Monday, 26 December 2016

S8.284 - The Cookie Crumbles

QSine is keeping a campaign promise. Incidentally, there was a holiday special on Dec 24, if you missed it. Or check out the “Do We Have a Square Here?” video directly. Funny enough, the comic (x, why?) used the same song for their 2016 Christmas Day parody.


(SIGN: Versine HQ. Free cookies.)
VERSINE: I don’t recognize QSine as president! We are going to protest until our voices are heard!
QARCSIN: QSine wants you to be minister of Public Services.
(Silent Beat Panel)
VERSINE: She’s ruined a perfectly good movement by listening.
QQUINN: Do we still get the free cookies?

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Holiday Singalong 2016

“Madam President,” chorused both QT and Hyper, coming to attention as QSine entered their lab.

“At ease,” QSine said, gesturing uncomfortably. “I’m not a Transcendental Pi-Type Being.”

“I noticed,” Hyper remarked. “Seeing as we’re not four panelling today. Are we a serial again?”

“No. We’re a webcomic with curiosities,” QSine said. “The thing is, last summer’s ‘Cubic Formula Song’ just reached over 100 views on YouTube. To build on that, I’ve heard you do a traditional holiday singalong parody at Christmas.”

“Build on? Ha! My holiday statistics special from last year has merely 36 views,” ParaB remarked, her incorporeal form floating in through the wall. “And after two years, Expona’s ‘Polar Plot’ is only nudging past 80.”

“Oh.” QSine tugged on the waistband of her holiday sweater. “Well, never mind then.”

“Except maybe it’s not about views,” QT broke in. “It’s about coming together. And it’s about mathematical tradition. I mean, we’ve been going for over five years now - why stop in year six?”

“Because we’d have to pull things together in under a week?” Hyper remarked.

“My mornings are free,” QT insisted. “And I maybe have an idea.” She shuffled through some pages on the lab desk and handed a sheet to QSine. “Here, pose while holding this.”

QSine took the sheet. “How, this way?”

QT smiled. “Sure! In fact, if you can get our counterparts together, I think we can have an annual special after all. Blending both personification groups. Okay?”

“I hope you know what you’re doing,” ParaB said.

“Why do we have to cut these things so damn close?” Hyper sighed.

QSine simply smiled. As she was the new personification president, it would be no trouble getting the other functions to participate.


Monday, 19 December 2016

S8.283 - My, Am I Vice

Yes, cabinet positions go to others who ran (or in ArcTan's case, for the write-in). Can anyone pinpoint good reasons for the choices? There was the "Bunny Ears Lawyer" gag from years ago.


QARCSIN: You still made Gamma foreign affairs minister?
QSINE: Spy or not, Gamma’s qualified.
QARCSIN: Expona for finance? Para for justice? Arctan for health? They’re not even in our Q-Continuum.
QSINE: We need that communication. The original ‘tans can keep us honest.
QARCSIN: Who will your Vice President be, Rhys?!
QSINE: No. You.
QARCSIN: Oh. I would be good at undoing your screwups.

Monday, 12 December 2016

S8.282 - Hi Spy

I finished my NaNoWriMo yesterday, which resurrects Sine from “Sine Off” (Entry 177), in LGBTQ style. Coincidentally, as Sine’s counterpart here becomes President. Let me know if you have thoughts, or want to beta. Connected to the mouse rollover, Conspicuous Trenchcoat is a TV Tropes thing.


QSINE: According to records, Maud once spied on Taylor’s Polynomials. Then he spied on us.
QSINE: Gamma, I think you’re in a similar position. You’re observing here, on behalf of the more advanced relations.
GAMMA: True. Do you want me to be minister of foreign affairs?
QSINE: I want you to expose yourself.
GAMMA: Some can’t even deal with me being out of my closet.

Monday, 5 December 2016

S8.281 - Score Board

There was apparently a record turnout in Austria for their vote yesterday. In my poll, I think Sine won by 2 votes. As to my "initial poll" referenced here, that was back in May with "Poll Dancing".


