Q: top 100 romantic kiss photographs?
A: You must’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere on the internet. Common mistake. Just reverse course and keep walking until you see a sign marked “Buzzfeed.”
Q: I feel inadequate that ive never taken high math.
A: In reply, anonymous sir or madam, I invite you to meditate on the opening lyrics from Disney’s masterpiece The Lion King:
From the day we arrive on the planet
and blinking, step into the sun
There is more to see than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done…
This year I learned (or tried learning) to play the guitar, to rock-climb, and to write fiction. Next year I hope to travel, cook, and read more graphic novels. In college I studied cosmology, constitutional law, and evolutionary psychology. As a good friend recently told me, “You’re a dabbler at heart.”
But man, the things I haven’t learned yet! I don’t know French or Mandarin (or 6000 other languages). I haven’t studied a lick of physics since I was 16. I haven’t watched Office Space or read To Kill a Mockingbird. Heck, I’m still on season one of Breaking Bad, never mind the academic disciplines I’ve only grazed or admired from afar—chemistry, linguistics, theology, anthropology, continental philosophy, Latin American history, dance…
Higher math belongs somewhere on your equivalent list—not at the top, nor at the bottom, but smack-dab in the middle. It ought to stand proudly among the hundreds of fascinating things that serve as worthy uses of our time on Earth.
It’s silly to feel inadequate because you’ve missed out on some particular intellectual experience. We’re all inadequate, these days. The world’s too big for adequacy. Just keep exploring, and if you want to learn more mathematics, then do it!
Q: i love math. it makes people cry.
A: Like… tears of joy? Or sadness? Or involuntary but emotionless onion-style tears?
Q: i hate telling people i am a math major.
Just tell them you’re an Ursa Major. Their confusion will buy you time for an escape.
Seriously, though, if you’re worried that labeling yourself as a math major conjures up a specific, inflexible image in people’s minds, then the best thing you can do is gently push back against their stereotypes. People learn from other people. If you can defy their preconceptions of math majors, then those preconceptions will start to erode. Be a math major, and be your cool, down-to-earth self. People will connect the dots.
Haters gonna hate, lovers gonna love, and there’s never any point in hiding what you like to study. To quote a wise hashtag: “YOLO.”
Q: book on rice exponential?
I think you’re looking for One Grain of Rice, by Demi. It tells the mathematical fable of the girl who asks that one grain of rice be placed on the first square of the chessboard; then two on the second square; and four on the third; and eight on the fourth…
(Thanks to Rita Alway for pointing me towards this one!)
Q: fun, not-math-related two-column proof examples?
A: These are surprisingly tricky to create. The problem is that second column—you need abstract rules, laws, and definitions to cite. Geometry offers plenty of these: “Vertical angles are congruent,” “Parallel lines never intersect,” and so on. But the rest of the world doesn’t operate on immutable logical laws. Our truths are more contingent. This is one reason math makes such a great place to learn logic in the first place.
Anyway, here’s a (pretty flawed) attempt. Since two-column proofs are really about deductive reasoning, I use “fact” as a sort of “given.” The structure is somewhat akin to proving two triangles are congruent with a theorem like SSS or SAS.
|The Beatles didn’t perform their own voices in the movie “Yellow Submarine.” The Monkees always performed their own voices.||Fact|
|The Monkees are more authentic than the Beatles.||If a band does not perform its own voices, then it is the least authentic band possible.|
|Way more people have heard of the Beatles than the Monkees.||Fact|
|The Monkees are more underrated than the Beatles.||If more people have heard of a band, then it is more overrated.|
|Monkeys are a cooler animal than beetles.||Fact|
|“The Monkees” is a cooler name than “The Beatles.”||If two bands are named after animals, then the cooler animal is the cooler name.|
|The Monkees are a cooler band than the Beatles.||If a band is more authentic, more underrated, and has a cooler name than another band, then it is a cooler band.|
Q: me know i am a bad student.
A: Well, Cookie Monster, as long as you know.