Neurotic Owl

flying through clouds of uncertainty on wings of existential dread

Who doesn’t love math jokes?


Speaking of which, have we all read this?  I found it as a kid in one of my dad’s books (possibly a Frederick Pohl?  Maybe?) and I’ve never stopped finding it charming.

Imaginary Numbers in a Real Garden

                                                                Gerald Jonas

Given: one bold mathematician.
Uncertain of his own position,
he drew two lines and at their joint
where angels danced, he made his •.
Then reached into the void and caught
the faceless essence of the 0,
and taught us not to fear ∞
but worship his serene divinity,
whose sacraments at first seem pale;
yet if men hunger for a Grail,
they still may seek, beyond the sun,
the rare √-1.

4 comments on “Who doesn’t love math jokes?

  1. Jon Dufault
    November 20, 2014

    VERY VERY SLOWLY HOWEVER. Back in engineering school one of my professors was convinced one of us would end up killing someone because we’d forget that log x does eventually go to infinity. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. YOU’RE SAVING LIVES.

    • naralesser
      November 21, 2014

      I always hoped to someday save lives through mildly depressing, deeply awkward owl cartoons. Achievement unlocked!

  2. Steve Johnson
    March 30, 2018

    Poem originally published in Fantasy & Science Fiction, April 1965. I first saw it a few years later in a book collection of their stories. Maybe that was the book your Dad had.

    • naralesser
      March 30, 2018

      Congratuwelldone! That is impressive recall/library. Almost certainly the book, I doubt it would have survived into the 80s in my house as a magazine.

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