The biggest sci-fi hit of 2015 all began with Andy Weir and his best-selling book “The Martian,” which is a thrilling survival story based on the planet Mars.
Weir is a software engineer by profession and American novelist by hobby. So, he’s got a mind for science.
But he’s also a wise-creaking jokester, just like his novel’s hero, Mark Watney.
In celebration of the film’s release to Digital HD and 3D Blu-ray on Dec. 22, Weir recently spoke with Business Insider, and we couldn’t help but appeal to his comedic side.
So, we asked him to tell us a couple of his favourite science jokes, and he didn’t disappoint!
While Weir could have a crowd of mathematicians and physicists chuckling with his collection of ready-upon-request jokes, the rest of us might need a quick science refresher to appreciate the punch lines.
Here are two of Weir’s favourite science jokes with a brief science refresher:
Andy Weir Joke #1
The joke starts out:
“An ion walks into a bar and says ‘I think I left an electron here last night.’ And the bartender say ‘Are you sure?'”
What does the ion say?
Here’s a basic review of atoms and ions. See if you can guess what the ion says as you refresh your brain with some chemistry.
At a basic level, atoms are made of electrons that orbit around a nucleus. But sometimes atoms gain or lose electrons.
When that happens, we call that atom an ion, which comes with an electric charge. Lastly, when an ion gains an electron its negatively charged and when it loses an electron, it’s positively charged.
Here’s the full joke:
“An ion walks into a bar and says ‘I think I left an electron here last night.’ And the bartender says ‘Are you sure?’ And the ion says ‘I’m positive.'”
Andy Weir Joke #2
The joke begins like this:
“What do you get when you cross a mountain climber with a mosquito?”
See if you can guess after this brief review of mathematics:
This joke involves what mathematicians call scalars and vectors.
Basically, scalars and vectors are quantities that mathematicians and physicists use to express the world around us.
What you need to know is that you can multiply vectors together using a “cross product“, but vectors can’t be combined with scalars in this way. It’s just a mathematical no no.
Here’s the full joke:
“What do you get when you cross a mountain climber with a mosquito? Nothing! You can’t cross a scalar with a vector.”
We know that Weir’s science jokes are a bit on the nerdy side, but that’s why we enjoy them!
We wouldn’t expect anything less from a guy who wrote the book that spawned one of the most scientifically accurate sci-fi films of all time.
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