## Monday, November 30, 2015

### Strange Square Roots

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Do NOT show my students this! They might think it's a rule and not a curiosity!

In fact, as strange as it looks, it isn't the only mixed number that has this property. And there isn't any reason to drop a jaw to the desk to figure out the pattern.

Let x be the whole number and y be the fraction (between 0 and 1, exclusive).

Then the equation says that (x)(sqrt(y)) = sqrt(x + y).
Square both sides we get (x2)(y) = x + y.
Subtract y from both sides (x2)(y) - y = x.
Factor the left side (y)(x2 - 1) = x.
Finally, divide y = x/(x2 - 1).

So you can pick any whole number value of x -- 2, 3, 10, whatever -- and substitute on the right side. You will get a value of y which is the fractional part of the mixed number that makes the "strange" square root work.

On a historical note: This is comic #1066. If you thought I'd do something about The Battle of Hastings ... well, it had crossed my mind, but too complicated and no way to plan in advance with the crazy schedule I'm keeping.

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## Thursday, November 26, 2015

### Happy Thanksgiving 2015

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It's actually 3 1/8 pecans because cutting 1/7 of a pecan is as impossible as cutting .141592... pecans.

Actually, it's more likely that a pecan was split in half and then cut four more times to make 8 pieces, but they wouldn't exactly be actually pieces of eight.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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## Monday, November 23, 2015

### The Negative One

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Any time there is a group of Adventurers, they'll be sure to find The Negative One in their midst.

Good chance that I used a similar joke to this before. But I like the Picaroons. The more of them, the better!

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## Wednesday, November 18, 2015

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The second verse would've had a line like ''if you look you can find me by the symmet-tree!'' in the Big Quadratic Mountain.

This is an old song that dates back to the 1800s. However, the first version I'd encountered was a sanitized version that was turned into a children's tune for one of a series of kiddie videos about 20 years ago. (The videos were a little older than that.)

The next encounter I had was finding out that Burl Ives had recorded a version of the song. But for all his friendly Rudolph cheer, his was the traditional rendition, not one aimed at the kids.

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## Wednesday, November 11, 2015

### Veterans Day 2015

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I admit: I was tapped out this year. I've thanked people and made puns, and there wasn't else I could say, except "Thank You" again. I have no problems with the Thank You's, but it doesn't make for a good comic, especially when I haven't updated in a week (because of work and other concerns).

Earlier this morning, while I was sweeping a mess of leaves outside, this came to me. I realize that I've seen an Internet "joke" with something similar on a test paper, but I still put my own little twist on it. For one thing, I got to bring out the (Grand)father and (Great)Uncle characters. For another, I added a little diversity to the mix of character -- something I've been reluctant to do because I was afraid it would turn out badly.

My last regret about doing this last minute: I don't have the numbers and the diversity I would like in this pic. But any more people and they would have been blurs in the background. After 1000 comics, my skill is improving, but I have a long way to go. And I still have my day job.

Happy Veterans Day.

Here's a clickable link from the comic: Wounded Warrior Project.

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## Wednesday, November 04, 2015

### Boole

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I could XOR-iate myself for being a few days late. If that sort of thing were possible.

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## Monday, November 02, 2015

### Common Core Blues

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Ba Na Na Na Na!

Halloween comics are over, and with work keeping my busy, I managed -- not for the first time -- forget our anniversary, which was a week ago on October 24.

(x, why?) is EIGHT YEARS OLD, and already into it's Ninth Year. It that time, I've produced over 1,000 comics, many bad puns, many worse puns, and many song parodies. I've created characters with no names and made them into pieces of me.

And I've managed to be seen around the world (according to my stats), and I've had comics reposted by Math Councils and translated into foreign languages for universities.

It's been good. Let's keep it going.

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