A locus for eccentrics (hopefully)

Monday, July 10, 2006

Don't know much about math

For as long as I can remember, people have always said you can't divide by zero. When leaving the house my mother would say, "Look both ways before you cross the street. And don't divide by zero." All through high school and college it was the same thing. My professors would say, if not on the first day of class, the second, nonchalantly, "Oh, and don't try to divide by zero. It's impossible." Impossible?!? Well, that sounded like a challenge to me.

I was a PhD candidate in mathematics, and I decided that I was going to prove all these people wrong, and entitled my thesis I'm Dividing by Zero and You Jerks Can't Stop Me. Then I went to work.

I read all the literature. I did the homework. I talked to people. I thought. I theorized. I drew complicated-looking formulae on mirrors and glass because it looked cool. Then, finally. I sat down and wrote it out: 1 divided by zero equals. I didn't know how to solve it. I tried it on the calculator. It said "Error" over and over again. The jerks had been right. I failed.

Then I pushed clear, and keyed "58008" and turned the calculator over and it spelled "Boobs"

I changed my thesis to that, spelling "boobs" on the calculator and turned it in. Defending my thesis was a snap.

When I got my grade two weeks later, it was an F. And they also made me replace several mirrors and windows because I used permanent marker on them and were now ruined.


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