I just downloaded a new book called The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets by Simon Singh. The author looks at all the math found in the Simpsons TV show. Honestly, I've never watched the show so I'm not sure about this but it gives me a connection between math and popular culture. Some of the math is from Futurama too.
I glanced at Chapter 8 which looks at an episode from 2006 in which a baseball star and his wife have marital problems. The episode has a special prime number incorporated into the episode. The math in the episode came just before someone hijacked the big screen to declare her love. It had to do with guessing the number of people attending the game and was given in the form of a multiple choice question.
The choices included a prime number known as a Mersenne prime, a perfect number, and a narcissistic number. The author takes time to explain each of these terms and shows how they work. In the same discussion, he sneaks in sublime numbers and the Rock Scissors and Paper in the same chapter.
He provides some really interesting facts about the game that I never knew. I know its used in statistical based lessons. Apparently the game Rock, Scissors and Paper appears in another episode and he even discusses what research shows in terms of what boys are most likely to choose. Imagine having students read the part about Rock, Scissors, and Paper after I have them play the game and analyze which choice they made more often. There are also some great visuals to accompany this topic.
I knew the show Numb3rs had tons of math incorporated into it because it used a mathematics professor who was related to the lead character. This is the first time I've known there was quite a bit of math incorporated into the Simpsons and Futurama. Now I have to read the book and figure out where I can use the material. Still this is neat. Ohhh the digital books is for sale on Amazon right now.