The nerd is strong with the writers of Futurama. In last week’s episode, Amy and Professor Farnsworth accidentally switch minds while cleaning a mind-switching machine (I hate when that happens). The machine can’t switch the same mind and body twice, so they have to figure out a way to rotate minds with other characters until everyone has their own mind back. (Spoiler alert for the rest of this paragraph.) This also leads to Fry and Leela finally having sex. Unfortunately, they were in Zoidberg and Professor Farnsworth’s bodies at the time. I would not want to smell that room afterward.
To prove that this mind-swapping to get everyone back to normal was mathematically possible, one of the writers created and proved a new math formula based in group theory. Did they need to do this? Of course not. It’s a TV show on a cable network known for a talking Christmas poo. This act of nerditry is as unnecessary as it is awesome:
To work out the ridiculous brain switching plot line from last night’s hilarious episode, writer Ken Keeler (who also just happens to have a PhD in mathematics) ended up writing and proving an entirely new theorem. This is probably the most impressive bit of side work from a TV writer since a writer of Desperate Housewives discovered a new species or the staff of Full House developed a vaccine for a specific strain of syphilis. [Geekosystem]
There’s a full explanation of the theorem at Infosphere. I have no idea what they’re talking about, so here’s a horse flipping a pancake:
*claps happily like a seal*