QSINE: Wait. I won? But polynomials beat trigonometry in the initial poll!
MAUD: That poll had 27 votes. This poll got 76. It’s all about turnout.
VERSINE: And me! Thank me!
QHYPER: Now you’ll have to assemble your cabinet.
QSINE: No. That joke’s too obvious.
QHYPER: (with cabinet materials) You take the high road. I went to Lowe’s.

Monday, 28 November 2016

S8.280 - Other Whys

Today’s punch line courtesy Josh Fitzgerald’s vote for ArcTan. Josh also pointed out ArcTan has two horizontal asymptotes, and sends a compact interval to the whole real line. Justin Brown noted e^x makes differentiation easier. Hope Gerson said the logistic function was cool because it goes up quickly then evens out at the top. And Chris McCord liked that reciprocal was it’s own inverse.

Thanks to EVERYONE who voted - and especially to the 8 people who read last week's comic. Sine’s full reaction is next week.


MAUD: It’s decided. Sine is our president.
(QSine looks shocked)
VERSINE: With my help!
(Poll: Parabola 42%, Sine 45%, Versine 7%, Other 6%)
VERSINE: If my 7% had gone to Para, she could have won the majority instead! Thank me!
MAUD: Don’t forget the write-ins. We had reciprocal, logistic, e^x, arctan...
(background, Expona and Rhys High-5)
ARCTAN: My policies would have been so integral. So rational.
QARCTAN: Except it’s our derivative that’s rational...

Monday, 21 November 2016

S8.279 - Quotable Votes

Para is quoting Spock from "Star Trek: TNG". Sine is quoting Jedi from "Star Wars". Versine went for "Battlestar Galactica" followed by "Babylon 5". I've actually been waiting on a BSG reference since news of the film reboot.
Want to affect the storyline? You can Twitter Vote for the candidates, or comment below! (Their previous debate was here.)


??: Final speeches.
PARA: The union of i-Tans and Q-Tans will not be achieved by politics. But it will be achieved. And I must help.
QSINE: Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view. It’s only different in our minds - we must unlearn what we have learned.
VERSINE: They evolved. They rebelled. There are many copies. And they have a plan. Vote for me.
MAUD: Versine, your opponents aren’t Cylons...
VERSINE: I am your last, best hope for peace.

Monday, 14 November 2016

S8.278 - Pretty Cured

Don’t underestimate the power of hurt feelings.
I realized we never checked back in with Sigma after QT’s Unification, so here’s what they’ve been up to. If you came here expecting Cured Meats, have this link. If you came here expecting Pretty Cure, have some transformations.


SIGMA: Barrier Jacket! Mean Median Mode!
(Hyper/Sigma fires beam at ParaB) ZAP!
QT: Still no good. I don’t think we’ll get ParaB cured in time for the vote.
HYPER/SIGMA: I dunno. A bit more smoking and she might be “cured”.
PARAB: I will hurt you...
HYPER/SIGMA: You’re still insubstantial.
PARAB: I will hurt your feelings...

Monday, 7 November 2016

S8.277 - Election Subjection

According to my research, the subjective (or nominative) case means the noun is the subject of the verb, as in “I hate”. Meanwhile surjective means what Maud said. And alert readers may recall the old serial played around with Jectives before, back in Entry 123.

Coincidentally, there is a bi-election coming up in my riding soon. There’s also that thing happening down in the United States tomorrow.


QRADIK: Any election news?
MAUD: Expona dropped out, throwing support to Para...
MAUD: QLyn dropped out, throwing support to QSine, and Rhys dropped out, his supporters choosing Versine. So it's a choice of those three.
QRADIK: And it’s all subjective.
MAUD: No, surjective. Each final candidate was mapped onto by at least one other.
MAUD: Or had you meant the subjective case for nouns?
QRADIK: I just hate this election.

Monday, 31 October 2016

S8.276 - Hallo Scene

I have spent the last several months working on edits to Time & Tied Book 4. That’s now done, and my NaNoWriMo plan involves personified math - so time for another run here? Yes? No?

