## Posts tagged ‘joke’

### This is a Blog Post

One of my favorite warm-ups to use in presentations is the following:

This sine has threee errors.

It’s a bit of a joke grenade… pull the pin, wait five seconds, eventually some folks will start to chuckle. In addition to inciting laughter, it also works well as a formative assessment.

One of my favorite books is by Demetri Martin:

One of my favorite jokes is from Steven Wright:

I went to a bookstore and asked the woman, “Where’s the self-help section?” She said that if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.

One of my favorite comics is from Randall Munroe:

One of my favorite experiences happened at a Chinese restaurant:

And one of my favorite puzzles is from *Gödel, Escher, Bach*:

There are __ 0s, __ 1s, __ 2s, __ 3s, __ 4s, __ 5s, __ 6s, __ 7s, __ 8s, and __ 9s in this sentence.

I love that this puzzle can be solved with iteration: put in some numbers, see how that affects things and adjust, see how that affects things and adjust, ad nauseam, until you either find a solution, or until you run into an infuriating cycle and have to start over with new seed values. For instance,

0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 | → | 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2 |

→ | 1, 1, 10, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1 | |

→ | 2, 10, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1 | |

→ | 2, 9, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1 | |

→ | … |

If you haven’t figured it out by now, my favorite things often include self‑reference. I speak in self-referential sentences when I go to job interviews…

At the end of my job interview, the interviewer asked, “Finally, what is the question you’d least like to be asked during this interview?” I replied, “That was it.”

And when visiting my therapist…

I’m trying to be less self-deprecating, but I really suck at it.

Perhaps the best self-referential (and self-deprecating) line in history comes from Groucho Marx:

I would never join a club that would have me as a member.

But there are no shortage of self-referential jokes in the world.

I never make predictions, and I never will. (Paul Gascoigne)

What would the value of 190 in hexadecimal be?

A student asked, “What is the best question to ask, and what is the best answer to that question?” The teacher responded, “The best question is the one you just asked, and the best answer is the one I just gave.”

I am the square root of -1. Who am i?

No! No! No! I am not in denial!

When you’re right 90% of the time, you needn’t worry about the other 5%.

The reciprocal of the square root of 2 is half of what number?

It’s bad luck to be superstitious.

Twenty-nine is a prime example of what kind of number?

Finally, I’ll leave you with the best advice I’ve ever received:

Break every rule.

### Chuck Norris Math (and Some Science) Jokes

My sons, of course, know that 73 is the Chuck Norris of numbers:

But it hadn’t occurred to me until recently that they had no idea who *Chuck Norris* is. Explaining who he is — that is, trotting out his resume and discussing *Lone Wolf McQuade* and *Walker, Texas Ranger* — is easy enough. But impressing upon them why he’s a bad ass who deserves his own meme? Well, that’s a bit tougher.

But it doesn’t matter. Chuck Norris jokes are just plain funny, even if you have no idea who he is. They’re a genre unto themselves, and the inventor of Chuck Norris jokes deserves as much credit as the inventors of knock knock jokes, one-liners, non-sequiturs, and light bulb jokes.

And I know you’re gonna find this surprising, but of all the Chuck Norris jokes on the internet, my sons most appreciate those involving math. So I present a collection of Chuck Norris math jokes, pulled from various corners of cyberspace, and I hope you enjoy them as much as Alex, Eli, and I do.

Chuck Norris can divide by zero.

Chuck Norris counted to infinity… twice.

The easiest way to determine Chuck Norris’ age is to cut him in half and count the rings.

Using only compass and straightedge, Chuck Norris once trisected an angle and squared a circle simultaneously, one with each hand.

When chuck Norris does division, there are no remainders.

A roundhouse kick from Chuck Norris is faster than the speed of light. This means that if you flip a light switch, you’ll be dead before the light turns on.

Chuck Norris’s body temperature is 98.6 degrees… Celsius.

Chuck Norris can win a game of Connect Four in only three moves.

Chuck Norris can solve a system of equations involving parallel lines.

Chuck Norris can recite the digits of π… *backwards*.

Chuck Norris knows the biggest prime number.

Chuck Norris has every real number tattooed on his forearm.

Chuck Norris doesn’t do mathematics. Chuck Norris *is* mathematics.

Chuck Norris will decide if *P* = *NP*.

