Reading the Comics, April 11, 2018: Monkeys at Typewriters Edition


This is closing out a busy week’s worth of comic strips mentioning some mathematics theme. Three of these are of extremely slight mathematical content, but I’ll carry on anyway. Reza Farazmand’s Poorly Drawn Lines for the 8th has a bear admit the one thing which frightens him still is mathematics. It adds to it a … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, April 11, 2018: Monkeys at Typewriters Edition”

Exploiting My A-To-Z Archives: Infinite Monkey Theorem


I’ve written some good essays for i-words. There’s one that stands out from the pack. If I did not refer people to the Infinite Monkey Theorem I would be giving bad advice. This is the one about monkeys typing Shakespeare. Along the way of researching it I discovered that Bob Newhart seems to have played … Continue reading “Exploiting My A-To-Z Archives: Infinite Monkey Theorem”

My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Infinite Monkey Theorem


Dina Yagodich gave me the topic for today. She keeps up a YouTube channel with a variety of interesting videos. And she did me a favor. I’ve been thinking a long while to write a major post about this theorem. Its subject turns up so often. I’d wanted to have a good essay about it. … Continue reading “My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Infinite Monkey Theorem”

Reading the Comics, November 12, 2016: Frazz and Monkeys Edition


Two things made repeat appearances in the mathematically-themed comics this week. They’re the comic strip Frazz and the idea of having infinitely many monkeys typing. Well, silly answers to word problems also turned up, but that’s hard to say many different things about. Here’s what I make the week in comics out to be. Sandra … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, November 12, 2016: Frazz and Monkeys Edition”

Autocorrected Monkeys and Pulled Tea


STATISTICIANS. Switching on 'auto-correct' will significantly reduce monkey-hours needed to knock off some Shakespeare books. @phil_carroll — Twop Twips (@TwopTwips) June 6, 2014 The Twop Twips account on Twitter — I’m not sure how to characterize what it is exactly, but friends retweet it often enough — had the above advice about the infinite monkeys … Continue reading “Autocorrected Monkeys and Pulled Tea”

Reading the Comics, April 1, 2014: Name-Dropping Monkeys Edition


There’s been a little rash of comics that bring up mathematical themes, now, which is ordinarily pretty good news. But when I went back to look at my notes I realized most of them are pretty much name-drops, mentioning stuff that’s mathematical without giving me much to expand upon. The exceptions are what might well … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, April 1, 2014: Name-Dropping Monkeys Edition”

Reading the Comics, February 21, 2014: Circumferences and Monkeys Edition


And now to finish off the bundle of mathematic comics that I had run out of time for last time around. Once again the infinite monkeys situation comes into play; there’s also more talk about circumferences than average. Brian and Ron Boychuk’s The Chuckle Brothers (February 13) does a little wordplay on how “circumference” sounds … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, February 21, 2014: Circumferences and Monkeys Edition”

Reading the Comics, March 14, 2021: Pi Day Edition


I was embarrassed, on looking at old Pi Day Reading the Comics posts, to see how often I observed there were fewer Pi Day comics than I expected. There was not a shortage this year. This even though if Pi Day has any value it’s as an educational event, and there should be no in-person … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, March 14, 2021: Pi Day Edition”

My All 2020 Mathematics A to Z: Fibonacci


Dina Yagodich suggested today’s A-to-Z topic. I thought a quick little biography piece would be a nice change of pace. I discovered things were more interesting than that. Fibonacci. I realized preparing for this that I have never read a biography of Fibonacci. This is hardly unique to Fibonacci. Mathematicians buy into the legend that … Continue reading “My All 2020 Mathematics A to Z: Fibonacci”

I’m looking for G, H, and I topics for the All 2020 A-to-Z


When I look at how much I’m not getting ahead of deadline for these essays I’m amazed to think I should be getting topics for as much as five weeks out. Still, I should. What I’d like is suggestions of things to write about. Any topics that have a name starting with the letters ‘G’, … Continue reading “I’m looking for G, H, and I topics for the All 2020 A-to-Z”

Here Are All My Past A To Z Sequences


While I’m not necessarily going to continue highlighting old A to Z essays every Friday and Saturday, it is a fact I’ve now got six pages listing all the topics for the six A to Z’s that I have completed. So let me share them here. This may be convenient for you, the reader, to … Continue reading “Here Are All My Past A To Z Sequences”

