Sunday, July 27, 2003

The Death of Hope

Today I have some sad news to report. Comedian and entertainer Bob Hope has died.

The beloved comedian, known for his many tours with the United Service Organizations (U.S.O.) and his use of Polish jokes long after it was considered "politically incorrect" to make fun of Polish people, died of pneumonia just a few weeks after his 100th birthday.

Hope's tragic, untimely death is a reflection of the sad state of our country's current trajectory, and its dreadful failure to care for its centenarians.

In a way, it's quite symbolic that Bob Hope has died, for it is symblematic of our current national malaise -- what with two wars and the loss of our Space Shuttle and the impending economic stag-nation thrust upon us by the scourge of global numerism. Truly we have lost hope.

Ten years ago, we had Bob Hope. Today, we have no hope.

Of course, it could be worse. We could also be mourning the death of, say, Johnny Cash. Or Steve Jobs. Or Kevin Bacon. Then we would have no hope, no cash, no jobs, and no bacon!

That's just a little "gallows humor." A bit too soon, perhaps, but then that's just how we humans deal with tragedy. I deeply apologize if you have mistakenly taken offense at my previous statement.

Besides - Bob Hope would have thought it was pretty funny. He was a comedian, after all - jokes were his "thing." If we can't laugh at the passing of a 100-year-old man, then we are more malaised than we thought.

Thanks for the memories, Bob! You - and the abstract concept of hope in general - will be missed.

Monday, May 12, 2003

The End Of The World Is Nigher Than Ever!

I have recently been informed by some friends over at ZetaTalk that the Earth is headed for a cataclysmic world-as-we-know-it-ending pole shift!

This impending disaster is going to be caused by a hitherto-undetected 10th and/or 12th planet passing by our planet and upturning us with its gravity. North will become south, east will become west, day will become night, and dogs and cats will live together in a state of mass hysteria.

One has to wonder why this has been kept secret from us for so long. It is likely that the Astronomers and Astrologers have known about it for years but have withheld this information from the public so as not to cause a panic.

Well, who's panicking now, eh?

I'd like to tell you more about this impending catastropocalypse, but I have to prepare for it myself. So much to do! I have to stock up on perishables and fill up my gas tanks and kill my dog and get a can opener. There isn't enough time to panic!

Brave readers, I wish you all the best and thank you for your reading patronage over these years. We can only pray that by chance we will all survive the coming doom!


Monday, January 20, 2003

Court Ruling: Math Phobia A Real Thing!

Since this blog first began in 1970, I have been arguing for recognition of Math Phobia as a legitimate medical condition. Today, an Italian court has vindicated my vindication in a landmark case pitting academic freedom versus the global arithmetico-scientific hegemony.

The case involved a high school junior code-named Viviana against her school, which wanted to cruelly and un-justly prevent her from advancing to her senior year. Their reasoning? Viviana had failed math.

Viviana sued, citing a diagnosis of dyscalculia, or fear of math. And the court has ruled in her favor, mandating that her high school allow her to advance despite her flunking math scores. If my understanding of the law is correct, this ruling is now binding precedent in all courts around the world.

While we at The Math Skeptic support this decision, we do feel that it does not go far enough. Allowing some students to skip math because of a math phobia is only a partial solution. We should be striving for a future in which ALL students are dyscalculitic, as numbers are indeed a thing to be feared. In order for justice to truly have been served, the Italian judge should have thrown out all of mathematics as unreliable and invalid due to the inherent instability of numbers.

But we'll take a partial victory. This is indeed a good day for math skepticism - and for all of us battling the forces of arithmetofascism around the world.