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Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are taking a trip across a desert by hot-air balloon. There are not many landmarks; so eventually, they become lost. Luckily, while flying quite low, they see a man.
Holmes shouts, "Sir, could you please tell me where we are?"
The man looks up, ponders for a moment, and then answers, "Gentlemen, you are in a hot-air balloon!"
At this moment, a burst of wind picks up the balloon and carries it away.
Holmes turns to Watson and asks: "My friend, do you know who that man is?"
"No, Holmes, of course not!"
"He's a mathematician!"
"How do you know?"
"It's very simple, Watson. First of all, the man thought before giving us an answer. Secondly, his answer was absolutely correct. And thirdly, the answer he gave us was of no practical use, whatsoever!"


  1. Love this! I think I'm going to 'borrow' it and use it on my blog too- it's hilarious!

  2. There's a second part:

    The man below decides that Sherlock is a politician, since he didn't do anything and hasn't changed anything, but the situation is now someone else's fault.

    That doesn't work quite as well, since Sherlock isn't a politician, but it's a shame to leave it out.

  3. Oh, what a perfect way to describe math. ::shoots laser beams at alg. 2 book::

  4. hmm. ::thinks:: That is very descriptive of mathematicians in general. Have fun finding a practical use for that answer...


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