Reading the Comics, September 21, 2019: Filling Out The Week, Part 1 Edition


There were a couple more comic strips than made a good fit in yesterday’s recap. Here’s the two that I had much to write about. Jason Poland’s Robbie and Bobby for the 18th is another rerun. I mentioned it back in December of 2016. Zeno’s Paradoxical Pasta plays on the most famous of Zeno’s Paradoxes, … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, September 21, 2019: Filling Out The Week, Part 1 Edition”

I Ask For The Second Topics For My Fall 2019 Mathematics A-to-Z


We’re only in the third week of the Fall 2019 Mathematics A-to-Z, but this is when I should be nailing down topics for the next several letters. So again, I ask you kind readers for suggestions. I’ve done five A-to-Z sequences before, from 2015 through 2018, and am listing the essays I’ve already written for … Continue reading “I Ask For The Second Topics For My Fall 2019 Mathematics A-to-Z”

Reading the Comics, May 11, 2019: I Concede I Am Late Edition


I concede I am late in wrapping up last week’s mathematically-themed comics. But please understand there were important reasons for my not having posted this earlier, like, I didn’t get it written in time. I hope you understand and agree with me about this. Bill Griffith’s Zippy the Pinhead for the 9th brings up mathematics … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, May 11, 2019: I Concede I Am Late Edition”

Reading the Comics, April 5, 2019: The Slow Week Edition


People reading my Reading the Comics post Sunday maybe noticed something. I mean besides my correct, reasonable complaining about the Comics Kingdom redesign. That is that all the comics were from before the 30th of March. That is, none were from the week before the 7th of April. The last full week of March had … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, April 5, 2019: The Slow Week Edition”

What I Learned Doing My 2018 Mathematics A To Z


I have a tradition at the end of an A To Z sequence of looking back and considering what I learned doing it. Sometimes this is mathematics I’ve learned. At the risk of spoiling the magic, I don’t know as much as I present myself as knowing. I’ll often take an essay topic and study … Continue reading “What I Learned Doing My 2018 Mathematics A To Z”

What I Wrote About in My 2018 Mathematics A To Z


I have reached the end! Thirteen weeks at two essays per week to describe a neat sampling of mathematics. I hope to write a few words about what I learned by doing all this. In the meanwhile, though, I want to gather together the list of all the essays I did put into this project. … Continue reading “What I Wrote About in My 2018 Mathematics A To Z”

Reading the Comics, December 15, 2018: Early Holiday Edition


So then this happened: Comic Strip Master Command didn’t have much they wanted me to write about this week. I made out three strips as being relevant enough to discuss at all. And even they don’t have topics that I felt I could really dig into. Coincidence, surely, although I like to think they were … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, December 15, 2018: Early Holiday Edition”

Reading the Comics, November 7, 2018: Shorthand and Reruns Edition


There’s two types of comics for the second of last week’s review. There’s some strips that are reruns. There’s some that just use mathematics as a shorthand for something else. There’s four strips in all. John Deering’s Strange Brew for the 6th uses mathematics as shorthand for demonstrating intelligence. There’s no making particular sense out … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, November 7, 2018: Shorthand and Reruns Edition”

Reading the Comics, October 6, 2018: Square Root of 144 Edition


And I have three last strips from last week to talk about. For those curious, I have ten comics for this week that I flagged for mention, at least before reading the Saturday GoComics pages. So that will probably be two or three installments next week. It’ll depend how many Saturday GoComics strips raise a … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, October 6, 2018: Square Root of 144 Edition”

Reading the Comics, September 17, 2018: Hard To Credit Edition


Two of the four comic strips I mean to feature here have credits that feel unsatisfying to me. One of them is someone’s pseudonym and, yeah, that’s their business. One is Dennis the Menace, for which I find an in-strip signature that doesn’t match the credentials on Comics Kingdom’s web site, never mind Wikipedia. I’ll … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, September 17, 2018: Hard To Credit Edition”

Reading the Comics, August 16, 2018: Recursive Edition


This edition of Reading the Comics can be found at this link. Zach Weinersmith’s Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal for the 14th is a fractals joke. Benoit Mandelbrot became the centerpiece of the big fractals boom in pop mathematics in the 80s and 90s. This was thanks to a fascinating property of complex-valued numbers that he … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, August 16, 2018: Recursive Edition”

Reading the Comics, August 3, 2018: Negative Temperatures Edition


So I’m going to have a third Reading the Comics essay for last week’s strips. This happens sometimes. Two of the four strips for this essay mention percentages. But one of the others is so important to me that it gets naming rights for the essay. You’ll understand when I’m done. I hope. Angie Bailey’s … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, August 3, 2018: Negative Temperatures Edition”

