The square root of negative one is a nasty bit of business. The square root of 25 gets invited to parties, has followers on Instagram. Even the square root of 2 is asked to dance occasionally. But the square root of negative one? The square root of negative one is
Daren wasn’t a bad kid. Admittedly, he had slept in and missed a few classes, played some tennis, gotten mostly Cs in his first semester. He had pledged a fraternity, drank a few beers. His parents were supportive, to a point. But a D in “Introduction to Sociology” second semester allowed
Roberta describes her pandemic life monitoring her five, seven, and nine-year-old children: I feel like I am talking to myself. Sometimes I have to ask my partner if I am actually speaking words out loud. The children do not acknowledge, let alone respond, never mind acquiesce to my escalating instructions.
Pre-scientific societies were said to make causal inferences from correlations. Which led to any number of major oopsies: I swung a dead cat around my head three times at midnight. Look at this bountiful harvest. A classic blunder: Post hoc ergo propter hoc–after this, therefore because of this. Timeless examples
“Mother, Please! I’d rather do it myself!” suggests an as yet unmedicated home maker in an iconic 60s commercial. Mom’s transgression? Enquiring if perhaps the stew needs some salt. But, with the benefit of a half century of hindsight, this author wonders if mom’s suggestion was not the first of
Mr. Smith has been convicted of a particularly heinous crime. A jury of his peers has found the testimony against Mr. Smith to be unassailable and damning. The witnesses were unanimous regarding the evidence presented. Three nuns, the mayor, and the principal of the local high school all witnessed Mr.
My wife taught fourth grade for years. Recently, her principal asked her to teach fifth grade. “Oh honey,“ I exclaimed, “you got smarter.“ My wife gave me the “teacher look,” usually reserved for an unfortunate combination of ten-year-olds and paper airplanes. Apparently, “you got smarter” is neither novel nor endearing.
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