Saturday, December 15, 2012

Logicians at a Bar

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sea Mammals and Topology

Q: What do you call a non-orientable whale?

A: Möbius Dick

Thursday, January 21, 2010


From Devin:

A mathematician ate N pizzas (where N is some highly composite number greater than 6). After eating the pizzas, he/she proceeded to write the following on a napkin:

After writing this note, the mathematician dropped dead. What was the meaning of this mysterious note?

The answer is in the comments!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Beatles

Overheard in my office:
A) "The Beatles were so derivative!"
B) "Yes, but so many more bands derived from them!"
A) "So I guess that would make The Beatles.... integral?"

Monday, March 3, 2008

Binary Puns

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Why we should hang out: A Mathematical Proof

from Craig's List:

The saddest part is that I've seen most this proof before, and I totally remembered that choosing the best person after (1/e) * n yields the maximal expected utility.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Real World Math Skills

During the War, a mathematician, a chemist, and a mechanical engineer are captured by the enemy. They're thrown into three jail cells in a remote part of the enemy base, and quickly forgotten. A month later the jailer remembers that these three prisoners haven't been fed in a month, and goes to check on them.

In the first jail cell, he finds a rudimentary lever and wedge on the floor. The mechanical engineer had pried the cheap cell bars apart, and escaped handily.

In the second jail cell, he finds a puddle of acid: acid that the chemist had poured on the cell bars to free himself.

In the third jail cell, he finds the mathematician's rotting corpse. Next to the body, there's a piece of paper. He reads it. It says: "Assume that I have the key to the cell..."

More Statistical Error

From a colleague:
Two statisticians are at a shooting range.

The first statistician misses the target by 10 feet to the left.

The second statistician misses the target by 10 feet to the right.

They cheer.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Another Statistician Joke

Another popular statistician joke recently appeared in this article on Slate. Jordan Ellenberg tells it so well that I'll just quote him verbatim:
10 statisticians in a bar. Ted Turner walks in. The statisticians start to whoop and holler. "What's going on?" asks Turner. One statistician explains, "On average, we just got a whole lot richer!"

Monday, September 10, 2007

Oh, Statisticians

Statisticians are to math what dentists are to the medical profession. Everyone knows that statisticians aren't real mathematicians, but we treat them like it to boost their self-esteem. And statisticians—like blondes—are great targets for jokes.
Two statisticians are on an airplane. Suddenly, they hear a huge crash. They hear the pilot over the loudspeaker:

"Attention all passengers, we have lost an engine. Fortunately, we should be able to make it to our destination with our three remaining engines. Estimated flying time is now at about 4 hours."

The staticians hear this and are put at ease. They continue to talk together when they're interrupted by second crash, and the sound of the loudspeaker again.

"Attention all passengers, we have just lost a second engine. We should still be okay on 2 engines, but we probably won't reach our destination for at least 6 hours."

Well, the staticians have time to burn and books to read, so they don't bother worrying about this new development. Suddenly, there's another crash, and the pilot's anxious voice comes over the loudspeaker:

"Attention all passengers, we're now flying with only one engine left. It will take us at least 8 hours to reach our destination now."

One statistician turns to the other and says,

"Gee, if we lose one more engine, we'll be flying all night!"
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