Mathematical Puns and Other Oddities Collected by Mario O. Bourgoin Twenty Four Pigs In Four Pigpens You are given twenty four pigs, and four pigpens laid out in a circle. You are asked to place the pigs in the pigpens such that as you walk around the pigpens, the number of pigs in the next pigpen is closer to ten than the number of pigs in the previous pigpen. Answer The Missing Dollar Three friends rent a \$30 room, each one paying \$10. Later, the innkeeper finally understands their explanation of the difference between cardinal and ordinal exponentiation and decides to only charge them \$25. The bellboy carrying the \$5 refund decides to keep \$2 for himself; the friends get \$3 back, so each one takes \$1. Each one paid \$9, then. Now three times \$9 is \$27; plus \$2 the bellboy took is \$29. Where is the missing dollar? Answer Can God Make A Rock Too Big For Him To Lift? The first requirement is negated by the second leaving you with nothing. And as everyone knows 'nothing is impossible to God'. Alexander, The Great General, Had An Infinite Number Of Arms Alexander was a great general. Great generals are forewarned. Forewarned is forearmed. Now, four is an odd number of arms for a general to have. Four is also an even number. And the only number that is both odd and even is infinity. Therefore, Alexander, the great general, had an infinite number of arms. All Horses Are Of The Same Color, By Induction Consider a set with one horse: clearly all its members are of the same color. That's the base case. Assume that all sets of N horses are of the same color, and consider sets with N+1 horses. If one horse is removed from that set, then all remaining horses have the same color, by the induction assumption. Put the horse back and remove a different horse. Once again, we have a set of horses all the same color, obviously the very color found in the previous set since there are horses in common between the sets. Therefore, by induction, all horses are of the same color. Speaking of Horses, They Also Have An Infinite Number Of Legs Horses have hindlegs. They also have forelegs, which makes six legs. Now, six is an odd number of legs for a horse to have. Six is also an even number. And the only number that is both odd and even is infinity. Therefore, horses have an infinite number of legs. Pie Are Square? Pie are not square. Pie are round. Cornbread are square! © 2010 Mario O. Bourgoin