QEXPONA: I’m a zombie. That's scary because of exponential growth.
QELLY: I’m a ghost. That's scary because they may be out of focus.
QSINE: I’m a vampire. That's scary because they transcend dental work.
QPARA: I’m a parabola.
(All stare at QPARA)
QPARA: Which is not scary! It's not! Please give me a hug? (QSine pats her shoulder)

Monday, 8 August 2016

S8.275 - A Tension

Yes, the Exponas are slightly different. And that’s entry 275. Comic #53. #54 if you count Strip 0, #55 if you count Tangent Pants. Every Monday without fail for a year while full time teaching.

And there’s been no activity on the blog for the last third of that (since March with WODB), my FB posts reaching about 10 people. I’m going crazy talking to myself. So I’m going to put more effort into parody videos and my time travel serial. From this point on, updates will be sporadic. Thanks for reading!


QEXPONA: Why are you running against Para? You’re splitting your own votes.
EXPONA: I’m tired of parabolas getting all the attention! Aren’t you?
QEXPONA: Those with the most visibility also get the most hate. That can’t be easy. I befriended my Para for mutual support.
QEXPONA: Besides, mathematics isn’t a competition for attention.
EXPONA: Without attention, I go crazy talking to myself!
QEXPONA: Ha ha, very meta.

Monday, 1 August 2016

S8.274 - The Rein In Splain

I was recently reminded of Math Misery’s post about “Annoying Function Notation”, which itself reminded me of something I saw on Twitter some time ago. I’m sure I’m guilty of trying to explain things when it’s totally uncalled for. Like the jokes.


QELLY: I’m not sure who to vote for. I thought more inverses would run.
RADIK: Well both Lyn and Rhys are self-inverses.
RADIK: Rhys even has similar notation to inverses, being x^-1. And thus his result varies inversely with the x-values input.
QELLY: ...
RADIK: Inverses are also gender opposite. Sounds like you should choose Rhys, the only male running, on account of those qualities.
QELLY: If I’d wanted you to mathsplain, I’d have said so!
RADIK: I believe the point is I do it without being asked.

Monday, 25 July 2016

S8.273 - Flash Point

Today's comic features guest art by John Golden (@mathhombre)! He's been looking at Math and Art recently, so see that page for many resources.

We put this together during a rare in-person encounter at "Twitter Math Camp" a week ago. I'm to blame for the inking. Check the mouse rollover to see about the writing.


ROOT: I think that graph was...
ROOT2: Such graphic violence, I...
(PARAs react to seeing each other)
ROOT & ROOT2: You must be from a parallel universe!
PARA & PARA2: But we can't be...
PARA2: Because we've met!
PARA (thinks): I was going to say that.
ROOT2 (thinks): This is so skewed up.

Monday, 18 July 2016

S8.272 - Word Choice

Anyone out there with a question for the panel? Or a thought of who you'd vote for? ANYONE? (TMCers maybe?)

This is comic #50, so it's actually double-sized if you click it. It also features the following commissioned artwork on the podiums:
QLYN by Meg Simmons
EXPONA by Shirochya


??: Give one word to describe your campaign, and why it's needed.
QSINE: Communication. We need to listen better.
QLYN: Bias. We need to acknowledge it.
RHYS: Originality. We need new ideas, like mine!
EXPONA: Change. We need a fresh perspective.
PARA: Unity. We need to work together.
VERSINE: Tradition. We need to crush 'new math'!
PARA: New math? What does that even mean? Are you against collaboration? Common core? Discovery learning?
VERSINE: Maybe. You'll have to vote for me to find out.
PARA: That's not how this works!

Monday, 11 July 2016

S8.271 - Talk, Show

The last panel is a call back to Entry #245. Signum's issue was first discussed in Entry #113.
Speaking of the multiverse, check out the Solution Squad comic! Math superheroes, more professionally drawn!


