Is Pizza Brain Food?

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My family and I recently moved into our new home after a two month stay in temporary housing. One of the perks of moving is when your stuff is delivered from storage, it feels like Christmas again. “Oooh! Look at all the boxes I get to unwrap. Hey! I have a Stereo just like this one!”.

I have a tendency to get distracted by the things I’m unwrapping. For example, I found a few of my old college Math textbooks. I started thumbing through the Complex Analysis, Abstract Algebra, and Number theory books and they seemed like total gibberish to me.

Artists and writers often get all the credit for creativity. It’s often why people call them creative types. Meanwhile, mathematicians are often unfairly portrayed and humorless, pencil pushing, uncreative types. This is so not true. Many mathematicians use computers now and love telling jokes like “Can you prove that the integral of e to the x is equal to f sub u of n?” Perhaps if I write out the equation the joke becomes more apparent.

∫e^x^ = f~u~(n)

Hey, I didn’t say mathematicians had a **good sense of humor. The fact is that this idea that mathematicians lack creativity comes from those who never made it to higher math. Once you hit abstract algebra, number theory, non-Euclidean geometry, etc… you start to wonder if perhaps the giants in the field were smoking a little something something to come up with this stuff.

The creativity involved in some of the proofs (or even the questions the proofs prove) just boggles the mind. I imagine that the proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem (which reportedly took 7 straight years of work to crack) is something that pretty much nobody in the world understands. Not unlike an abstract painting in a modern art museum. But I digress…

Number theory was my favorite class at the time so I thought I’d sit down, crack open the text, and see if I could understand one problem and even make progress on it.

No Dice.

I understood this stuff once, when I was in college, but now, when I’m older and wiser, I am slower to pick it up, even though I understood it once already. So I started thinking? What is different between the now me and the college me? Then it hit me…

Pizza Consumption!

 mmm-pizza

Think about it for a sec. They often say programmers are machines that turns coffee into code. I wonder if college math students are machines that turn Pizza into solved problem sets? And what about the mythical lore of those early Dot-Com boom startups which started off as a small group of recent college students, Pepsi, and a bunch of Pizzas and ended up selling for millions? Pizza was the common denominator.

I think I’m on to something here. Perhaps Pizza is brain food. I wonder if it’s the Mozzarella or the Pepperoni. Of course, the problem for me now is that college was a long time ago. While the question of whether Pizza is brain food is mere idle speculation, it is a well established fact that Pizza is definitely gut food. Food for thought.

Technorati Tags: Pizza,Humor,College,Math

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15 responses

  1. Avatar for Andrew
    Andrew March 20th, 2008

    I dunno Phil. I'm a Comp.Sci. student right now and I'm not sure I understand this stuff :). Though I don't each much Pizza...

  2. Avatar for Josh Bush
    Josh Bush March 20th, 2008

    From my college experience it's not just pizza, but pizza + Mountain Dew. This was confirmed the other night when I drank a 'Dew for the first time in I can't tell you when. That night I sat down and churned out code like a madman. The next day I was amazed at what I had accomplished in such short time.
    Caffeine + Grease = Code

  3. Avatar for Fred
    Fred March 21st, 2008

    I agree with Josh, it was the pizza + mountain dew combination that make that brain work like crazy.

  4. Avatar for Haacked
    Haacked March 21st, 2008

    @Fred @Josh Hmm... I never drank Mountain Dew in college. Man! You mean I could've been a Rhodes Scholar had I done so?

  5. Avatar for Chris Hardy
    Chris Hardy March 21st, 2008

    I eat pizza now (though technically not a student anymore) but I don't think it really helps with the coding as much as I'd hope it would.
    If you haven't read the Fermat's last theorem book by Simon Singh then I throughly recommend it, it's more a story than just maths maths maths.

  6. Avatar for Josh Stodola
    Josh Stodola March 21st, 2008

    Long John Silver's and Red Bull - now that's how shit gets done. Greasy goodness and productivity elixir. Mmmmmm.

  7. Avatar for engtech
    engtech March 21st, 2008

    So only work for companies started by italians?

  8. Avatar for TonyR
    TonyR March 21st, 2008

    Hey... brain food - absolutely...
    but brain-strain sets in when you got to get rid of that damn box!!
    A friend of mine sent me a dig article... which i followed further (damn rabbit holes!) and led me to this - which I thought was actually pretty cool! The pizza industry has been boring... basically dead for years - this is a new twist on probably the most convenient food ever: http://www.youtube.com/watc... And there's this big contents for $100,000 or something like that. Who knows?

  9. Avatar for Josh Coswell
    Josh Coswell March 21st, 2008

    Anything which has proteins is a brain food. If your pizza does not have proteins then it may be only a tasty food.
    Or you can write a whole book (or a series of books) on tasty food and brain foods.
    Just needs a little brain.

    Josh Coswell
    http://riverasp.net

  10. Avatar for Lance Fisher
    Lance Fisher March 23rd, 2008

    In high school I loved math, but I became bored with it in college. Luckily, I stayed with it, because just at the 300 level I came to love again in a whole new way. It's hard to describe to non-math people, but once you can start seeing the beauty in proofs it really becomes fun and creative.
    Abstract Algebra is when it really hit me. I'm pretty sure I could work my way through the first book, but if I ever wanted to get through my third semester book (http://tinyurl.com/39qakb)on Ideals and Varieties, I might as well just take the class again.
    I'm still trying to think of a brilliant computer program I can build with Abstract Algebra.

  11. Avatar for vilaca
    vilaca March 25th, 2008

    I worked at a shop doing pizzas for about 11 months. I ate a lot of Pizza while i was there, rejected pizzas were my usual late dinner.
    A few years later i became a kick-ass c++ developer...

    It all makes sense now...

  12. Avatar for Sabrina Carl
    Sabrina Carl May 11th, 2008

    YES!! Pizza is brain food! Not just brain food but you may argue the perfect brain food and here's a scientific explanation why:
    Your brain needs 3 main chemical compotents to function at it's best. Achetylcholine (ACH) responsible for memory a food rich in this is CHEESE. Next we have Dopamine which helps with learning so be sure to put lots of pepperoni on your pizza or sausage or any other kind of meat you like. Finally there's Serotonin which affects our mood in particular our sense of pleasure foods rich in this are CARBOHYDRATES pizza crust! So eating a pizza will not only effect how well your learn but given the Serotinin intake it will also make studying seem a little more fun.
    Also remember that the biggest college student mistake is breakfast! They'll either skip it or eat something loaded in carbohydrates which will stump the oxygen supply at a crucial time so instead of a pancake breakfast try something more protein based.

  13. Avatar for Christina Navarro
    Christina Navarro November 7th, 2008

    wow... i love your phylosopy on that... i would personally have to agree with the fact that pizza is brain food because it covers a wide basis of food groups..... well just a little input....

  14. Avatar for Fitness and Nutrition
    Fitness and Nutrition November 21st, 2010


    Thanks!You made some good points there.Great reliable information!

  15. Avatar for ram
    ram August 9th, 2011

    hi,its a good advertisement for pizza ya...if any parents saw this they will buy to their children always......my husband eating weekly once pizza.i think so only he is too brainy.....