## Posts tagged ‘review’

### Annotated Amazon Review of *MJ4MF*

The paperback version of *Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks* was released on August 9, 2010. During its first three years on Amazon, it received 17 reviews, with an average rating of 4.76. Recently, however, an unimpressed reviewer gave it just 2 stars:

This reminds me. If you’ve read *MJ4MF* and liked it, please post a review on Amazon. (If you disliked it, please post your review on MySpace.)

But I digress. Back to my point. The disparaging review that appeared on Amazon contained just 21 words:

jokes are not very funny – seems like they were stretching it to find enough jokes to fill a book to sell

To fully understand this review, I offer the following annotations.

jokes are not very funny

“I wouldn’t know humor if it bit me. I often travel to Branson, MO, to see Yakov Smirnoff perform live, and I think that Carrot Top’s performance on Star Search is the funniest moment ever.”

seems like they

“I’m unaware that the author is a single person,” or possibly, “I’m not familiar with rules of English grammar.”

were stretching it

“I don’t understand common English idioms. A friend pointed out that the correct phrase is just ‘were stretching’ without the ‘it.’ Oops.”

to find enough jokes

“I failed to realize that the book contains 400+ math jokes, yet a Google search for ‘math jokes’ returns 2,830,000 results. Simple percentages show how selective the author has been. I also hadn’t visited this blog before posting my review; I now see that a significant number of jokes not in the book have appeared on this blog, so clearly the author did not exhaust the supply.”

to fill a book to sell

“The author is a money-hungry swine who would sell his grandmother’s secret recipe for Hungarian pierogi for 50 bucks.”

Sadly, this last claim is mostly true. But my grandmother’s pierogi were divine, and the recipe is worth far more than $50. Kindly submit your bid in the Comments.

But I’m not bitter. I don’t care that this review reduces my average rating by 0.15 stars or that it single-handedly drops the book to #19 when someone searches for ‘math jokes’ on Amazon and sorts by “Avg. Customer Review.”

Instead, I prefer to remember the *MJ4MF* review written by Caregiver x 2, who said:

This morning I gave this book to my son, he didn’t put it down for a long time. He was laughing and flipping the pages as fast as he could. And he was on his summer break!

She is wise beyond her years, and I appreciate that she took the time to share her insightful comments with the world.

### 2011 in Review

Happy New Year!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for the Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about

53,000times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 20 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Thanks to all of you who visit and make writing this blog worthwhile!

### MJ4MF Review

I was delighted to open the April issue of the *Mathematics Teacher* journal and discover a review of *Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks*. Reviewer Leah Evans had some nice things to say:

Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folksis a delightful read. The author has compiled a vast array of puns, quips, and jokes meant for people of varied ages and mathematical expertise.[…]

I highly recommend this book as a diversion from the rigor of mathematics. It allows us to have a good laugh (or a long groan) at a joke that only “math nerds” would get, and it points out that humor can be found in all mathematical applications, even a telescoping series.

I love the cliffhanger at the end! The reference to a “telescoping series” is — I think — in regards to this joke (p. 89):

If you’re interested, here’s a copy of the entire review. (Click on the image to view a full-size version.)

### 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?

### Reviewers’ Favorite Jokes

Sol Lederman of Wild About Math said that *Math Jokes for Mathy Folks* is “117 pages of pure (vs. applied) fun. […] While I’ve heard a number of the jokes already, there were plenty of new ones to give me a chuckle.” He also said that the following joke — which does not appear in *MJ4MF* — happens to be his favorite:

A farmer was showing his fields to a mathematician and his wife. The mathematician made continual attempts to impress with his intellect, referencing arcane formulas and then doing computations mentally. Frustrated by this, the farmer decided to teach him a lesson. He took them to a field packed with hundreds of cows and said to the mathematician, “If you can guess the exact number of cows in this field, you can have all of them! But if you get it wrong, I get to sleep with your wife!”

The mathematician thought for a moment, his eyes quickly scanning the entire field. Finally he said, “228.”

The farmer was stunned. “How on Earth did you do that?” he asked. ”There’s no way you could have counted all those cows so quickly!”

“You’re right,” the mathematician replied. “‘I counted their legs and then divided by 4.”

A review of the book also appears on MAA Reviews by Fernando Q. Gouvea, who said, “Several jokes appear slightly differently from the way I’ve heard them, which is par for the course: jokes are folk literature, and they change as they move from one person to the next.” I couldn’t agree more. If you tell a joke, you should make it your own.

Dr. Gouvea went on to say, “…if you like mathematical jokes, you might enjoy having a copy,” and he said the following joke was his favorite:

Q: How many topologists does it take to change a lightbulb?

A: Just one. But what will you do with the doughnut?