Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Fractally speaking

Maths jokes, let alone good ones, are rare, and I am indebted to my friend Froog, eminent Sinologist, former barrister and now doyen of the Beijing Bar Society, for passing on this:

Q: The great mathematician who died last year was called Benoit B. Mandelbrot. What does the B stand for?

A: Benoit B. Mandelbrot


Grumio said...

That's rather good.

Is this one too old for inclusion? (Only two people in Reginald's have ever got it, but then it doesn't benefit from being spoken rather than written. Particularly by a defrocked mathematician three sheets to the wind on gin and orange):

There are 10 kinds of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who don't.

Froog said...

Well, it's always a pleasure to get a mention on here, Tony, but I can't think why you were crediting me with this - unless my pesky doppelganger has been up to his tricks again.

I did once attempt to draw a cartoon (effective execution rather frustrated by my dismal draughtsmanship) depicting the eminent mathematician's imagined daughters (or aunts, I suppose, would have been temporally appropriate) as a pair of flapper girls dancing energetically for the amusement of their friends (dancing on a carpet with a design like your photograph here) at some wild Jazz Age party. Caption: The Mandelbrots, and their set.

Tony said...

Oh, what a silly blogger I am; the joke reached me via Ben Goldacre, not you. But why not regard this credit for something you didn't do as a small compensation for all the credits you never got for things that you did do?

Can you not get a friend to draw your excellent cartoon? It would make a good post in OMF, credited of course.