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Author Topic: The Ultimate in subtle humor  (Read 3332 times)
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JDHannan

Bending Unit
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« on: 01-15-2003 03:28 »

I have found what i believe to be the combination of the subtlest and funniest joke ever included in any tv show ever.
First lets define 2 classes
P - The class of polynomially solvable problems, P contains all sets in which membership may be decided by an algorithm whose running time is bounded by a polynomial.
NP - The class of nondeterministic polynomially acceptable problems, NP, contains all sets in which membership can be verified in polynomial time.
Very simple explanation (I think its right!)
P - A program that will find a solution to a problem
NP - A program that will find if a solution you offer it works.
There is literally *millions* of dollars on the line if anyone can prove or disprove that P = NP.
This is a huge problem that Quantum Physicists and Complex Mathematicians and people all over the world can NOT solve and aren't sure it will ever be solved. 

In Futurama Ep210 - Put Your Head on my Shoulder, when Fry's head is on Amy's body and they're in the closet and he is breaking up with her.  On the shelves are two books, one labelled P and the other labelled NP.
supposedly LISTING the members of the two classes P and NP individually!
Now HOW many people in the WHOLE WORLD would even get that, and then how many of THOSE people watch Futurama?  And someone had to THINK of that and put it IN THE EPISODE!
I didn't learn about this til my 4th year of a University Computer Science Degree.
This is a bigger mathematical joke than the 1729 "conspiracy/joke" that is written about on this forum.
If anyone has any thoughts on this or just wants to tell me i'm nuts, please reply!
  flirt
Spice Weasel

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #1 on: 01-15-2003 03:37 »
« Last Edit on: 01-15-2003 03:37 »

[Farnsworth]Awhawhohey?[/F]
Joe25

Bending Unit
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« Reply #2 on: 01-15-2003 04:04 »

I do believe that is one of the subtlest jokes I've heard of in this show this far.

Welcome to PEEL
Nixorbo

UberMod
DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #3 on: 01-15-2003 08:44 »

Right . . .
ZombieJesus

Lost Belgian
DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #4 on: 01-15-2003 08:56 »

OMG that 's almost as nerdy as this nerd fight.

BarneyBurnham

Bending Unit
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« Reply #5 on: 01-15-2003 11:00 »

I'm still confused. What is it again? They have said before that the Futurama staff is a bunch of brain-iacs.

Is it mentiomed on the commentary? I haven't watched that one yet and I can't be arsed to go and look now.

They mention a subtle/dirty one in "Why Must I Be A Crustacean In Love?" (at the gym) but I still don't get it...

I'm just a simple guy, I mean - take a look at my sig.

ZombieJesus

Lost Belgian
DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #6 on: 01-15-2003 11:05 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by BarneyBurnham:
I'm still confused. What is it again? They have said before that the Futurama staff is a bunch of brain-iacs.

Is it mentiomed on the commentary? I haven't watched that one yet and I can't be arsed to go and look now.
I heard something on the season 2 DVD commentaries about some of the staff having high degrees. I can't recall exactly what it was.
 
Quote
They mention a subtle/dirty one in "Why Must I Be A Crustacean In Love?" (at the gym) but I still don't get it...
I know which one. Where Fry wants to lend his arm to Zoidberg, so he could get rid of his male jelly.  laff
Gocad

Space Pope
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« Reply #7 on: 01-15-2003 11:31 »
« Last Edit on: 01-15-2003 11:31 »

They (writers, animators, etc.) use every opportunity on the commentaries to let everyone know, what and how may degrees they have and how great they are.
It's almost annoying to hear that all time, but then again they are making a great show...    laff


I'm watching you. Yes, YOU!
McGrady

Bending Unit
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« Reply #8 on: 01-15-2003 11:38 »

3 of the writers have math degrees -- David Cohen, Ken Keeler, and someone else.  I know at least Ken Keeler has a doctorate in it, Cohen studied Physics and Computers I believe.

The subtle, dirty joke in the gym was a woman "lifting" weights with the Kegaliser.
aslate

Space Pope
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« Reply #9 on: 01-15-2003 12:30 »
« Last Edit on: 01-15-2003 12:30 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by JDHannan:
Very simple explanation (I think its right!)

Uh-hu, right! So simple.

Farnsworth: 'Yes that list of long words i said made perfect sense'
(may be off)
 
Quote
If anyone has any thoughts on this or just wants to tell me i'm nuts, please reply!
    flirt

NUTS!

