Comic Sections

Sunday 13 February 2005 at 2:53 pm | In Articles | 8 Comments

Comic Sections is the funniest mathematics book I have read and I (and others) giggled all the way through it – how many maths books can you say that about? It is a collection of mathematical jokes, poems, reviews, howlers, riddles, wit etc etc which vary from the low-level

    90° is the boiling-point of a right-angled triangle

via calculus

    \displaystyle \int \frac{d(\text{cabin})}{\text{cabin}}=\log(\text{cabin})+\text{sea}

to the more advanced

    Q. What is a kittegory? A. A small category

via a journal review

    This book creates a much-needed gap in mathematics

and on to a final exam question

    Discuss the advances made in algebra since the invention of the phrase “char F \neq 2″

I have already quoted from the book a couple of times here

There’s no way I can do justice to the book so you have no choice but to buy a copy :) Yes, it’s out of print but the author Desmond MacHale, will sell you one. This is what he told me:

    I have about 100 softback copies remaining which sell at a trickle because I don’t promote it and they retail at $15 US including postage if you want to spread the word about. Yes I really should rewrite it but I am busy working on Beauty in Mathematics which I hope will be influential;there are of course many new mathematical jokes since I wrote CS.One of my favourites is What is the difference between an introvert mathematician an an extrovert mathematician? Well,when an IM is talking to you he looks at his shoes;when an EM is talking to you he looks at your shoes!
    My postal address is Dept of Mathematics, University College, CORK,Ireland.
    Best regards, Des MacHale
    PS Key in my name on Amazon.com or abebooks.com to find my other stuff on jokes,WIT,movies and lateral thinking puzzles, if you want to punish yourself further for Lent.

8 Comments »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. That’s great! I might purchase a copy when I get some money, actually, it would make a really cool birthday present for someone who liked maths. So maybe I’ll wait for that to come around.

    I take it you’re getting a copy then?

    Comment by Goose — Sunday 13 February 2005 3:31 pm #

  2. I already have a copy which I bought many years ago following a review in The Mathematical Gazette. It’s a book I keep looking at :)

    Looking forward though to Beauty in Mathematics which sounds interesting.

    Comment by Steve — Sunday 13 February 2005 3:40 pm #

  3. Have you quoted the log cabin joke before? I really like that one, anyway :) Thanks !

    Comment by Ronald — Monday 14 February 2005 12:38 am #

  4. i saw your previous post and checked out a copy from the library. Yes, I enjoyed it tremendously.

    Comment by tpc — Monday 14 February 2005 12:18 pm #

  5. […] humour is quite difficult to do. I have previously blogged about the book Comic Sections and there are other books like Carl Linderholm’s Mathematics made difficult and Ian […]

    Pingback by Mathematics Weblog » Mathematics Comedy Videos — Sunday 3 June 2007 11:21 am #

  6. […] humour is quite difficult to do. I have previously blogged about the book Comic Sections and there are other books like Carl Linderholm’s Mathematics made difficult and Ian […]

    Pingback by Mathematics Comedy Videos | Math Discussions — Tuesday 22 January 2008 2:45 am #

  7. I’ve been trying my hand at math humor and can attest that it isn’t very simple. Comic strips can be found at http://mrburkemath.blogspot.com and http://xwhy.comicgenesis.com

    Feedback is appreciated.

    Comment by mrburkemath — Saturday 16 February 2008 9:30 pm #

  8. The log(Cabin) + Sea is not complete yet. The proper answer would then = houseboat. My calculus teacher showed us that one in 1967!!

    Comment by Wayne L. — Tuesday 16 December 2008 4:38 pm #

Leave a comment

XHTML: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Powered by WordPress with Pool theme design by Borja Fernandez.
Entries and comments feeds. Valid XHTML and CSS. ^Top^