Imaginary Numbers - 2/27/06
OK, so my main reason for publishing yesterday's Imaginary Number post was... yes, as an excuse to make fun of imaginary numbers.

Seriously, it's not enough that we have a literally infinite amount of real numbers? (btw, I think that's the most correct way I've used the word infinite.) We had to invent more? Like Pythagoras and Pascal were sitting back in ancient Rome smoking a J, (btw2 nothing about the previous statement is historically correct), and Pascal was like "You know, Pyth, there just aren't enough numbers out there. I'm so over pi and zero. Let's make up some more, ones you can't even quantify or graph on a number line. Then we'll force high school kids to learn about them, right after Home Ec." And Pythagoras was like "Fuck yeah, let's do that shit." And then they did some cocaine and had gay sex.

Back in high school, the day my Algebra 2 teacher announced that we would be working with imaginary numbers was probably one of his least happy days, at least in terms of keeping the class in line. I'm not sure who started it, but by the end of class such challenges had been thrown out as:

"Oh good, then we'll be getting an imaginary grade for this section."
'Does this mean there'll be an imaginary test?"
'How about I just go to Burger King and imagine that I'm here, listening to your imaginary number lecture."

It was almost as bad as the loud day he introduced factorials.

"Oh, so the formula to figure out how many ways to pick five donuts from a dozen is TWELVE!!! divided by FIVE!!! times TWELVE MINUS FIVE!!!? Why do I always get so hoarse on math days?"

I think imaginary number day was the day I realized math no longer had any relevance to my life...

How ironic, then, that I now make a substantial portion of my living off of it.



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