Bendo

Starship Captain
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« Reply #10 on: 01-15-2003 13:25 »

I think they made mention of this during the S2 commentaries regarding the P and NP symbols in the background. I do not think they explained the joke but rather that there are a few people out there who would get it. In a way it is kind of like that Quantom Leke joke from Mother's Day - sort of at least. OK, maybe not.
As far as being the subtlest, unfortunately we will probably never know what the most subtle joke is in Futurama as nobody would get it in the first place. And out of the small number of people who get it how many would be involved in a board like this? The good news is that they usually point stuff like this out on the commentaries and so somebody can go research it to figure it out.
RM
Mitsui

Starship Captain
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« Reply #11 on: 01-15-2003 13:31 »

[Fry] Magic, got it. [/Fry]
BarneyBurnham

Bending Unit
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« Reply #12 on: 01-15-2003 17:33 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by McGrady:
The subtle, dirty joke in the gym was a woman "lifting" weights with the Kegaliser.

Okay, I see now. I couldn't make out the word on the machine, even with the freeze-frame.
JDHannan

Bending Unit
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« Reply #13 on: 01-16-2003 04:12 »

The entire reason i love the Simpsons so much is because of all the subtle humor.  There is the obvious humor, all the irony that u can spot a mile away.  But its the little things on that show that blow me away.  the freeze-frame jokes and the call-backs to previous episodes.  My friend and i literally PORE over these futurama episodes looking for little things.  and the P and NP thing just jumped out at me out of the blue.
Math jokes are so rare that i think that makes them funnier.  maybe because they are saying "i bet no one will get this" BUT I GOT IT!
Bender22

Delivery Boy
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« Reply #14 on: 01-16-2003 09:47 »
« Last Edit on: 01-16-2003 09:47 »

I don´t know if it is completely true, but I have found that:

"In second half 2000 was proved

Theorem: The class of NP-complete problems is coincides with the class P.

   The proof of this theorem, whose brief formulation is NP=P, is contained in the book

Positionality principle for notation and calculation the functions
Volume One"

(found in http://www.tarusa.ru/~mit/ENG/eng.html )
McGrady

Bending Unit
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« Reply #15 on: 01-16-2003 12:02 »

I hate proofs, they are my least favorite part of math.  Especially when they suck and don't have any easy answer.
Carbito

Starship Captain
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« Reply #16 on: 01-16-2003 23:04 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by JDHannan:
If anyone has any thoughts on this or just wants to tell me i'm nuts, please reply!

...your nuts!

Zed 85

Space Pope
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« Reply #17 on: 01-24-2003 11:50 »

One really obscure one that I've literally only just discovered was when that Omicronian Leela saves in TPWP - name is Jrrrrr or something - well anyway, he/she/it says "Cacahead! Mean, old Cacahead!" and then Linda says "Okay, we'll have to bleep that!"
I never got that bit.

Apparantly Caca was the Roman Goddess for...Shit, basically...

so put 2 and 2 together...

 big grin
Kryten

Space Pope
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« Reply #18 on: 01-24-2003 12:54 »

Actually, "caca" is a pretty commonly used euphemism for feces. I'm surprised you never heard it.
Zed 85

Space Pope
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« Reply #19 on: 01-24-2003 17:42 »

You'd think after the amount of it I verbulate I'd known that... hmpf

Oh well, must be one of those non-me things I keep hearing about.

Atleast you may now know where the saying comes from.  wink
AJ

Bending Unit
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« Reply #20 on: 01-28-2003 20:52 »

WOW. That is brilliant.

isn't 'caca' a word meaning shit in Italian, as well?
Britz

Starship Captain
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« Reply #21 on: 01-28-2003 21:00 »

There was a Roman goddess for shit? Man those guys had pretty much everything covered eh? I knew what Caca meant but I figured it was just a baby talk way of saying shit, you sure about this goddess?

And AJ, nah, Merda is Italian for shit.
VRRR

Crustacean
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« Reply #22 on: 02-01-2003 19:15 »

In Space pilot 3000 the floating Holo-screen
in Leela's office "SQUEAKS" as if on pivots, even though it's hovering in mid air. I thought this was pretty cool.
But it's not the only example of future technology making low-tech cartoon noises.
can anyone think of any?
JDHannan

Bending Unit
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« Reply #23 on: 04-11-2003 04:40 »

holy, everything makes noises, the easiest way to notice is to watch the animatic of SP3K on the season 1 dvd, its SO QUIET.
the PE ship is a great example, the noise it makes when it lands is a bus's air brakes
BarneyBurnham

Bending Unit
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« Reply #24 on: 04-11-2003 06:03 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Carbito:
 ...your nuts!

His nuts are what? Tasty? Showing?

Australian Guy

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #25 on: 04-11-2003 10:24 »

I thought it was clever in having Zoidberg get pearls in his throat.
Just Chris

Urban Legend
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« Reply #26 on: 04-12-2003 18:08 »

I think that computer has an invisible pole attached to the screen. And it is possible, just look at this guy!
Kristi
Starship Captain
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« Reply #27 on: 04-12-2003 19:29 »


Freaky!
Gocad

Space Pope
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« Reply #28 on: 04-12-2003 22:50 »
« Last Edit on: 04-12-2003 22:50 »

Huh?

