Posts Tagged With: mathematics

Motivational Poster #3, Successful Anthropologists

The world of anthropology is a rough and tumble one. Heated discussions abound. It’s quite common to hear such charged phrases as “So’s Lucy of Olduvai’s mother” or “You look like a Neanderthal and think like a homonid” abound.

Sure, you could take up mathematics where everything can be proved or disproved. But where’s the fun in that?

Real men and women flock to anthropology where fossils are rare. Where painting on caves are rare. And don’t even get me started on the lack of cookbooks from the Cro Magnon Era. Either these early humans never learned to write or if they did, their recipes were written on media that just couldn’t survive hundred of thousands of years of exposure to the elements. We’ll just have to wait for a cookbook chiseled in stone by flint tools. In the meantime, we can only speculate what sides Cro -Magnon chefs served with their mastodon steaks.

Let’s face it, there isn’t a lot of evidence. Conjectures must be made. Some are brilliant, some are reasonable, some are demented. But who’s to say which theory is the best. Reasoned discourse only goes so far.

Eventually, you’ll have to fight for your view. You need to take up boxing. Every full professor in every major anthropology department across academia won his position by knocking out a weaker, slower hitting colleague.

It goes almost without saying that Nobel Prize winners in anthropology could turn pro in boxing.

Anthropology, it’s not for sissies.

 

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

Categories: motivational | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

I Analyze a Cereal-Box Game

 

Please look at the picture of the Alpha-Bits game. (Sorry, it’s a bit blurry. I have fired my camera man.) You draw from a deck of cards, containing each of the following numbers, 1, 2, 3, and 4. If you draw a 1, you move your piece, an Alpha-Bit letter, ahead one square, and so on. However, there is something funny about the game. Unsettling even.

Starting the game, it is impossible to land anywhere but on the 3rd square, the one with the bee. For . . .

If you draw a 1, then you move to square 1. The result tells you to move ahead two squares to square 3, the one with the bee.

If you draw a 2, then you move to square 2. The result tells you to move ahead one square to square 3, the one with the bee.

If you draw a 3, then you move to square 3, the one with the bee.

If you draw a 4 then you move to square 4. The result tells you to move back square to square 3, the one with the bee.

No matter what you draw, you end up on the bee.

Similarly, if your piece is on square 13, the one with the rocket, no matter what you draw, you’ll finish the game.

Working backwards from square 13, you can determine the expected numbers of turns needed to win the game.

THE EXCITING RESULTS

Square #   Expected Numbers of Turns needed to win the game.

———-   ———————————————————–

13            –         1.00

8              –         2.00

6              –         2.25

5              –         2.56

3*            –         3.15

Start        –         4.15

* = Mathematical excitement abounds if you’re starting on square 3. If you draw a 1, you have to go back to your bee. If in your second turn, you again draw a 1, you will once more be back at the bee square. Fear not! By using the mathematical formula for infinite sums, you can calculate how many turns you can expect to be stuck in this purgatory. (It’s 1.33 turns.) Knowing this, our calculations become simple again.

Note that is impossible to end your turn on squares: 1, 2, 4, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 20.

I have come to believe that the designers of this game never really played it. I am quite certain they never subjected their creation to mathematical analysis.

Please do not use this analysis for betting purposes. And if you do, do not employ a doubling cube as in backgammon.

At any rate, my years of mathematics has served me well. And you get a gold star if you read this blog all the way through.

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D., nerd

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: humor, obsevations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Basil Pesto

Italian Appetizer

BASIL PESTO

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons ground walnuts
4 garlic cloves
3/4 cup Parmesan
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons basil
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

PREPARATION

Dice garlic cloves. Put walnuts, garlic, Parmesan, basil, white pepper, and olive oil in sauce pan. Saute for about 5 minutes on medium high.

Put pesto sauce on pasta or on French bread.

Simple is good.

TIDBITS

1) Walnuts are the best non-fish source of omega-3.

2) Whatever happened to omega-1 and omega-2?

3) Can you get omega-3 by adding together omega-1 and omega-2?

4) Omega is a Greek letter.

5) Greek letters are used in really complicated mathematics.

6) I would like to see a Greek crossword puzzle.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, food, humor, international, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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