Hot Math The pun limit does not exist in this game that mashes up math terms with other words and phrases.
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Hot Math

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Hot Math

Hot Math

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Our next two contestants will play a game called Hot Math. Jonathan, what do you call an angle over 90 degrees?

JONATHAN COULTON: I call it hot, Ophira.

EISENBERG: What do you call an angle less than 90 degrees?

COULTON: Oh, that's just acute. Guys, we - they force us to tell these jokes. We don't always want to.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: First up, Anna Fenske - you studied computer science at New York University where you led a project to teach a computer to recognize clickbait headlines. All right, so what makes the perfect clickbait headline or tease?

ANNA FENSKE: So my program actually spit out the features of a headline that were most informative to it. And of those features were adverbs, adjectives - so descriptive words.

EISENBERG: Yep.

FENSKE: And surprisingly the word cat fell somewhere along the list.

(LAUGHTER)

FENSKE: No real news is about a cat.

EISENBERG: Anna, when you ring in, we'll hear this.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Your opponent is Liz Jazwiecki. You volunteer with bunny rabbits.

LIZ JAZWIECKI: Yes, I do.

EISENBERG: OK, so on this show, we had Amy Sedaris who owns a lot of rabbits and bunnies. And she said the best way to hold a bunny is to not hold it at all. They should only be observed. Do you agree with that?

JAZWIECKI: I would agree with that. There are appropriate ways to hold it though if you really can't restrain yourself.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I see. I see.

JAZWIECKI: You should actually hold that kind of like a football under your arm here...

EISENBERG: Oh, yeah?

JAZWIECKI: ...Because they don't like their feet or their hindquarters to dangle. It's like a vulture is grabbing them and carrying them away.

EISENBERG: Aw.

JAZWIECKI: Right? Yeah, you don't want that.

EISENBERG: So as long as you have something like there to support it, they're OK. They're cool

JAZWIECKI: Yeah, just get something under their rump, they're good to go.

COULTON: I'm the same way.

EISENBERG: I know.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: All right, Liz, when you ring in, we'll hear this.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Remember, Anna and Liz. Whoever has more points after two games will go to our final round. Let's go to your first game. This is a word game called Hot Math. If you love word games but think they don't contain enough numbers, this is for you because we're making math even sexier by mashing up math terms with other words and phrases.

COULTON: For example, if I said umpires use this distribution to ensure the top 20 percent of tricky pitches earn A grades, you would answer bell curveball.

EISENBERG: The math term will always come first in the mashup. Here we go. While you're getting this dental procedure to fill an infected tooth cavity, you can pass the time by finding the number that when multiplied by itself equals another number.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Liz.

JAZWIECKI: Square root canal.

EISENBERG: Exactly.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: I thought you were planning to study the branch of math about shapes, lines and angles, but you were waiting to use that protractor to betray your country.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Anna.

FENSKE: Geome-treason (ph).

COULTON: Geome-treason. That's right. Well done.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Gives new meaning to a crime circle.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: In this branch of math, you study variables, coefficients and other mathematical symbols and eat small, round, brassica buds.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Liz.

JAZWIECKI: Alge-brussels (ph) sprouts.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Yeah, you know, brassica buds.

EISENBERG: Brassica buds, yeah.

COULTON: Nicki Minaj takes down quantities that aren't whole numbers in this rap where she rhymes King Kong with kingdom.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Liz.

JAZWIECKI: "Chun Li"-nequality (ph).

COULTON: Wow.

EISENBERG: That's really good.

COULTON: That's a good...

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: I don't think we can accept that though. That is not what we're looking for.

EISENBERG: The math term has to come first. But that was quite beautiful.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Anna, do you know the answer?

FENSKE: I don't think I can steal.

EISENBERG: That's all right. I feel like you know it, Liz. And I can't give you the point. But do you want to get it out of your brain?

JAZWIECKI: Frac-"Chun Li" (ph).

EISENBERG: That's right. That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: A squared plus B squared equals the fairytale character who challenges you to guess his name in three days.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Liz.

JAZWIECKI: Pythagorean theo-Rumpelstiltskin (ph).

EISENBERG: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Yeah.

EISENBERG: You know, every once in a while on this show, you can really just take a moment and realize that none of these words have ever been put together before. This is a unique situation. This is your last clue.

COULTON: Snooki, Pauly D and The Situation prefer to deal only with whole numbers. Thanks.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

JAZWIECKI: Inter-"Jersey Shore." (ph)

COULTON: Yeah, well done.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: You're really on top of that one.

EISENBERG: OK. I have to admit. That was amazing. Thank you. Thank you for doing that.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Great, you're both word mathletes. And Liz right now is in the lead.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: If geometry gets you excited, you might be square, and you might be perfect for our show. Go to amatickets.org to find out how to be a contestant. Coming up, you know what's better than a suggestion box? A fact bag. That's right. Get out of here, suggestion box. You've been replaced by more definitive content in a more malleable container. We're going to be playing Fact Bag. I'm Ophira Eisenberg. And this is ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR.

(APPLAUSE)

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