Sunday, 30 September 2012

S4.113 - Sign Error


QT let out a little shriek as she stared out of the gazebo's hatch.

"What?" ParaB said, her grip on the catgirl tightening in concern. "What is it, what do you see?!"

"It's like the gazebo's moving through an Escher painting... but with an extra dimension or something! So weird!" the polynomial responded.

The orange haired relation let out a long sigh as she realized that QT was in no immediate danger. "Don't scare me - uh, us like that!"

"Sorry," QT apologized. "Oh, hey, I think I can also see the sock Lyn lost in the dryer last month..."

"And what is it you've remembered then?" Sine demanded of Logan, who had trailed off into a thoughtful pause.

"Hm? Oh! Signum is practically deaf," the redhead answered, stroking his chin again. "It might help smooth relations with her if one of us learned sign language."

"Ah! Then don't worry. I do know at least one dialect of my namesake," Sine assured.

"Your what? What's a namesake dialect?" Logan said in confusion. Sine put her hands on her hips and stared at the Captain. Logan lowered his hand and met her gaze blankly.
STARE MASTERS

It was Cosecant who broke the stalemate by pointing out, "Logan, say the name of the primary trig function you're looking at."

"Her name?" the redhead said in puzzlement. "She's Sine. How does that help us find someone who knows sign language?"

"Nevermind," Sine said, facepalming. She walked back to the navigation console. There was a brief silence.

"Uhm, so QT, are you about ready to come back down then?" ParaB asked, cheeks growing even pinker as she continued to hug close.

"Oh! Yes, sorry," the blonde apologized again. She reached up to close the hatch. "It's just in the midst of the painting I caught sight of a random Vihart video playing too, involving cardioids. Wanted to watch the whole thing. Nice overall message, except... parabolas make me happy too! Wouldn't you agree?"

The two girls linked eyes. "Let's discuss things as we perform surgery on a scanner," ParaB suggested.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

S4.112 - Look Out


"Are we there yet?"

Sine turned to look up at QT. "Honestly, I'm not entirely sure where we are NOW." The trig function pushed her rolling chair away from the Nav board, over to Ops. Seeing nothing of use there either, she simply shrugged.

"Doesn't matter," Logan said, from where he was lounging in the central chair. "Wherever we are, I don't think time has meaning. Just sit back and enjoy the ride - it's even possible the ship will pick up Signum by all by itself!" He paused. "Though I think the chances of that are based on telephone numbers."

"We COULD simply open the hatch and look out of the gazebo," ParaB pointed out, pragmatically.

Logan stroked his chin. "I tried that once. Don't recall what happened."

"I nominate the catgirl to attempt it then," Cosecant said. "She can assess whether it's medically sound." QT's eyes went wide and she let out another squeak.

Sine nodded. "Agreed, but ParaB, follow her up the ladder, and hold onto her. Just in case."

QT Needs Ladder Training
The bunny girl nodded also, even as QTs eyes flicked left and right. "Uhm... o-okay," QT responded nervously. "I guess I've got an anti-nausea hyperspray ready, if needed..." She proceeded to the ladder at the back of the bridge, ParaB trailing after.

"Why are they called hypersprays anyway?" Cosecant mused, looking towards Radik. Behind them, the polynomial began her climb, her pink boots making soft noises as they were brought down against the rungs. Beneath QT, ParaB coughed lightly.

"Because Hyper invented them, duh," the silver haired man responded to Csc. "Also hyper can mean 'over', and they can be given over clothing." He smirked. "What other prefix would you use, hypo? That means under!"

QT soon reached the hatch and took hold of the handle before glancing down. "Okay, here goes... ParaB, are you okay? You seem flushed."

The orange haired girl climbed one more rung, then threw an arm around the catgirl's waist. "We can talk later," she mumbled. "Just don't ever let Logan or Radik do this for you."

QT blinked a couple times in confusion before simply reaching up and pushing open the hatch. Right then, Logan sat up in his chair. "Wait! I just remembered something!!"

Sunday, 23 September 2012

S4.111 - Know Your ABCs

(Relatively) Prime Time News

"Big news in Mathematics!" Para announced as the cameras started rolling. "The ABC conjecture may have been proven by a Japanese mathematics professor named Shinichi Mochizuki! This leads to a few obvious questions..."

