Stand-up comedy routine about Spreadsheets


Ladies and gentlemen, Stand Up Mathematician, Matt Parker! Alright, we’re now going to blow this whole “what is a nerd” debate clean out of the water! When I show you my all time favourite, we are talking absolute number one here, top favourite spreadsheet. Some of you may have your own favourite spreadsheets! I don’t know! But would you believe, there are
some people out there who don’t use spreadsheets recreationally and I’m astounded at this!
Apparently there are people who say spreadsheets are just for work. Right,
people who say “yes, if you’re in the office then spreadsheets are great.
Because you know you can add numbers up, you can take averages, you can
grab a table and just pivot that sh-” But those same people, when they go home after
work they don’t turn into a spreadsheet or
two to help them to relax. And I think that’s outrageous. So I have a
campaign to change people’s minds about spreadsheets. Now while the vast majority of you are with
me, I suspect there may be a few people here tonight who bought tickets because
we have advertised this as a comedy show. And those people may be concerned that
me talking about spreadsheets is not going to be a world of column to column
hilarity, and so to avoid that problem I have written, and I will perform for you
tonight somewhere between zero and a whole joke. Okay that was not all of you, that’s fine. A lot of you are now worried this joke is a
waste of valuable spreadsheet time. And it’s okay. I’ve minimised the impact were
you to imagine my talk about spreadsheets as a graph of the amount of
joke over time. There will just be the one
sudden spike in the otherwise background level of joke. And so this spreadsheet in question, my
number one spreadsheet, is this one here. And what I have done is I have gone
through and I put lots of numbers between 0 and 255 into a spreadsheet and
then so you get a sense of where the large
and small values are I’ve used conditional formatting so the larger the
number in each cell, the brighter the background colour gets, right. And so in
fact if I change one of these you see the background colour changes with it. So if
I increase it to 100 the green gets a bit brighter. If we go up to 200, it gets
much brighter. And then 255, the largest value in the cell, sorry the entire
spreadsheet, is full green. 0 is completely black and here we have every other whole number
shade in between. And I’ve not just done this for one colour. As you can see the
rows go red, green, blue, red, green, blue, and that carries on for the
approximately one thousand rows in this spreadsheet. Oh and it’s about 300 columns across. Yes. Now at this point, a few of you are thinking “why? Why have
you done this? Why are we hearing about it on a Saturday
night?” Well, actually I did, I heard a few laughs when I said 255. There’s a few people in here who already know where I’m going with this spreadsheet. If you
already know what I’m doing, my only advice, is for now, just remain
calm. Alright, cause we have a long way to go
with this spreadsheet. If you get too excited now, you’re not
going to leave yourself the emotional room to move later on. In fact I would recommend, initially on a
scale of zero to being really freaking excited, of being around about a third of
the way up. Right because what we’re going to do is start to zoom out so you
can see more of the spreadsheet at once. If we come one step back, you can start to see there are some structures
where the large and small numbers are. Right? And if we come a second step further out,
you see the numbers mean that the formatting makes a picture of someone’s face. Look at that: that’s someone’s eyes made
entirely out of numbers. So good! In fact if you zoom out again, you can see
this is a spreadsheet of a picture of me! Yes! Ladies and gentlemen I have really
Excelled myself! That’s the one joke, that’s it.I sense I’m being patronised. It’s fine, technically a joke; I can log it in my
spreadsheet. There we go. Right. So, the reason I did this is I wanted to
show people that all digital photographs are actually just spreadsheets. Whenever
you take a photo on your camera the sensor in your camera, each little bit,
when the light hits it, it measures the amount of red, green, and blue light
contacting it, and it scores it on a scale of 0 to 255. 255 being the
largest value you can have with an eight digit binary number. Yes! Alright, and then it
put those three values into three cells of a spreadsheet. And so each group of
three cells is one pixel. And to prove this beyond all doubt that your mobile
phone is actually just a spreadsheet display I have brought along a microscope. If
someone prepared to lend me their smartphone, preferably someone to the
front. I will, if someone who’s not that keen
would like too lend me their smartphone I will put it under the microscope and
we’ll have a look at the spreadsheet. Is there anyone down? Okay ma’am would you
mind taking that. Thank you very much. Thank you kindly. So
we have a iPhone which is not pass code locked. I think it’s a lot funnier when I update
your facebook status “At a nerd show, lolz!” So actually if I can
get into the camera, all right give me a second. Camera
function I’ll actually take a photo of the audience and I…you know what let’s
do a selfie. they’re all the rage right? So if I get a
shot of me in… Actually, can we get the house lights up? Can we get everyone in this shot? Perfect.
Right. So here’s what we’ll do. that’s lovely. Okay, hang on. Okay you’re all gonna have
to bunch in a bit. Alright, so I’ll say one, two, three, spreadsheets. Right, and we take the photo.
Okay, ready? Actually whose phone is this? Okay well I’ll make sure you get, where are you? Wave. Okay, you’re right there. We’ll get you in the shot. Okay, ready, 1, 2, 3, Audience “Spreadsheets!” Perfect. Alright, so what we’re going to
