A quote and a joke

November 04 2012

Once a friend told me, "o godz--the building across the street just grew a proboscis."

It was construction season in Boston.


Two mathematicians, Joe and Bob, are in a restaurant. Joe is talking about how he feels that math education has really improved in his lifetime.

Bob is a grumpy old man. He disagrees. Strongly.

Joe says, "You know, I bet the average person on the street even knows a little calculus." Bob laughs.

Bob goes to the bathroom. While he's gone, Joe calls their waitress over and tells her: "Listen, I'm going to ask you to come over here in about five minutes. When you do, I'll ask you a question. I want you to answer "One-third x cubed." If you do, I'll leave an extra $5 in the tip."

The waitress blinks at him. "One thir-dex cue?"

"Sure, close enough."

Bob comes back from the bathroom and Joe says, "Look, I'll bet our waitress knows the integral of x squared."

Bob scoffs. Joe bets him $10.

They call the waitress over and Joe asks her the integral of x squared. As instructed, she answers "One third x cubed".

And as she's walking away, she calls back over her shoulder, "plus a constant."

Boston, MA

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