"Hey, first of all, what the heck is that?" Cubi chimed in. "Hey, answer, the ABC Conjecture is a statement involving square-free numbers (ie- not divisible by squares), and relatively prime numbers. Hey, related to the equation a + b = c, it's described as a game in this blog post by Brian Hayes."

"Second question, why do we care?" Circe said dryly.

"Answer, a proof of said conjecture would actually include many other Diophantine problems," Expona responded. "Diophantine meaning requiring integer solutions. For instance, this would include Fermat's Last Theorem (which John D. Cook contrasts here), along with other math problems that are still open."

"Well, yes, I was aware of that," Circe countered in annoyance. "But MY answer was going to be that Mochizuki uses an entirely new mathematical theory to do it! It's barely understood, leading some to wonder if the celebration is premature."

"Indeed, the science journal 'Nature' notes that the only resemblance of this proof to that of Andrew Wiles' proof of FLT is in the theory of elliptic curves," Hyper mused, tugging on the lapels of her lab coat. "And here we're talking four papers totaling 512 pages, so even if it were immediately understandable, it would take a while to verify."

"A third point of interest is the historical context," Quinn remarked. "This problem was posed less than 30 years ago, in 1985, independently by two mathematicians. There's a lot of older problems out there that mathematicians continue to work on."

Tangent smiled as she stepped into the frame. "For instance, many still regard the Riemann hypothesis to be the most significant unsolved problem in mathematics. Dating back to 1859, it's been verified for the first hundred billion cases, but not yet proven."

"To conclude, the ABC conjecture has wide reaching implications," Para stated. "We could draw a parallel to the Grand Unified Theory of Physics. For further reading, the Polymath site has a number of links."

There was a brief moment of silence, as Reci shut down the recording equipment. He then turned to look at Para. "So where'd Maud go in all this anyway?"

The quadratic sighed. "He's off trying to fix our video microphones to see if I can sound less like a chipmunk."

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

S4.110 - Unnatural Log


"Yarrrr. Captain's Log, entry e+123. Time is relative," Logan intoned, pacing the bridge as he spoke into an imaginary pad.

"Where did you even get an iPad?" Sine questioned. Logan ignored her.

"I've assigned duties to my new crew," the redhead continued to narrate. "And drawn them crude maps of the ship so they can get around."

"I still say I should be in charge of security!" Radik III said in annoyance. "Don't assume I know engineering merely because I have some connections with Root!"
JOB: SECURITY
Cosecant turned to stick her tongue out at Radik, before resuming her work at trying to integrate phase shifters into the, thus far unused, weapons control board.

"As science officer, I feel I must protest the illogical ship layout," ParaB remarked, trying to figure out if her map was upside down. "I mean, it's like a single new room increases the complexity by a factor of ten, how does that even... oh. Right," she sighed, remembering who she was talking to.

The logarithm cast the others an annoyed look before resuming his dialogue. "I will shortly be getting Sine, who is my XO and operations officer, to take the helm. Our first mission, to locate Signum, Maud's sister function."

"Wait, now I'm navigations too?" Sine said in confusion.

"Ah, you did say you'd have difficulty settling for only one position," QT reminded, from where she was flipping through the medical manual on hypersprays.

Logan cleared his throat. "I am certain that, very soon, we will be able to embark on an epic mathematical journey. Which will involve people SHUTTING UP while the Captain uses his diary." He turned. "People, if I want a chat log, I'll ask for it, okay?"

Sunday, 16 September 2012

S4.109 - Sci Factor


"You know," Lyn said, frowning, "Having seen the operating systems up close... 2k-tan's accessory reminds me of QT, 95-tan's attitude makes me think of Cubi, and Me-tan, her hair's a bit like--"

"Fine, yes, computer science is taken," Root cut in swiftly. "Which is a pity - it's getting more attention lately. It may even be the subject that lends itself best to individual online instruction."

"Not to mention you've got a binary system to work with there as well," Cosine pointed out. "Change of base is always interesting."

"It's dead, Cos," Nat diagnosed. "At least as far as having roles for us. But let's consider science. For instance, calculations are necessary to determine someone's vital capacity."

"True, and we don't have to stick with biology," Lyn pointed out. "Physics is full of vectors."

Secant nodded. "And chemistry involves balancing equations, there's math there."

"Oh! Chemistry! The periodic table!" Root said hopefully. "We can each take an element!" Seeing the expressions, he spun. "No! Stop it, this time your names just resemble the element symbols!!"