[Farnsworth]Focus![/Farnsworth]


I'm watching you. Yes, YOU!
Australian Guy

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #29 on: 04-13-2003 05:11 »

Thats not impressive, they are just using a projector and wearing a baggy coat to act a screen, to look like she's transparent.
Thats another mystery debunked mulder now please touch me, OH YEAH Down there
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
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« Reply #30 on: 04-13-2003 20:14 »

Aussie, do you plan to make sense one day?
Mercapto

Professor
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« Reply #31 on: 04-24-2003 11:16 »

It's because of jokes like this I love Futurama. Really, what others show make quantum physics jokes? My favorite QP joke is the name of the night club Farnsworth designed from "A Clone of My Own":



It's an obscure reference to an already pretty obscure reference, that I find hilarious.

Now, here's a question. At DTU's Department of Chemistry everybody seems to knows about Schrödinger and his poor cat, but I wonder: Beside chemists and physicists, how many people actually get this joke?
Gocad

Space Pope
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« Reply #32 on: 04-24-2003 11:22 »

Oh, that was a joke as well? D'oh.  tongue

And welcome to PEEL, Mercapto
 
Nixorbo

UberMod
DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #33 on: 04-24-2003 11:23 »

::Raises hand::

English major.
Mercapto

Professor
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« Reply #34 on: 04-24-2003 11:42 »

Yay! It's not only the science majors who are twisted! It's just that working with chemistry (and hazardous chemicals) 50 hours a week tends to warp one's mind (my username's a good example)  smile

Oh, and thanks for the welcome, Gocad!
edeltraut

Spelling Nazi
Bending Unit
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« Reply #35 on: 04-28-2003 02:34 »

::also raises hand::

German major.

There's also a reference to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle in "Luck of the Fryrish", during the racing scene at the beginning.

Announcer: "And the winner is ... Number 3, in a quantum finish!"
Farnsworth: "No fair! You changed the outcome by measuring it!"
JDHannan

Bending Unit
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« Reply #36 on: 04-28-2003 04:30 »

well, how about if someone explain the Schrodinger joke if so many people get it?
edeltraut

Spelling Nazi
Bending Unit
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« Reply #37 on: 04-28-2003 06:54 »
« Last Edit on: 04-28-2003 06:54 »

I thought the point of this thread was for us nerds to feel smug.

An explanation of Schrödinger's cat here.

 http://www.boulder.nist.gov/timefreq/ion/qucomp/cat.htm
payn
Bending Unit
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« Reply #38 on: 05-02-2003 00:58 »

Out of all the shows on TV, can you think of one where people are more likely to enjoy jokes about computational mathematics or quantum physics than Futurama?

Enterprise does not count--Star Trek fans get the references, think they're unintentional mistakes, and complain.

I think that Cohen and friends can assume that a decent percentage of their audience has read a few pop science books--which means that they'll know who Stephen Hawking is, and the name "Schroedinger's Cat" will at least sound vaguely familiar.

The P/NP joke is even geekier--and in fact, it's subtler than you think. It's been proven that any proof of P<>NP will require either a complete list of at least one set, or an algorithm that can generate that list in countable time.

That's why there are books listing all of P and NP.

However, the proof is pretty recent. So, unless you just got out of college, or work in a closely related field, the chances that you'd know this are miniscule.

As for why those books would be buried in a closet, they're probably not important. It's highly possible that quantum computers will be able to solve non-polynomial problems in polynomial time. And we should have them in the near future.

So, by the time we prove that P<>NP, it won't matter anyway, other than as a mathematical curiosity.

I'm sure this all sounds like just a mathematical curiosity anyway, but let me try to explain why it's not, giving one example:

Let's say you're sending your credit card to a website over an SSL connection, using a 128-bit key.

If P<>NP, that transaction is safe, it may take 2^128 steps to crack it (about 1 with 42 zeroes after it, a number so big we don't have a word for it); the NSA could do it if they tied up a good fraction of their computers for a few months.

If P=NP, it may take only 128^2 steps (about 16000); a kid with a Commodore 64 could do it while making a sandwich.

By the way, to the best of my knowledge, the Russian proof that Bender22 referenced is widely considered as flawed, the problem is still considered unsolved.

Most mathematicians and computer scientists believe that P<>NP, and that eventually we'll probably prove it, but the proof will probably be something as ugly as the four-color theorem's proof, providing no real understanding beyond what we already have.
getak2003

Bending Unit
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« Reply #39 on: 05-04-2003 20:25 »

[Bender] Uh on NERDS! [/bender]

i don't know and don't care if you all noticed this or not, but in a clone of my own fry says he descended from farnsworth or something, when corrected by cubert that farnsworth is his descendeand fry does that classic farnsworth "huba, va, wha?" thing, i thought that was hillarious, but you all probalbly noticed that.
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