# Let ε < 0.

## 12.21.08

### S.O.B.

Filed under: Dirty, Lower-division jokes — Travis @

Little Johnny was busy doing his homework. As his mother approached she heard him saying:

“One and one, the son-of-a-bitch is two.
Two and two, the son-of-a-bitch is four.
Three and three, the son-of-a-bitch is six…”

His mother interrupted, asking where he had learned this way of doing math. Johnny remarked that his teacher Ms. Clara Jones taught him. His mother was rather upset and told him to stop the homework. The very next day she approached Ms. Jones and told her what her son claimed she had taught him to swear while doing mathematics.

The teacher was flabbergasted. She said that she couldn’t understand why Johnny had said what he did. “All we did yesterday,” Mrs. Jones explained, “was basic addition:

One and one, the sum of which is two.
Two and two, the sum of which is four.
Three and three, the sum of which is six…”

## 12.20.08

### Snake joke II

Filed under: Animal farm, Puns, Upper-division jokes — Travis @

The ark lands after the Flood. Noah lets all the animals out, saying, “Go and multiply.”

Several months pass. Noah decides to check up on the animals. All are doing fine except a pair of snakes. “What’s the problem?” asks Noah.

“Cut down some trees and let us live there,” say the snakes.

Noah follows their advice. Several more weeks pass. Noah checks on the snakes again. Lots of little snakes crawl over the earth, and everybody is happy. Perplexed, Noah asks, “Want to tell me how the trees helped?”

“Certainly,” say the snakes. “We’re adders, and we need logs to multiply.”

## 12.19.08

### Snake joke I

Filed under: Animal farm, Puns, Upper-division jokes — Travis @

A man camped in a national park, and noticed Mr. Snake and Mrs. Snake slithering by. “Where are all the little snakes?” he asked. Mr. Snake replied, “We are adders, so we cannot multiply.”

The following year, the man returned to the same camping spot. This time there were a whole batch of little snakes. “I thought you said you could not multiply,” he said to Mr. Snake. “Well, the park ranger came by and built a log table, so now we can multiply by adding!”

## 12.18.08

### Smooth operator

Filed under: Lower-division jokes, Walks into a bar — Travis @

A mathematician tries his had at picking up the pretty girl at the bar. After chatting her up a bit, she asks coyly “Just how old do you think I am?” “By your sparkling eyes, I’d guess 19. By your thin hips, I’d guess 21. By your effervecent smile, 22. Hence, if I sum these…”

## 12.17.08

### Sine of the times

Filed under: Lower-division jokes, Puns — Travis @

A father is showing his young daughter how to work the calculator he bought her for school. He shows her some of the commands, and gives her the calculator. Then, as a test, he asks her, “Alright, what is the sine of 45?”

She looks at her pop. “Being over the hill?”

## 12.16.08

### Sherlock Holmes

Filed under: Science humor — Travis @

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of wine they laid down for the night and went to sleep. Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend. “Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.”

Watson replied, “I see millions and millions of stars.”

“And,” Holmes asked, “what does that tell you?”

Watson pondered for a moment.

“Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful and that we are but small and insignificant and finally, meteorologically, I suspect that that we will have a beautiful day for hiking tomorrow. What does it tell you, Holmes?”

Holmes was silent for a minute, then spoke.

“It tells me, dear Watson, that some bastard has stolen our tent.”

Not so much a joke about mathematics than a joke about logic, but whatever. It’s my site.

## 12.15.08

### Reduction to a joke already solved

Filed under: Diff'rent strokes, Upper-division jokes — Travis @

There are countably infinitely many of these jokes. Here is a representative sample.

#### Version 1: The arson version

A mathematician and a physicist were walking along during their lunch break when at a two-day convention when they realized they are going to be late for the afternoon session. “We’re going to be late,” says the physicist.

So the two begin to scramble back to their seats. However, no sooner do they start then they spy the engineering building on fire. Immediately, the physicist springs into action. He finds a nearby length of hose, jerry-rigs it to a nearby fire hydrant, and quickly puts the fire out. He then rushes into the building to make sure everyone is okay (they are). He then grabs the mathematician’s arm and rushes back to their seats. Amazingly, they make it on time.

The next day, the pair are again out walking about on their lunch break when they realize they are going to be late for the afternoon session.

Immediately the mathematician springs into action. He sets the nearby engineering building on fire, thus reducing the problem to one previously solved.

