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March 4, 2007

a2 + b2 = c2

Tom McLaughlin

Humor by Tom McLaughlin

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was a wrinkled rubber sheet with a cup of coffee floating up and down and through the sheet.

Then God made the donut. And the donut floated up and down and through the rubber sheet.

Then God created a nude Eve who also floated up and down and through the rubber sheet. And Adam saw that this was good and called the creation "The morning after."

The above is one of the latest explanations of string theory as composed by physicists in order to secure positions at universities, because nobody knows what they are talking about including themselves. It is number three in the Darwin vs. Creation vs. "mad Russian set of theories" and forms the eternal unsolvable "who begat what" triangle.

Speaking of triangles, one of the pillars of mathematics has been debunked like a Catholic saint. Worshiped by 10th grade high school students in the religion of geometry, Pythagoras has been banished to the realm of mystic seeker. In fact, according to recent research, he didn't know what a triangle was.

The credit for this theorem now goes to Thales of Miletus; not to be confused with the town of Colitus that spewed volcanic gas. For 99.9% of us who have never used geometry since those formative years, the Pythagora theorem states a2 + b2 = c2 where c is the hypotenuse while a and b are the legs of the triangle. Remember that? Neither do I.

Now who was Mr. a2 + b2 = c2? He was a mystic who named himself "Himself." I am Himself he would say to his disciples, who hadn't a clue what he meant so they attributed the theorem to Himself because they couldn't solve that either.

There were many laws for the followers of Himself. One of the first was "abstain from beans." The thinking went that the soul returned through bean blossoms for reincarnation. The second was that Pythagoreans were strict vegetarians. But, of course, everyone, including the ancients, knows why we should abstain from beans. They all knew of Campbell's of Colitis who first postulated the corollary.

Pythagoras Theory of musical concords has also been thrown out. Apparently, Himself was walking by a blacksmith shop and listened to the hammerings on an anvil. He then came up with the idea that the tones of the anvil related to numbers. In other words, Himself and his bunch were a band of whackos who purchased tabs from Hallucinations of LSD frequently.

There are other laws of Mr. a2 + b2 = c2 and this forerunner of a hippie commune. "Don't piss towards the sun" is one worth remembering. "Always put your right shoe on first" is another. "One should not pass by where an ass is lying" is a current Republican one. (You will have to think about that one)

For those who absolutely hated math, especially anything beyond arithmetic and now use a calculator to add 2+2, it is great joy to learn of Mr. a2 + b2 = c2 downfall. As for creationists, they must learn String Theory to fight the new heresy. Darwin's people just keep on singing "I am the Ape Man, Coo Coo ka Choo."

For further information about the naked woman floating through the rubber sheet, read "The Poincare Conjecture" by Donald O'Shea. For more on Pythagoras read "Pythagoras: His Life by Christoph Riedweg. This should be read only in the original German. A lot is lost in the translation. You can purchase one of the two copies at

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