The mystery of cutting things in half [philosophical study]

Butchers, bakers and donutmakers probably won’t forsee all that much trouble in cutting something in half. If you’re a philosopher on the other hand . . . Problems arise when trying (to imagine) the process of cutting something exactly in half. Given that most objects could be said to have a centre point of some […]

The Straight Poop: Sociology of Canadian Donut Shops, Ongoing

The sociology of Canadian donut shops plays out afresh, as described in a New York Post report headlined “Lady poops on restaurant floor, flings it at cashier.” That report includes action video. The 1999 Ig Nobel Prize for sociology was awarded to Steve Penfold, of York University in Toronto, for doing his PhD thesis on the sociology of Canadian donut […]

How good are mathematicians at telling a joke?

You may have wondered how good mathematicians are at telling a joke. Here’s mathematician Henry Segerman telling a topology joke — the one about the coffee cup and the donut: Here’s another mathematician, Ian Agol, telling the same joke (filmed by Scientific American.) Here’s Jim Fowler making the joke wordlessly: Three anonymous, shy mathematicians make the […]

Holes in donuts – the philosophical implications (part 2)

In 2001, professor Achille C. Varzi, of Columbia University, New York, very probably became the first philosopher to author a paper focusing specifically on the ramifications of holes in donuts (that’s ‘doughnuts’ in the UK), as we reported. But the paper wasn’t, in the literal sense, the last word on donut holes. In 2012 the subject […]

Holes in doughnuts – the philosophical implications (part 1)

Achille C. Varzi, who is Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, New York, is interested in the philosophical implications of holes and voids, prompting a unique investigation into a special subset of hole-bearing entities – namely doughnuts (that’s ‘donuts’ US). “A doughnut always comes with a hole. If you think you can come up with […]