# Math on TV

## Futurama math

The joke is… that both vans are the same number – there is no difference in what news channel you watch as they’re all the same (and irrational)!

## Golden Balls: Split or Steal

This is an interesting tv show. Golden Balls is a British daytime game show. At the end of the show the contestants have to make one last decision over the final jackpot. They are each presented with two golden balls. One has “split” printed inside it and the other has “steal” printed inside it:

• If both contestants choose the split ball, the jackpot is split equally between them.
• If one contestant chooses the split ball and the other chooses the steal ball, the stealer gets all the money and the splitter leaves empty-handed.
• If both contestants choose the steal ball, they both leave empty-handed.

It is similar to the prisoner’s dilemma in game theory, however, in this game the players are allowed to communicate. In North America, you might have seen the show “Friend or Foe?” which is quite similar.

There may not be a whole lot of math involved, but social scientists have studied the game. See the paper “Split or Steal? Cooperative Behavior When the Stakes are Large“.

## Big Bang Theory xxx Parody

If you like The Big Bang Theory, you might like this youtube parody video:

“When four geniuses (Sheldon, Leonard, Raj, & Howard) realize that the only boobs they ever see are in their Slavegirl Space Princess wet dreams, they do the math and cum up with an equation for attracting horny young women! With a huge comic-book convention coming up, they only have a short amount of time to try out the formula on their beautiful blonde neighbor Penny, their hot co-workers, and slutty cosplay girls. Will they have enough time to find some good Mario costumes for the show?”

## Old School – math question

I just watched that movie called Old School (yes it’s from 2003). They had a nice math question during the movie. It was as follows:

Which of the following is a generally accepted graphical technique for determining first order system parameters?

a) Harriot’s method of solving cubics
b) Pythagorean triplets
c) The migration method of graphing quadratic functions?

You can see the clip over at Oliver Knill’s site: mathematics in movies.

## The Office – Math Fail

One of my favorite parts of the tv show “The Office”:

## Balloon boy fail (do the math)

Ya so I keep hearing about this balloon boy… although I haven’t actually read any news articles on it, so based on headlines I keep seeing this is what I suspect happened:

– Richard Heene makes experimental helium balloon
– Heene & wife freakout since their “son” may be in the basket
– crapload of publicity, balloon comes down, son not in there
– son was actually in the Heene house attic all along
– 4chan delivers pizza to balloon boy
– news now reporting the stunt was a hoax
– charges filed against Heene

So what does this have anything to do with math? Well I came across this post about someone doing the “math behind the balloon boy story“. Basically they do some fancy calculations to see if it was ever possible for such a crappy balloon to lift a small boy:

Was it ever even possible that a 20′ x 5′ helium balloon could lift
the weight of a six-year-old to 8,000 feet MSL? Let’s take a look at
some numbers. Taking Falcon Heene’s father at his reported word, the
balloon that news helicopters followed for two hours Thursday (because
they thought Falcon was aboard) was 20 feet by five feet. We don’t know
if that included the compartment at the bottom — so let’s be
conservative and assume it did not.”

You can find the rest of the post here.

## Math Teachers at Play 17

The mathrecreation blog just posted Math Teachers at Play 17 (well on Oct 15th, so I’m a few days late). You can find lots of humour (umm… or humor as they said on their site)… movies, activities, and MATH!!
As quoted:

There is plenty of humor, a few movies, some great activities and explorations, and lots of math in Math Teachers at Play 17.
Hope you enjoy reading these as much as I did. Thanks to everyone who
submitted posts or answered my requests to include their work.”

Go check it out NOW and enjoy all the links, there is a lot of them so it should keep you busy for quite some time.

## Look around you maths

This British comedy show is hilarious. It’s called “Look Around You” and the second epsidoe is about “Maths”. Check it out on youtube (at least for now):

Quote from the show (but you really have to watch it to put it in perspective!!):

Narrator: What’s the largest number you can think of ?
Person 1: 100,000
Person 2: 999,000
Person 3: a million!
Narrator: In actual fact it’s neither of these. The largest number is
about 45 billion, although mathematicians suspect there may be even
larger numbers!

And one of the problems they presented:

Narrator: Eight ladies go to eight shops at eight o’clock in the morning. Each
lady wants to buy eight spiders. For each spider, eight spider shoes
must also be bought. But they only have eight pounds between them. With
each spider costing eight pence and each spider shoe costing an eighth
pence each, will the ladies have enough change for the bus ride home? A
journey costing eight pence per stop and made up of eight stops.

## New Numb3rs season starts Friday!

The sixth season will premiere Friday September 25.

Numb3rs an American television drama, which premiered on January 23, 2005 on CBS. The series was created by Nicolas Falacci and Cheryl Heuton, and follows FBI Special Agent Don Eppes (Rob Morrow) and his mathematical genius brother, Charlie Eppes (David Krumholtz), who helps Don solve crimes for the FBI. Numb3rs is produced by brothers Ridley and Tony Scott and it’s production company is Scott Free Productions and CBS Television Studios.

The show focuses equally on the relationships between Don Eppes, his
brother Charlie Eppes and their father, Alan Eppes (Judd Hirsch), and
on the brothers’ efforts to fight crime, normally in Los Angeles. A
typical episode begins with a crime, which is subsequently investigated
by a team of FBI agents led by Don and mathematically described by
Charlie, with the help of Larry Fleinhardt (Peter MacNicol) and Amita
Ramanujan (Navi Rawat). The insights provided by Charlie’s mathematics
are always in some way crucial to solving the crime.