Algebra, Explained


It always feels odd to toss folks from my mathematics to my humor blog. I suppose it only sometimes seems on-point. Last week, though, I ran a series of essays about the old-time radio series Vic and Sade. One of them, happening to star neither Vic nor Sade, was all about Uncle Fletcher trying to explain algebra, or arithmetic, or something or other. The radio program won’t be to everyone’s tastes. It had a very dry style, closer in tone to a modern one-camera sitcom than anything where there’s a studio audience and easy-to-quote patter. And it does start with an interminable advertisement for sponsor Crisco. (It also includes a contest that adds to the announcement’s length. I assume we’ve missed the contest deadline.) But past the first three minutes and twenty seconds you get some fine mathematics exposition. I hope you enjoy.

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Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there.

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