Friday, April 04, 2008

What time is it?

It's time for some more math jokes! And I'm also feeling kinda childish today (Yeah! What else is new?) so let's have a coupla math/elephant and math/grape jokes. Hold on to your hats; here we go!

Q. Whaddaya get when you cross an elephant with a mouse?
A. Elephant mouse sine theta.

Q. Whaddaya get when you cross an elephant with a mountain climber?
A. You can't. A mountaineer is a scaler. (Scalar, get it? Man! Those math dues are a crackup.)

Q. Whaddaya get when you cross a mountaineer with a mosquito?
A. You can't cross a scalar with a vector. (Wow! A math plus medical joke! Now, that's some kinda cool!)

Q. What's purple and commutes?
A. An abelian grape.

Q. What's purple, commutes, and has a limited number of worshippers?
A. A finitely venerated abelian grape.


  1. Okay. I, like, so did not get a single one of these. (Maybe that's why I was a PSAT National Merit Scholarship finalist who totally choked on the SAT. Yes, it was the math. (No scholarship for you, honey, do not pass go, do not collect, etc.)

  2. Ah, I understand. I often complain about every aspect of my prep school experience *except* the fact that they pried open my poor, young skull and crammed in a thorough Trivium-style education, combined with lots of preparation for college. For example, I probably took the SATs a half dozen times before the one to establish National Merit standing. By that time, it didn't seem all that difficult to break 1500 out of the 1600 total. I have no idea what the scoring is like now. That was more than 40 years ago. I was very happy to have a N. M. scholarship to college instead of having to rely on one for gymnastics. If you get hurt, an athletic scholarship ain't worth shit.

    However, it took me about a decade after I left school before I could *enjoy* learning things again. That's true for both the liberal arts and math. When you come to it for pleasure, math is really interesting and fun. See my earlier three-part math rant on this blog for my opinion of "math" as taught in school.

  3. Frank, thank you so much for paying my blog a bit of attention, I appreciate your comments. And the fact that there is some one else out there whose mind seems to run along the same track as mine (although much funnier.) I got through your math rant 1 & 2 and am resting my brain before starting 3. I thought you might also enjoy a bit of an earlier post I wrote that echoes some of your math rant points... (and yes, part of that revelation came when I learned about *e*! -- I mean of course *really* learned about it, not just moving it around on paper.)

    "This more natural approach (as I see it) is intentional. I’ve always felt that my own mathematical instruction was lacking in that I learned to manipulate equations (and did it well up through trigonometry,) but had little understanding beyond that. It’s not a perfect analogy, but I think of it like being able to put together a grammatical sentence solely by using the rules of language, seeing how it works, but not understanding the meaning behind it. I was angry when I began to realize this, of how long I spent juggling symbols around just to juggle them, when my brain could have been making the deeper connections. I feel like it was like a monkey being trained to do tricks, just going through the motions. Ridiculous. So that was the main reason I wanted to take a more organic approach with the kids, in the hopes that it would help them to develop an intuitive sense for it, which I believe is important as far as its ultimate usefulness to them, as well as for sheer enjoyment."