There is a legend in the mathematics community that centers around Henri PoincarÃ©, the famous mathematician, meting out sweet, sweet justice to a dishonest baker. Perhaps it is untrue, but when you read about it, you'll wish it were.

If anyone tells you about how food was better in the good old days, don't listen. Although there are plenty of problems with the current food system, the past wasn't replete with wholesome victuals. Laws, and entire branches of government, were sicked on grocers to prevent them from cheating their customers. Bakery was the most infamous profession. Bakers would put chalk in their bread to whiten in, and sawdust to make it heavier. Sometimes, they would eschew poisoning their customers and simply shrink down loaves to make people believe they were buying more food than they got.

Legend has it that one such dishonest baker took on one of math's greatest geniuses. Henri PoincarÃ© took on the three-body problem - how three objects in space affect each other's motion - and spun that out into the beginnings of chaos theory, so light loaves were nothing to him. He weighed his bread for a year, and charted the weight. He noticed that the distribution of the weight formed a curve, centered at around 950 grams. Clearly, the baker had lightened his loaves. PoincarÃ© reported the baker to the police, and the man was fined.

The morning after he had reported the man, PoincarÃ© walked back into the shop, presumably brushing off the hate-eyes he was getting from the baker, and got another loaf. He continued weighing his bread for another year. This time, the bread was always at the satisfactory weight of one kilogram. He reported the baker to the police again, and again the man was fined.