Archive for December 22nd, 2007

Jeopardy Does Analytic Geometry

December 22, 2007

On Thursday, December 20, the Final Jeopardy clue, in the category “Snack Brands”, was (emphasis mine)

Each unit in this brand, introduced in 1968, is a hyperbolic paraboloid, & they fit together for perfect storage.

Anyone who’s had my Calculus III course should know the answer, because it’s one of the examples. Here’s what they look like (courtesy of Wikimedia Commons):

hyperbolic paraboloid

Oddly enough, this isn’t the first mention of hyperbolic paraboloids on network TV. They also showed up on The Simpsons, in Treehouse of Horror IX, as Homer and Kang argue on the Jerry Springer Show:

Homer: You lousy two-timing [bleep-bleep]! I’m gonna [bleep]!

Kang: Oh yeah? Well [bleep] hyperbolic paraboloid! [bleep] yo mama!

I guess it’s an insult as well as a quadric surface.