If a barber in a village shaves all men who do not shave themselves, then who shaves the barber? Chuck Norris does. Well, sorta. He gives the barber a roundhouse kick and knocks all the hairs from the barber’s face, proving that set theory is both consistent and complete.

Chuck Morris constructed a proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem that would fit within the margin.

If you type 5,318,008 into a calculator and turn it upside down, it’ll spell BOOBIES. If Chuck Norris turns a slide rule upside down, it’ll be so scared that it’ll spell anything Chuck Norris wants it to.

Chuck Norris doesn’t do linear programming; for him, there are never any constraints.

Chuck Norris doesn’t avoid calculation mistakes. Calculation mistakes avoid Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris can cross a vector with a scalar.

Chuck Norris destroyed the periodic table, because he only recognizes the element of surprise.

Why is 6 afraid of Chuck Norris? Because Chuck Norris 8 9.

### It’s About Time

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…

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

### When Math Falls into the Wrong Hands

My brother-in-law recently forwarded an email that contained a lot of images plucked from various degenerate corners of the internet, and he suggested that this one could go into my next book:

I suppose it’s funny enough, and I guess it’s technically a math joke, but there’s a problem.

It doesn’t work.

I know, I know. Most people just read the joke, get the humor that the note’s author has used some odious expression to represent the PIN code, and go on about their day. Plus, I’ve heard that less than 1% of the world’s population has taken calculus, so there aren’t too many people who could actually check the math. Not to mention, how many of them would care enough to do so?

Uh… I can think of at least one person who cares enough.

While it’s certainly egotistical to think that I’m the only one in the intersection, it’s likely offensive to include anyone in the intersection who really wouldn’t want to be. So apologies to Matt Parker, Des McHale, Colin Adams, Ed Burger, or any of the other funny math folks who think they should have been included.

Anyway, where was I? Oh, right. Bad math.

The definite integral in the joke sent by my brother-in-law doesn’t yield a four-digit positive integer.

In fact, it yields a very irrational number with a lot of digits:

-2.58208625277854512796640677001459519299166472798789689499…

So unless the PIN code for that bank card has an infinity of digits, well, this is going to be problematic.

I propose, instead, that the joke be rewritten to use the following:

Would it be less funny? Probably. But at least it’d be accurate.

Not to mention, it would be a significantly more fair to Darling. Honestly, no one should ever have to do integration by substitution.

### What’s in Your Pocket?

I recently received an email from adoring fan Alden Bradford:

Teacher: “Would you like a pocket calculator?”

Student: “No, thanks. I already know how many pockets I have.”

Thanks, Alden!

Of course, that reminded me of this gem from Spiked Math:

And one final pocket joke:

The department chair said to the math teachers, “I have good news, and I have bad news. The good news is, we have enough money for a new microwave in the staff lounge.” The teachers cheered! Then one of them asked, “What’s the bad news?” The chair said, “It’s still in your pockets.”

Ouch.

### Six Degrees of Titillation

It was 75° today. If you live in Honolulu, Karachi, Gaberone, or Rio de Janeiro, that might not strike you as unusual. But let me assure you that during late February in Crofton, MD, a temperature that high is rather unexpected.

But no complaints. It was nice to wear only a t-shirt and no jacket, and it allowed me to use this joke at the start of my presentation:

What a beautiful day! When I was invited to this event, I suspected it’d be close to 20° outside. I just didn’t realize it’d be Celsius.

Horrible, ain’t it? But don’t worry… I’ve got more:

- Do math majors receive degrees or radians?
- If it’s 0° today, and it’s supposed to be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold is it going to be? (Stephen Wright)
- Are you a 45° angle? Because you’re acute-y.
- Why did the obtuse angle go to the beach? Because it was more than 90°.
- Are you cold? Go sit in a corner. It’s 90° over there.
- Why didn’t the circle go to college? It already had 360 degrees.
- I asked the trigonometer what the weather was like, and he said it was 15π/16 outside.
- The number you dialed is imaginary. Please rotate your phone 90° and try again.
- What brand of deodorant did the angle use?
*Degree*.

### Interactions with Fractions

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

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:

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

.

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?**

### 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.

### 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!

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 avinculum.)

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

.

You’re welcome.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day!

### Loot™ — Best Game Ever?

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?

ABCCCCCCCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZWhat 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.