At a recent large used book sale I headed to the math section and picked up a few older volumes, including John Allen Paulos’ “Once Upon a Number” from 1998. Of course mathematics is timeless, but I was pleasantly surprised to see how much of the less-mathematical content of this volume is still relevant today (heck, maybe even more so since Nov. 8, 2016); much of it concerning logic, reasoning, meaning, information, clear/critical thinking and the like.
Anyway, I’ll put all that aside to only pass along this non-math joke Paulos tosses in at one point (the book is sprinkled with his typical humor):A young man is on vacation and calls home to speak to his brother.
“How’s Oscar the cat?”
“The cat’s dead, died this morning.”
“That’s terrible. You know how attached I was to him. Couldn’t you have broken the news more gently?”
“You could’ve said that he’s on the roof. Then the next time I called you could have said that you haven’t been able to get him down, and gradually like this you could’ve broken the news."
’‘Okay, I see. Sorry.”
“Anyway, how’s Mom?”
“She’s on the roof.”