# Happy Yellow Pig Day | July 17th

## Dear Kid,

Some things are better left alone. Some questions just shouldn’t be asked. And yet, I often find myself asking them.

Questions like: What the HECK is Yellow Pig Day?

Yellow Pig Day is celebrated on July 17 and it’s all about the number 17.

It was invented in the 1960s (which should explain a LOT). Back in the day, two math students at Princeton were obsessively studying the number 17 (that should explain a little more). They went a little mad (IMHO “mad” does not mean crazy so much as it means something else—did I mention this was in the 60s?) and decided to invent the idea of a yellow pig with 17 toes, 17 teeth, 17 eyelashes, etc.

Creating new and prime creatures is not generally considered a sound way to launch a career, but it seemed to work for those two.

Yellow Pig Day is sometimes celebrated on May 17th (stick with me here: May is the 17th month of the previous year). Other mathematicians have gone “a little mad” and not felt any trouble bending the Gregorian calendar to fit their own needs.

If you feel the need to celebrate Yellow Pig Day, I suggest eating yellow food and wishing those around you a happy Yellow Pig Day.

I do not suggest oinking or inventing new ways to interpret the calendar.

# Chipotle Math | An Interesting Factor(ial)

## Dear Kid,

I had lunch at Chipotle the other day. Sorry, you were working or I might have invited you to go with me.

As usual, scrumptious food. As usual, I used more Tabasco than I should have. As usual, it was too loud to eavesdrop easily. Which meant no one could hear my ramblings but also meant I missed out on what were undoubtedly interesting conversations.

But — never fear — I learned something very interesting.

Did you know there are over 60,000 “flavor combinations” at Chipotle? I know this, not because I remember factorials (!) but because Chipotle says so right on the cup. There is a whole conversation about it on the cup. If you’ve forgotten to bring reading material or your lunch companion is boring you have something to read. If they had included the math problem, I would declare it a Revolution in Education (Mathematic Concepts Through Fast-ish Food).

They didn’t (include the math, I mean). Not such a great move educationally, but probably better marketing. The vague narrative is more friendly. For everyone except Sheldon. It requires less brain work. For everyone except Sheldon.

Hope you have a big-number-factorial fabulous day at orientation.

!