Sunday, 14 December 2014

Bush and the Brazilians

This being December, I have been reading more about mathematics. However, this was in the context of the excellent Simpsons cartoon, on which the science writer Simon Singh has produced an illuminating book: The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets (Bloomsbury, London, 2013).

The book is too good to summarise in a brief note, but I just wanted to share one of the jokes he presents as an aside from the interesting analysis:

'During a security briefing at the White House, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld breaks some tragic news: "Mr President, three Brazilian soldiers were killed yesterday while supporting US

'My God!' shrieks President George W Bush, and he buries his head in his hands. He remains stunned and silent for a full minute. Eventually, he looks up, takes a deep breath, and asks Rumsfeld: 'How many is a brazillion?'

Tony Norfield, 14 December 2014

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