I’m totally working on my talk for this afternoon, and not even connected to the internet, but take note of this article from The Onion (via Cheryl): Caltech Physicists Successfully Split The Bill
PASADENA, CA—Sequestered in a private booth at a Pasadena-area Cheesecake Factory for nearly 25 minutes, a party of eight California Institute Of Technology physicists emerged exhausted but visibly excited Friday evening after successfully splitting the bill.
“This is an important day for us, not only because it marks Professor [Wayne] Newbury’s birthday, but because we have accomplished a feat thought unimaginable ever since [late computational physicist Philip] Eisenreich found that it was impossible to calculate how a group of paired bodies, set in motion by the presence of a solid-state check, could come to rest at a non-variable, evenly distributed mathematical constant,” said lead party organizer and theoretical physicist Dr. Cynthia Dreyfuss.
Before the arrival of the check, several early bill-splitting theories were proposed, including a simple process of dividing it into eight identical fragments, the Random Contribution Model, and a theory posited by Newbury himself—who insisted that he was bound to treat everyone—which was widely rejected on the basis that it would undermine the whole objective of the evening.
In reality, this problem is traditionally assigned to the youngest non-math-major.