.”

And finally, a joke about opinions that’s math-related…

A professor asks a grad student, “What’s your opinion on the current state of mathematical research?”

“Absolute rubbish,” the grad student says.

“Well, probably,” says the professor, “but let’s hear it anyway.”

June 14, 2015 at 6:14 am Leave a comment

All You Need is LOVE

Valentine’s Day is almost here, but maybe you’ve been looking for love in all the wrong places. One possibility is to pop over to Wolfram Alpha and ask:

Will you be my Valentine?

Or, with a little mathematical creativity, you might be able to find some over at Desmos:

LOVE Graph

four equations were used to create this LOVE Graph

Or perhaps you’ve already found a special someone. If so, you might want to tell her how beautiful she is, using this (paraphrased) mathematical gem from Woody Allen:

Your figure describes a set of parabolas that could cause cardiac arrest in a yak.

(No, it’s not sexist of me to imply that readers would have girlfriends. It’s just that a compliment about a paramour’s curves doesn’t work so well when directed at a male.)

Perhaps your special someone makes your heart skip a beat.

HeartGraph

Beating Heart graph, made from just one equation

If so, this graph can help you get your beat back:

https://www.desmos.com/calculator/mhnm66dl2o

Wherever you look for love on this Feast of St. Valentine, I hope you find it — or at least stumble on a couple of great problems to distract you.

February 11, 2015 at 2:14 am Leave a comment

Judge This Joke By Its Size, Do You?

Most everyone knows the classic 7-8-9 joke:

What is 6 afraid of 7?
Because 7 8 9.

I recently heard a Star Wars variation:

According to Yoda, why is 5 afraid of 7?
Because 6 7 8.

This joke isn’t funny unless you understand the syntax often used by Yoda, which involves inverting the word order. See www.yodaquotes.net for some examples.

Yoda
There are two other variations that have long been part of my arsenal. My favorite is:

Why don’t jokes work in base 8?
Because 7 10 11.

When I told this joke to my seven-year-old son, he said, “I don’t get it.” I asked him how 7, 10, and 11 would be represented in base 8. He thought for a second then said, “7… 8… oh, yeah… yeah, that works.”

That’s why I call this version a joke grenade. You pull the pin, and five seconds later, people laugh. Well, some people will laugh. Not everyone. I estimate that 5% of the population would understand this joke, and only about 1% would find it funny.

The last variation is multicultural:

What is ε afraid of ζ?
Because ζ η θ.

If you’re thinking, “That’s all Greek to me,” you’re right. The translation is, “Why is epsilon afraid of zeta? Because zeta eta theta.” The Greek alphabet proceeds, in part, as, “…δ (delta), ε (epsilon) ζ (zeta), η (eta), θ (theta), ι (iota)….” But as with all jokes, if it has to be explained to you, then you’re probably not going to find it funny.

July 5, 2014 at 7:08 am 1 comment

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About MJ4MF

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.

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