#### Version 2: Arson-free fire version

A physicist and a mathematician setting in a faculty lounge. Suddenly, the coffee machine catches on fire. The physicist grabs a bucket and leaps towards the sink, fills the bucket with water and puts out the fire. The second day, the same two sit in the same lounge. Again, the coffee machine catches on fire. This time, the mathematician stands up, gets a bucket, hands the bucket to the physicist, thus reducing the problem to a previously solved one.

#### Version 3: Fire-free version

A mathematician and an physicist are on desert island. They find two palm trees with one coconut each. The physicist shins up one tree, gets the coconut, eats. The mathematician shins up the other tree, gets the coconut, climbs the other tree and puts it there. “Now we’ve reduced it to a problem we know how to solve.”

#### Version 4: No reductions

An engineer, physicist, and a mathematician were playing cards in a parlor. A fire breaks out. The engineer starts to calculate how much water it takes to put out the fire. The physicist figures out the best theory on how to put out the fire. The mathematician tries to prove the fire doesn’t exist.

## 12.14.08

### Pythagorean feghoot II

Filed under: Feghoots, Lower-division jokes — Travis @

There were three Medieval kingdoms on the shores of a lake. There was an island in the middle of the lake, which the kingdoms had been fighting over for years. Finally, the three kings decided that they would send their knights out to do battle, and the winner would take the island.

The night before the battle, the knights and their squires pitched camp and readied themselves for the fight. The first kingdom had 12 knights, and each knight had 5 squires, all of whom were busily polishing armor, brushing horses, and cooking food. The second kingdom had 20 knights, and each knight had 10 squires. Everyone at that camp was also busy preparing for battle. At the camp of the third kingdom, there was only one knight, with his squire. This squire took a large pot and hung it from a looped rope in a tall tree. He busied himself preparing the meal, while the knight polished his own armor.

When the hour of the battle came, the three kingdoms sent their squires out to fight (this was too trivial a matter for the knights to join in). The battle raged, and when the dust cleared, the only person left was the lone squire from the third kingdom, having defeated the squires from the other two kingdoms.

Thus proving that the squire of the high pot and noose is equal to the sum of the squires of the other two sides.

## 12.13.08

### Pythagorean feghoot I

Filed under: Feghoots, Lower-division jokes — Travis @

A tribe of Native Americans generally referred to their woman by the animal hide with which they made their blanket. Thus, one woman might be known as Squaw of Buffalo Hide, while another might be known as Squaw of Deer Hide. This tribe had a particularly large and strong woman, with a very unique (for North America anyway) animal hide for her blanket. This woman was known as Squaw of Hippopotamus hide, and she was as large and powerful as the animal from which her blanket was made.

Year after year, this woman entered the tribal wrestling tournament, and easily defeated all challengers; male or female. As the men of the tribe admired her strength and power, this made many of the other woman of the tribe extremely jealous. One year, two of the squaws petitioned the Chief to allow them to enter their sons together as a wrestling tandem in order to wrestle Squaw of the Hippopotamus hide as a team. In this way, they hoped to see that she would no longer be champion wrestler of the tribe.

As the luck of the draw would have it, the two sons who were wrestling as a tandem met the squaw in the final and championship round of the wrestling contest. As the match began, it became clear that the squaw had finally met an opponent that was her equal. The two sons wrestled and struggled vigorously and were clearly on an equal footing with the powerful squaw. Their match lasted for hours without a clear victor. Finally the chief intervened and declared that, in the interests of the health and safety of the wrestlers, the match was to be terminated and that he would declare a winner.

The chief retired to his teepee and contemplated the great struggle he had witnessed, and found it extremely difficult to decide a winner. While the two young men had clearly outmatched the squaw, he found it difficult to force the squaw to relinquish her tribal championship. After all, it had taken two young men to finally provide her with a decent match. Finally, after much deliberation, the chief came out from his teepee, and announced his decision. He said…

“The Squaw of the Hippopotamus hide is equal to the sons of the squaws of the other two hides.”

## 12.12.08

### The pure mathematician

Filed under: Diff'rent strokes, Upper-division jokes — Travis @

When a pure mathematician is asked, say, to calculate the stability of an ordinary four-legged table, he rapidly enough arrives at preliminary results which pertain to a one-legged table or a table with an infinite number of legs. He will spend the rest of his life unsuccessfully solving the ordinary problem of the table with an arbitrary, finite, number of legs.

Adapted from Physicists continue to laugh, MIR Publishing, Moscow 1968.