## Friday, April 9, 2010

### Seven square miles surrounded by reality

I saw a curious bumper sticker on my way to work today. It said

Ocean Beach. Seven square miles surrounded by reality.

Subtle humor, eh? You might need to know Ocean Beach is a hippie community of people somewhat detached from reality. That gave me a theme -- math-based puns that we couldn't understand without some basic math knowledge. For example,

The United Kingdom and the United States - Two nations divided by a common language.

Ok, this one is a bit different:

A man sent in ten jokes to the newspaper, hoping to win a prize. But no pun in ten did.

You must tell the truth, nothing but the truth, but not the whole truth.

Another one on math teachers?

A math teacher is someone who talks in someone else's sleep.

Moving on... the title of a book on elementary math:

Arithmetic Simplified, by Lois Carmen DeNominata

OK, we can do better than that one, can't we? How about this from Alice in Wonderland:

How many hours a day did you do Lessons? asked Alice.
Ten Hours the first day, said the Mock Turtle, nine the next, eight the next, and so on.
What a curious plan! exclaimed Alice.
That's the reason they're called Lessons, the Gryphon remarked, because they lessen from day to day.

Let's try a family math joke.

My life is all arithmetic, the young mother exclaimed to a friend. I try to lose weight, add income, divide my time, and try to keep my children multiplying!
Sticking with the theme of home and math, we can ask,

Why are turkeys so good at arithmetic? Because they are always counting the number of chopping days til Thanksgiving.

I know times are tough in the banking industry, and there's lots of turnover and turmoil. But we can still try to joke about them, can't we?

I went into the bank the other day and asked the teller to check my balance. He reached out and shoved me!

How many times can you subtract 7 from 83, and what is left after you do? I can do it as many times as I want, and there is always 76 left.

Moving on to more complex things:

A statistician is a man who puts his head in the oven, his feet in an ice chest, and says that on average, he feels comfortable.

You know what? It's not that easy to make math-related puns that are funny. I've saved you from hundreds of bad ones. We'll end here:

Why did the chicken cross the Moebius strip? To get to the other ... uh ... hmmm