Last week, I went to a number theory conference in Utah. The conference was very good, and I learned quite a lot, which I suppose is the goal of any such conference. The location of the conference itself was also quite nice – it was close to the mountains, a lake, and the home of Blendtec, famous for their “Will it Blend” series of videos.
As you might expect, most of what I learned on this conference pertained to number theory. However, there were lessons outside of this sphere of knowledge as well. The one lesson I will share with you is best encapsulated in this picture:
It was my friend Jack who pointed out the placement of the decimal point. Apparently the people who work in cafeterias in Utah are the same people who work at Verizon call centers. If you ever want cheap salad, I guess this is the place to go – $0.0029 per ounce is a price that can’t be beat!
It’s unlikely that anyone will try to exploit this small misprint to score a pound of salad for just under 5 cents, but someone would certainly be within his or her rights to do so. The lesson I learned is that even when you are surrounded by mathematicians, you are never truly safe from the consequences of an insufficient math education. Of course, at the end of the day, the typo really is inconsequential, but as highlighted in the Verizon call I posted earlier, even simple misunderstandings such as these can have significant consequences.
Then again, maybe the salad really was that cheap, in which case I really should have stuffed my luggage with vegetables.