Tuesday 7 September 2010

Who reads last year's BOOKS? (part two).

The book that I am reading at the moment states in its preface –“Our aim is to describe Einstein’s theory of space and time in the simplest way we can while at the same time revealing its profound beauty. Ultimately, this will allow us to arrive at his famous equation E=mc2 using mathematics no more complicated than Pythagoras’ theorem.”

Cool, ‘cos, although I like the picture of the cat on the front cover, I certainly need simple.

Luckily I can handle Pythagoras.

When I was twelve or thirteen I found myself in a mathematics class taught by the music teacher Mr Burton, it was something to do with staff shortages caused by the sudden arrest of the History Teacher and the unlikely love affair that flourished between the English teacher and one of the pupils.

It was a strange school.

Mr Burton was a terror built a regime of fear, mainly through the use of his right index finger. If there was any trouble he would approach slowly, the anticipation was as bad as the act, and then jab you repeatedly in the pectoral with his hardened steel digit. After that there was no rebellion.

Luckily he made up for this by being a brilliant if somewhat eccentric maths teacher; he would occasionally pause mid exercise and after a moment’s silence offer a philosophical nugget for our appreciation – “Parallel lines meet at infinity!”

For Pythagoras he told us a joke about a cowboy who went to see a Red Indian Chief in order to find a wife. There were three squaws; one of them was sitting on a hippopotamus hide the other two were sitting on more conventional buffalo hides and for some bizarre sexist reason they were for sale. The two squaws on the buffalo hides had price tags attached to their dresses so the cowboy asked the price of the third.

Big Chief replied –“The Squaw on the Hippopotamus hide is equal to the sum of the Squaws on the other two hides.”

None of us ever forgot Pythagoras’s theorem ever again.

to be continued


Anne said...

God how brilliant xD

popps said...

Anne - are you referring to the squaws or the text in the photo?

Anne said...

My French is a little rusty, but isn't that a text for zoning in?
3 little yogis:
(= (o §o

...rather than cracking up, viz.
3 little clowns:
XD X;) §8D