Reading the Comics, July 28, 2012


I intend to be back to regular mathematics-based posts soon. I had a fine idea for a couple posts based on Sunday’s closing of the Diaster Transport roller coaster ride at Cedar Point, actually, although I have to technically write them first. (My bride and I made a trip to the park to get a last ride in before its closing, and that lead to inspiration.) But reviews of math-touching comic strips are always good for my readership, if I’m readin the statistics page here right, so let’s see what’s come up since the last recap, going up to the 14th of July.

Chris Browne’s Hagar the Horrible on the 14th of July did a basic math-panic joke. I note that the setting of Hagar the Horrible probably makes it anachronistic to have a book with “Algebra” in the title. The term “al jebr” was in use around the ninth century in Baghdad, but that’s pretty far from Northern Europe, even if you suppose the strip’s set in the lattermost parts of the era when Vikings would actually go raiding around England or France or so. I believe the Vikings didn’t wear pointy helmets either.

Brian and Ron Boychuk’s The Chuckle Brothers put in a joke on the 17th of July which actually left me baffled until I read the comments. It’s a pun.

Jason Chatfield’s Ginger Meggs did a joke the 17th of July which was pretty much a math phobia gag. It’s maybe marginal for inclusion here, but I’m feeling inclusive today. (There are a couple of strips — like Steve Moore’s In The Bleachers from the 26th, or Gene Weingarten, Dan Weingarten, and David Clark’s Barney and Clyde of the 28th, that name-drop mathematics items, but feel too marginal to talk about. Of course, now you know they’re out there.)

Don Wimmer’s Rose Is Rose on the 17th of July (a big day for mathematics strips) continued strip originator Pat Brady’s characterization of Pasquale as a kid who really, really loves school, mathematics included.

John Forgetta and L A Rose’s The Meaning Of Lila started on the 18th a sequence about Lila’s adopted child, Annie, being sent to a “Peace Camp” to help her hostile nature. She’s there with a kid sent to mediate his hatred of people who’re bad at math. This is marginal, but the strip’s more interesting when it focuses on Annie’s doings.

Samson’s Dark Side Of The horse on the 19th did a visual gag with numerals of the kind I like.

Brevity, by Guy Endore-Kaiser, Rodd Perry, and Dan Thompson, aimed for the pasted-on-the-geometry-teacher’s-office-door market on the 21st.

The 26th was another big day for math-touching strips, lead off by Darrin Bell’s Candorville, gets into logical fallacies and their consequences. This could also be labelled a philosophy-based strip, but I haven’t got a philosophy-based blog, so I’ll count it as the more useful to my needs.

Mark Leiknes’s Cow and Boy on the 26th put out two bits of trivia, which could be easily assembled into several good word problems. The first would be, assuming that the second point here — about the volume of a sphere containing only the waters of the world — is true, then, how deep are the Earth’s oceans on average? The second would be, given an asserted average ocean depth, how big a sphere could be made? I suppose we could also go with, given that there’s enough water to make a sphere 860 miles in diameter, and given an average ocean depth, how large a planet could be covered 71 percent with ocean.

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