There's more variants out there!
"Sorry Root," Elly said apologetically. "Even then, there is a book personifying the table. Physical theories are also personified from time to time. Heck, biology even has giant microbe plush mascots."

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

S4.108 - Geo Graphy


"Okay, so countries have already been personified - doesn't mean we can't find a math niche in Geography," Elly remarked.

"There's latitude and longitude," Cosine pointed out, pragmatically. "And GPS."

"Time zones," Secant added. "Did you know India's time zone is one of many offset by a half hour?"

Nat crossed his arms. "Population numbers fit in here too. The rule of 70, for doubling time. Also birth rates, death rates... you know about Hans Rosling, yes? We shouldn't make averages."

"Nice graphs in that talk," Lyn agreed. "In fact, geography uses a lot of graphs and tables, that's a huge link, and a way to make predictions."

"Then there's climate," Elly added. "Measuring temperatures, precipitations, global warming... where numbers add up to 120%...."

"So math obviously fits with geography on the whole," Root agreed. "But I'm still thinking more on an individual basis... oh! Of course!"

"What?" Lyn asked.

Root grinned. "It's so obvious - we go computer science! We could each choose an operating system or version to represent! Think of it, a personification for... you're all giving me that look again."

(It's Also Been Done Before)

Sunday, 9 September 2012

S4.107 - Be A Sport


"So where should we begin?" Cosine mused. "Khan's not the only one with curriculum out there on the internet..."

"And mathematics has links everywhere," Secant observed.

Elly pressed both her thumbs into her index and middle fingers. "I don't think we should completely lose ties to current events. Hint, hint."

"Right, those paralympics are wrapping up today!" Root recalled.

"Good point!" Lyn said brightly. "Sports is full of statistics! Plus students may record the time it takes to do a particular activity, and try to improve over time - could be Linear!"

"Then there's the fact that throwing basketballs or hitting baseballs involves parabolas and assorted mathematics," Cosine agreed.

Elly smiled. "And how about the movie Moneyball? Sports happen on a budget."

"There's also the health element," Nat said gruffly. "Proper doses of vitamins, or drug testing..."

"Speeds for the marathon and 100 m are very interesting also," Secant mused. "But I'm not exactly certain what role we could take overall."

Root glanced around at the others. "Actually, I was thinking the countries in the paralympics. We could each choose a country to represent! Think of it, a personification for every country! ...why are you all looking at me like that?"

(It's All Been Done Before)

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

S4.106 - Relation Ship


"You said you had a ship." ParaB turned to look at Logan. "That's a gazebo."

"Perhaps it's a dread gazebo," Radik III said, peering at it suspiciously.

"Yar, what you're seeing is merely the crow's nest," Logan said in irritation. "My ship - or base - is more of a subscript. Accessed via the trap door in the middle of the floor."
It sits on the ln

"It's underground??" QT said in confusion.

"No, spatially displaced," Logan retorted smugly. "That gazebo acts like the gateway, while being the only part physically tied to this plane. So I wager the actual interior is intact, despite our severed ties with mathematics."

Lifting an eyebrow at him, Cosecant went to investigate the trap door herself. "Ahhh. This vessel explains how you can turn up without warning, then vanish," ParaB said, nodding slowly.

"Aye. Sometimes it's almost like it has a mind of it's own," Logan mused, rubbing his chin. He turned to look at Sine, as she finished pacing around the ten sided structure. "Now, I maintain the Captain's Log! So none of your command talk - you can be the executive officer."

"Where did you even get this?" the brunette said in confusion. "The technology is too advanced, even for you."

"It's not stolen!" the pirate assured. "But you're right... it simply turned up one day as a gift, with a note claiming it was from 'The Professor'."

"Professor who?" QT asked.

Logan shrugged. "Beats me. I guess he was smart. I refer to him as Professor X."

Sunday, 2 September 2012

S4.105 - There's Her Numbers


"Alright, video link is up and functional," Cotangent remarked, poking at her keyboard.

Reci peered over her shoulder and grimaced. "So now we've gone there too? Really? Even I know Jepsen's song is getting old."

"How soon you forget!" Sexi remarked, fluffing her hair. "Seven months back, we went there first!"

"Though (x, why?) goes One Direction better," Circe mumbled.
We Call Her Sextic