do now is I’ll bring that picture up and I’m going to put it under the microscope.
So it will take me a second to get this zoomed correctly. Give me a second. Okay, so we’ll start off
this is just the original screen of the camera. If i get that in focus you see, Oh that is a horrifying sight, oh that’s me. Hang on a
second let’s put me up the right way. Ok so there’s there’s me. Nice and
over here whose phone, Wow is that your phone?
You’re very excited for someone just had their phone stolen. Okay, so we’ll zoom right in down to the
pixel level. And we get right down there you will see that this is just a
spreadsheet here we go. Hang on. Oh, hang on, let me get in focus. The rest of the show
to just me focusing this. Is there a screen protector on this? Foiled by the
refractive index. Okay, hang on. Here we go. I should be able to get
that to rest there and the screen turned on. Okay here we go. Ladies and gentlemen the spreadsheet. And you can see it’s exactly the same as
the one I showed you, except of course the numbers aren’t on there so if I give this
back to you phone does smell vaguely like a pickle now. If I pass that back could
you tweet that during the interval and we’ll put up on the screen. Okay, so now at this point a lot of you are
thinking, I want a piece of this action. Right. How can I turn my photograph into
a spreadsheet? And when I did originally I did it the long way. I got a digital file popped it open.
Scooped out all the numbers. They’re just in there with commas between them, right? Grab those, paste them into Excel and
then spent the entire weekend doing the conditional formatting. Turns out Excel,
not designed for this. But now I’ve automated the process. If you go to the website for my new book
“Things To Make And Do In The Fourth Dimension .com” There’s a button that says spreadsheets.
If you click on that button you can upload any photograph you want, and
immediately download it as an already formatted spreadsheet. It is literally ones of
hours of fun right there. And the whole point of this is: all digital displays are just
showing you spreadsheets. Whenever you take a selfie you’re actually taking an excelfie.
Right whatever. Sorry – Two jokes, who knew? Whenever you’re looking at any kind of
display. So if you do go home after work and watch TV. Let’s say enjoy the latest in high
quality nerd comedy DVD entertainment you’re actually looking at around about
25 spread sheets per second. I told you there are great way to relax,
right. And this this is a digital projector
that we’re using to do the show. There’s a projector back there, it only projects red, green, and blue
cells so you’re looking at an approximation, its a spreadsheet of all the
images. It’s not like back in the day right back when we have overhead projectors. Those were the days, weren’t they? And on an OHP
you got, whatever you write is what you get. Right where is now you get a
spreadsheet of it. So what you’re looking at there is a spreadsheet of a
spreadsheet. Right, and you have to agree this is pretty conclusive for how nerdy
that you can go. But you’d be wrong! I did not stop here. Oh no. If you
zoom further you will see this is a spreadsheet of the spreadsheet of a picture of
me on my laptop making a spreadsheet of another picture
of me on my laptop making another spreadsheet and at this point I have to
wrap up because from here it is just spreadsheets all the way down. Thank you very much. Well, thanks for watching that excerpt
from the stand-up show full frontal nerdity was done by myself, Helen Army, and Steve Mould, together we
are Festival of The Spoken Nerd and while you saw very little of them in that
clip if you head over to our Spoken Nerd channel you will find the rest of
Full-Frontal Nerdity available as the DVD and download. And those guys are much
more into science than mathematics which believe me is hugely disappointing but
if you wade through all the science and ridiculous setting stuff on fire and the
rest of the show there’s plenty more mathematics to keep
you happy. If you just want to support more entertaining mathematics there are a few things better you can do
then to merely subscribe to my stand-up maths channel of all of them for you
fine people watching and sharing these videos believe me they’ll be very little point
in me making them. I still would make them they’ll just be hugely pointless. If you
are new here attracted by the promise of spreadsheets and computing, a good place
to start might be my Domino computer. You can see 10,000 dominoes doing basic
binary arithmetic or frankly just have a look around. If you just want to make a
picture spreadsheet like you saw in the video you can go to the website for my
book Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension or you can go to the website
for my organization ‘Think Maths’ there are a lot of things to plug today
‘Think Maths’ is myself and some other mathematicians we go into secondary
schools and give talks to school students and we do basically a family friendly
version of the spreadsheet talk on top of that we have loads of free resources
for maths teachers and there is a converter that schools can use. It should
handle entire class of students all converting photos into spreadsheet at
the same time Okay I think that’s everything if you want
to see “Festival of the Spoken Nerd” either when we are performing live or a
DVD or download head to our YouTube channel or our website which are linked
below If you’re a mathematics teacher you can
go to ‘Think Maths’ free the free resources to get us to come into a talk
in your school or if you just want to use the online spreadsheet converter, in fact anyone can use the online spreadsheet converter either there or on my book’s website. Oh yeah
buy my book and finally if you haven’t please do
subscribe to my channel and support all this ridiculousness Thank you very much

