Posts tagged ‘science’

Mathy Jokes for Old Folks

The median age of the Reader’s Digest audience is 53.5, and 60% of their audience is female. So if I admitted to you that I’m a regular reader of the magazine, it’d be reasonable for you to assume that I’m an elderly woman.

I’m not.

In the “Laughter, the Best Medicine” column in the April issue of Reader’s Digest, two jokes were mathy. In case you missed them…

People with math anxiety actually feel pain when doing arithmetic, according to a study. The Week asked its readers to name this condition:

  • Fibromyalgebra
  • Arithmia
  • Pi-graine
  • Percentile Dysfunction
  • Add Nauseum
  • Digit-itis

According to a global study, American kids are way behind Asian kids in math and science. But American kids are ahead in buying stuff made by Asian kids. – Conan O’Brien

And in the “Quotable Quotes” column was a relevant quote worth sharing…

The moment you think of a joke is the best moment. – Judd Apatow

April 25, 2013 at 8:30 pm Leave a comment

Science Word Game for Road Trips

For your next road trip, a fun, family-friendly game… especially if your family tree has a lot of geeky branches.

Couldn’t be simpler:
Combine abbreviations from the periodic table to create a word.

For instance, you could combine the abbreviations for barium and rutherfordium to make BaRf.

Or use chromium, iodine, titanium, carbon, and aluminum to make CrITiCAl.

Or my current favorite — combine titanium, platinum, oxygen, and einsteinium to form TiPtOEs. How fun!

Post your longest words in the comments. (If you choose to write a computer program to find the longest possible word, please don’t spoil everyone else’s fun.)

Uber-geeks will want to use a formula such as

Points = 3 × No. of Letters + 5 × No. of Elements Used

to score the game. And you can if you like; play ten rounds, and highest score wins. But I say just have fun, make words, and impress everyone riding in the car with you!

You might find the following lists helpful.

Single-Letter Abbreviations:
B, C, F, H, I, K, N, O, P, S, U, V, W, Y

Two-Letter Abbreviations, With A Vowel:
Ac, Ag, Al, Am, Ar, As, At, Au, Ba, Be, Bh, Bi, Bk, Br, Ca, Ce, Co, Cu, Er, Es, Eu, Fe, Ga, Ge, He, Ho, In, Ir, La, Li, Lu, Mo, Na, Ne, Ni, No, Os, Pa, Po, Pu, Ra, Re, Ru, Se, Si, Ta, Te, Ti, Xe

Two-Letter Abbreviations, No Vowel:
Cd, , Cf, Cl, Cm, , Cp, Cr, Cs, Db, Ds, Dy, Fm, Fr, Gd, Hf, Hg, Hs, Kr, Lr, Md, Mg, Mn, Mt, Nb, Nd, Np, Pb, Pd, Pm, Pr, Pt, Rb, Rf, Rg, Rh, Rn, Sb, Sc, Sg, Sm, Sn, Sr, Tb, Tc, Th, Tl, Tm, Yb, Zn, Zr

Three-Letter Abbreviations:
Uuh, Uuo, Uup, Uuq, Uus, Uut

Periodic Table

Click Image for Larger Version

October 17, 2012 at 6:45 pm 2 comments

Science Festival

If you’re in Washington, DC, this weekend, check out the USA Science and Engineering Festival.

With over 1,500 exhibits for math, science, and engineering, the National Mall will be filled with geeks-a-plenty. NCTM will be participating in the event, running an activity based on the Bears in a Boat lesson from Illuminations. (I’ll be manning the exhibit on Saturday; if you’re there, stop by Booth 410 to say hello.)

A mathematician, an engineer, and a physicist are scheduled to appear at a science and engineering festival. Arriving in Washington, DC, they spy a festival (*) on the National Mall.

The physicist is driving the car. While stopped at a stoplight, he performs some calculations to determine the exact amount of acceleration needed so that the car will roll to a stop at the entrance to the festival. When the light changes green, he depresses the gas pedal for 2.837 seconds and then releases it. The car accelerates to 22 miles per hour, then slowly decelerates and comes to a stop approximately 150 meters beyond the festival. “Hmm,” he says, perplexed that his calculations failed him.

“You missed,” says the engineer. “My turn.” The engineer and physicist swap seats so the engineer can drive. They return to the same stoplight. The engineer then estimates the distance to the festival based on the position of the sun and the length of the shadow cast by the Washington Monument. He then finds the answer to the problem in a look-up table. He depresses the gas pedal until the car reaches a speed of 21 miles per hour and releases his foot. The car gently rolls to a stop 150 meters short of the festival entrance.

“Well,” says the physicist, “it seems that your method wasn’t very successful, either.”

“What are you talking about?” says the mathematician.  “On average, the two of you arrived perfectly!”

(*) How did they know it was science and engineering festival?

The physicist observed that it behaved like a science and engineering festival, so it must be a science and engineering festival.

The mathematician compared it to a festival he had attended a year before, thereby reducing it to a previously solved problem.

The engineer was looking for a science and engineering festival; therefore, it was a science and engineering festival.

October 23, 2010 at 12:05 am Leave a comment

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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