Erdos and Lax

“A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems” — P. Erdos

Three standard Peter Lax jokes (heard in his lectures) :

1. What’s the contour integral around Western Europe? Answer: Zero, because all the Poles are in Eastern Europe! Addendum: Actually, there ARE some Poles in Western Europe, but they are removable!

2. An English mathematician (I forgot who) was asked by his very religious colleague: Do you believe in one God? Answer: Yes, up to isomorphism!

3. What is a compact city? It’s a city that can be guarded by finitely many near-sighted policemen!

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