100 thoughts on “Stand-up comedy routine about Spreadsheets”

  1. Man, I wish there would be school and university teachers like you! Then studying would be easy and lovely yet very effective! Thank you!

  2. There is even one other cool thing, in our eyes we haave two types of cells that send the information of light to our brain. The majority of it are rods celles which detect brightness. but more intrestingly in this context: cones. these detect colour and our vision. And would u belive it there are cone celles for detecting red some for detecting green and some for detecting blue. No yellow no purpel no anything. its the exact same system. so basically all our brain gets is information of the brightness of something and how many percent of the recived light from that object is green, blue or red…thats it…idk about u but thats mindblowing to me!

  3. Is that Steve Mould helping out? Right or wrong in this particular case, I do love it when various YouTubers collaborate!

  4. I was just about to go check out the website and then you start putting the letter s at the end of the word math

  5. I wasn't sure how to react when he joked about using spreadsheets recreationally. Was he laughing with me or at me? At least now I know I'm not alone.

  6. Applies way digital pictures works into Excel spreadsheet then turns it around convincing you digital graphics are spreadsheets..

  7. This wasn't funny, maybe I just think spreadsheets are boring, anyone can type in numbers, it ain't a special skill.

  8. Funny, but displays aren't really spreadsheets. You can duplicate the function of a display using a spreadsheet, but a display doesn't function like a spreadsheet.

  9. Anybody else noticed that Matt Parker looks not too unlike Michael Palin of the Monty Python Team? Jus' Sayin' 🙂

  10. My brother has a spreadsheet TATTOO. He goes absolutely buckwild for excel. I sent this to him, and I hope it means something to him because I don’t know what the hell im watching

  11. Ah, this harks back the time when they were dressing up Matt as if he actually knew Maths (as they say it in the British Isles). Spoon feeding him with the material he's never before encountered & trying to explain to him these ideas in the material in very broad terms. My compliments with him talking about it like he actually knows it. Get to the point when they try to make him actually understand & do the Mathematics & it's a futile attempt.

    Those tutors of his, just sitting by, making sure he doesn't tumble. All these just so they would have a British version Mathematics-celebrity-somebody that the public (or at least the British public) can go with.

    I know how hard it is to make jokes about Mathematical concepts, if not how you struggled with the subject back in school. So, I'm not gonna grill him with how unfunny it is. It's just a sham. It's just ironic how I've been called that all this time, but this guy can get away with being an actual sham.

  12. Not sure if this really counts as standup. I was excited to see such a boring theme made funny but I was disspointed

  13. This popped up in my YouTube recommended videos for a few days and I finally caved in and watched it. I'm a glad I did! Very unique comedy piece! Good stuff!

  14. First, pixels are NOT spreadsheets. They are arrays. Second, a digital projector is still using LIGHT, not pixels to create the image. I appreciate your take on the way that image data can be converted into a spreadsheet, but you are completely wrong here. FYI, smart phones do not use pixels in clusters of three as they use entirely digital screens which rely on liquid crystal. Hence the LCD name given to the screen. IE, they rely on three layers of liquid crystal. Now the older phones DID rely on lines of red, green, and blue. However, even those were not clustered like a CRT tv.

  15. Can the conversion be done on an iphone 7? How long should it take? Very enjoyable. Maybe someday you’ll do your show in Chiberia where we have the greatest concentration of nerds ever at the U of Chicago!

  16. His day would be ruined if he was given a phone which dosen't have a regular RGB rectangular layout. Something like a Samsung with a diamond matrix led

  17. This is basically art, math and science combined into one fun video – if only I can translate this into a format that teenagers in high school can appreciate (or heck students at the tail end of elementary/primary school)

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