Reading the Comics, July 3, 2018: Fine, Jef Mallett Wants My Attention Edition


Three of these essays in a row now that Jef Mallett’s Frazz has done something worth responding to. You know, the guy lives in the same metro area. He could just stop in and visit sometime. There’s a pinball league in town and everything. He could view it as good healthy competition. Bill Hinds’s Cleats … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, July 3, 2018: Fine, Jef Mallett Wants My Attention Edition”

Reading the Comics, May 30, 2018: Spherical Photos Edition


Last week’s offerings from Comic Strip Master Command got away from me. Here’s some more of the strips that had some stuff worth talking about. I should have another installment this week. I’m back to nonsense edition names; sorry. Lincoln Pierce’s Big Nate for the 29th of May is about the gambler’s fallacy. Everyone who … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, May 30, 2018: Spherical Photos Edition”

Reading the Comics, April 2018: Another Normal Week Edition


And for another week running the pace of mathematically-themed comic strips has been near normal. There’s nowhere near enough to split the essay into two pieces, which is fine. There is some more work involved in including images for all the strips I discuss and this pace better fits the time I could make for … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, April 2018: Another Normal Week Edition”

Reading the Comics, March 5, 2018: If It’s Even Mathematics Edition


Many of the strips from the first half of last week are ones that just barely touch on mathematical content. I’m not sure how relevant they all are. I hope you like encountering them anyway. Bill Griffith’s Zippy the Pinhead for the 4th of March offers “an infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar” … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, March 5, 2018: If It’s Even Mathematics Edition”

Reading the Comics, January 22, 2018: Breaking Workflow Edition


So I was travelling last week, and this threw nearly all my plans out of whack. We stayed at one of those hotels that’s good enough that its free Internet is garbage and they charge you by day for decent Internet. So naturally Comic Strip Master Command sent a flood of posts. I’m trying to … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, January 22, 2018: Breaking Workflow Edition”

Reading the Comics, August 5, 2017: Lazy Summer Week Edition


It wasn’t like the week wasn’t busy. Comic Strip Master Command sent out as many mathematically-themed comics as I might be able to use. But they were again ones that don’t leave me much to talk about. I’ll try anyway. It was looking like an anthropomorphic-symboles sort of week, too. Tom Thaves’s Frank and Ernest … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, August 5, 2017: Lazy Summer Week Edition”

Reading the Comics, April 24, 2017: Reruns Edition


I went a little wild explaining the first of last week’s mathematically-themed comic strips. So let me split the week between the strips that I know to have been reruns and the ones I’m not so sure were. Bill Amend’s FoxTrot for the 23rd — not a rerun; the strip is still new on Sundays … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, April 24, 2017: Reruns Edition”

Reading the Comics, January 14, 2017: Redeye and Reruns Edition


So for all I worried about the Gocomics.com redesign it’s not bad. The biggest change is it’s removed a side panel and given the space over to the comics. And while it does show comics you haven’t been reading, it only shows one per day. One week in it apparently sticks with the same comic … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, January 14, 2017: Redeye and Reruns Edition”

Reading the Comics, December 5, 2016: Cameo Appearances Edition


Comic Strip Master Command sent a bunch of strips my way this past week. They’ll get out to your way over this week. The first bunch are all on Gocomics.com, so I don’t feel quite fair including the strips themselves. This set also happens to be a bunch in which mathematics gets a passing mention, … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, December 5, 2016: Cameo Appearances Edition”

Reading the Comics, November 16, 2016: Seeing the Return of Jokes


Comic Strip Master Command sent out a big mass of comics this past week. Today’s installment will only cover about half of them. This half does feature a number of comics that show off jokes that’ve run here before. I’m sure it was coincidence. Comic Strip Master Command must have heard I was considering alerting … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, November 16, 2016: Seeing the Return of Jokes”

Reading the Comics, October 22, 2016: The Jokes You Can Make About Fractions Edition


Last week had a whole bundle and a half of mathematically-themed comics so let me finish off the set. Also let me refresh my appeal for words for my End Of 2016 Mathematics A To Z. There’s all sorts of letters not yet claimed; please think of a mathematical term and request it! David L … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, October 22, 2016: The Jokes You Can Make About Fractions Edition”

Reading the Comics, October 19, 2016: An Extra Day Edition


I didn’t make noise about it, but last Sunday’s mathematics comic strip roundup was short one day. I was away from home and normal computer stuff Saturday. So I posted without that day’s strips under review. There was just the one, anyway. Also I want to remind folks I’m doing another Mathematics A To Z, … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, October 19, 2016: An Extra Day Edition”