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How Powerful is the Pyramid?

My love of NBC comedies has, by now, been well established. Today I’d like to return to The Office, for although Steve Carrell’s absence may have hurt the ratings, it certainly has not diminished the potential for the show to inspire some mathematical thinking.

If you have not been watching recently, this season marked the debut of the company’s first ever tablet computer, dubbed the Pyramid. The Pyramid made its first appearance early in the season (and was also featured in on Wired), and has since been joined by a smartphone counterpart known as the Arrowhead. Here’s an image of Dwight touting the new tablet.

If you live in the States, you can also view the clip from which this image was taken:

On the face of it, the tablet is ridiculous (this fact is eventually sort of addressed later . . . → Read More: How Powerful is the Pyramid?

Parks and Recreation(al Mathematics)

Continuing last week’s trend of discussing mathematics in the context of NBC comedy, today I’d like to move from The Office to Parks and Recreation. More specifically, I’d like to discuss local government wunderkind/aspiring club owner Tom Haverford, whose unique charm I cherish almost as much as Ron Swanson‘s mustache.

What a stud.

In a recent episode, Tom Haverford waxed poetic on the slang he has invented to describe different types of food. A clip is currently on YouTube (though I don’t know how long it will stay).

Here’s a list of the slang Tom uses:

desserts = ‘serts, entrees = tre-tre’s, sandwiches = sammies, sandoozles, or adamsandlers, cakes = big ole’ cookies, noodles = long-ass rice, fried chicken = fry-fry chicky-chick, chicken parm = chicky-chicky parm-parm, chicken cacciatore = chicky catch, eggs = pre-birds or future birds, root beer = super . . . → Read More: Parks and Recreation(al Mathematics)

Dunder Math-lin

This week, Steve Carell uttered what may well be his last “That’s what she said” as Michael Scott, boss extraordinaire on the US version of The Office. Though the show will go on, Michael Scott has (spoiler alert) left Pennsylvania for Colorado and the love of his life. In preparation for this departure, the show has spent the last several episodes easing the audience through the transition.

From a mathematical standpoint, though, there are a couple of inconsistencies. Michael makes no secret of the fact that he has worked for the company for 19 years. His employees take this loyalty to heart, and in Michael Scott’s penultimate episode, “Michael’s Last Dundies,” they surprise their boss with a song parody of the Rent song “Seasons of Love,” which pays homage to such a long period of service. Below is the relevant clip – if you don’t have access to Hulu, you . . . → Read More: Dunder Math-lin