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Fun with Math!

Did the title of this post make you say, "Yeah, sure!"? Even if you're a person who doesn't enjoy math, I hope that today's post will make you laugh at least several times.

One reason this topic came to my mind is that a high school classmate recently posted on his Facebook a link to the obituary of one of our high school math teachers - Mr. Don Mathews. Mr. Mathews taught me Algebra 2 and Math 4 my junior and senior years. I felt bad for laughing out loud as I read his obit, but I couldn't help it! One thing in it was just so hilarious — "He leaves behind his wife, Ruth, of 49.926 years." I had to wonder if Mr. Mathews helped write his own obituary. 🙂

In honor of a very gifted teacher, I am posting some mathematical humor that has accumulated in my files.

Since the 2012 Summer Olympics are going on right now, here's a picture that seems just wrong.

An employee in the store below needs some help with his math facts.

What blog post about math would be complete without a pie chart? Here's one that anyone who has tried Nutella will understand.

But eating too much Nutella or other good stuff results in other mathematical problems. Here's a reality check on the amount of exercise needed to counteract certain pastries.

I wonder if Mr. Mathews ever sent a love letter to Ruth like the one that follows.

Yesterday, I was passing by your rectangular house in Trigonometric Lane. There I saw you with your cute circular face, conical nose and spherical eyes, standing in your triangular garden.

Before seeing you, my heart was a null set, but when a vector of a particular magnitude from your eyes, at a deviation of theta radians, made a tangent to my heart, my heart differentiated.

My love for you is a quadratic equation with real roots, which only you can solve by making good binary relation with me. The tangent of my love for you extends to infinity.

I promise that I should not resolve you into partial fractions, but if I do so, you can integrate me by applying the limits from zero to infinity. You are as essential to me as an element to a set. The geometry of my life revolves around your acute personality.

My love, if you do not meet me at Parabola Restaurant on date 10 at sunset, when the sun is making an angle of 160 degrees, my heart would be like a solved polynomial of degree 10.

With love from your higher order derivatives of maxima and minima, of an unknown function,


Last year when we started to learn how to tell time in French, it came to my attention that some college students are so used to digital clocks that they no longer know how to tell time with analog clocks. They would have even more difficulties than I would with a Zero watch like the one below.

They would really have fun with a binary clock like the one below. What time is this clock indicating?

I'll put the solution below the next item.

If you have trouble calculating how much to leave as a tip in a restaurant, check out this receipt.

Here's the solution for the binary clock question above.

Well, that's the end of today's episode of Fun with Math! (Phew, huh?!) I'll be back at you this time next week.


"Affliction is the blunt friend that brings authenticity to your ministry." — Chris Barney

=^..^= =^..^=

The speed of time is one second per second.

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8 Comments on “Fun with Math!”

  1. #1 susan
    on Aug 1st, 2012 at 8:45 am

    If the students don’t know how to tell analog clock time now they will really be up a creek in a few decades when they cant see the digital numbers clearly and will not be able to guess well at the time.

  2. #2 Vikki
    on Aug 1st, 2012 at 8:55 am

    These are great, especially the poem! I’ve always liked math (maybe that’s why I’m an accountant?) and have a couple of people I know who taught math for years that I’m going to forward this to :0)

  3. #3 Ethan
    on Aug 1st, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Maybe the store uses the French Revolutionary system for weeks.

  4. #4 Laura
    on Aug 1st, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Now you know I would like this! Your math IVs are always timely – getting ready for a new bulletin board.
    However, there is something possibly accurate in the picture above which most readers wouldn’t know.
    Living where I do, the way to write the number “7” is the symbol that is the phrase “open ___ days a week.” So, even though the sentence is in English, I actually could read that as a the digit “7!”

  5. #5 Amanda
    on Aug 1st, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    I laughed at the pastry picture; so true! Those were some pretty conservative estimates too. I think it would take much much longer to burn off all the calories from those treats.

  6. #6 Vikki
    on Aug 1st, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    I also like the pi for the tip. I wonder if the waiter ever got the correct amount.

  7. #7 Debbie
    on Aug 1st, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Ah, Mr. Mathews! What great memories of the same two classes – Algebra 2 & Math 4! “If you want to be here, be here. If you want to be seen, open your eyes!” “Oh, you want to be outstanding in your field? Put on your boots!” My husband and I laughed while reading his obituary too. We wondered if he had written it himself or if his unique sense of humor just rubbed off on his family too.

  8. #8 ray
    on Aug 2nd, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    You may want to let that snack settle before kick boxing…