34 comments

  1. Ooba Dooba. This makes me feel that there is, in fact, a God, the creator. He/she/it made the universe in such a way that after 14 billion years it would give rise to us. Just so we could discover this.

    Reminds me in a way of Contact (the Carl Sagan novel, not the movie) where hidden messages were eventually discovered billions and billions of decimal places into Pi and other constants.

  2. The reactions are stupid. The limericks are kind of clever, almost (the first one is pretty well-known), but “THE HECK HECK HECK HECCCCCKKKKKKKK”? Relax, dude, it’s just math set to rhyme!

    That said, David Morin’s got the best limericks.

    a is dv by dt.
    Is this useful? There’s no guarantee.
    If it leads to “oh heck”s
    take dv by dx
    and then write out its product with v.

    It doesn’t come up often, but isn’t it fucking exciting that dv/dt = v·dv/dx? That’s actually just chain rule. You generally have v as a function of t, right? Well, if you write it as a function of x, which is itself a function of t, you have v(x(t)). So, if you want dv/dt, you have to use the chain rule and you get dv/dx·dx/dt. And dx/dt = v, giving us the required identity. I don’t recall ever actually having to use this. I’m sure there were some physics problems freshman year where this came up. Maybe it’s useful to simplify certain differential equations or something?

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