MAUD: Come on, step-sis. Let’s talk to some candidates before their panel.
SIGNUM: What? Fabricate more rare flannel?
QSINE: My key issue? Improvements in communication. Both between ourselves, and in the multiverse out there! (she signs with her hands)
QSINE: Sorry Signum, my sign language is rusty. (she signs "sorry")
SIGNUM: No, I understood! (she signs "thank you")
MAUD: Let’s interview Cosine too, is she around?
SINE: Umm... look there!

Monday, 4 July 2016

S8.270 - Unit Vector

Earlier this week, there was an article about how the standard measure of the kilogram may be changing. Related to this music video by the Doubleclicks. And I needed a punch line. Hope it works.


QQUINN: What's a vote for Versine do?
QLOGAN: Abolish calculators!
HYPER: Fight the system!
SLOPE: Promote change!
CANTOR: I worry about these high school functions sometimes.
GAMMA: Some lessons must be learned the hard way.
QLYN: Hey, Gamma? C-Can we talk about sexuality?
GAMMA: Sure! See, CanTor? Some of them are asking good questions.
GAMMA: Besides, we need to change too. Seen the news about our kilogram walking the Planck?

Monday, 27 June 2016

S8.269 - Separation Anxiety

There’s an article (in the New Yorker) about Andrew Hacker and James Tanton debating “eliminating mandatory high school math”. Combined with the recent Brexit vote, you get today’s comic.
Originally there might have been more individuals with Maud, but I started the sketching after 9pm last night.


MAUD: Versine, about your plan to build a wall around science...
VERSINE: New plan! Math will separate from the entire curriculum.
MAUD: That's... what?
VERSINE: We can’t have mathematics combining with computers or physical activity! We must keep our maths pure!
MAUD: That seems narrow minded and short sighted.
VERSINE: Expert opinions are irrelevant. Personal logic is everything. Public fear is paramount!
VERSINE: Besides, we’ll separate from statistics too, so we’ll never know if it was a bad idea.

Monday, 20 June 2016

S8.268 - Listen to Meme

Expona’s dialogue made me think of He-Man. And I had a student present on memes this past week. Of course, the He-Man meme is old, the song by "4 Non Blondes" is actually called “What’s Up?”, and I’m trying to get up this great big hill of hope for views while grading so many papers before exams so send help?


PARA: What’s up?
EXPONA: Para, I’m running against you.
RHYS: Maybe I’ll run.
EXPONA: It’s not that I hate all the extra attention you get...
RHYS: Since there’s no guys yet.
EXPONA: Actually, it is! You’re such a square. Stuck at two. It’s time for non-blondes! Time for me!
RHYS: And I try... and I pray...
RHYS: Heyyeyaey, what’s going on?
EXPONA: I have the POWER!

Monday, 13 June 2016

S8.267 - Out Line

I’m trying my best to be relevant, yet not offensive. Any feedback from the crickets? ... Okay then.


QPARA: The i-Tans have chosen Para as a candidate. Now, if we all rally behind QSine--
QLYN: I’m also running.
QHYPER: Um. No offence, but I don’t think anyone will go for a gender neutral president.
QLYN: What makes you say lines are gender neutral?
QHYPER: I... thought you were born that way. What with being a self-inverse.
QRADIK:Which bathroom do you use?
QLYN: I’m not a piece of qualitative data to be categorized!

Monday, 6 June 2016

S8.266 - Quadratic Formula

Lyn’s standard form was first seen way back in #31: Standard Transmission. I was surprised lines didn’t do better.
No idea why most votes vanished on my Twitter poll. :( Here was the bizarre progression:

CUBI: So, which polynomial was voted most popular?
LYN: Obviously it's me. Lines are essential. I’m everywhere, I’m...
LYN: ...below Quinn?!
CUBI: At 41% for you, Para. You’re our candidate.
CUBI: Though why does it say ‘3 days left’?
PARA: (shrugs) Twitter broke. Several votes vanished.
(Lyn walking away in Standard Form)
QT: Are you okay? Your slope’s become undefined.
LYN: I can’t function right now.

Monday, 30 May 2016

S8.265 - Sine Us

QQuinn does want to shake up the status quo. Here was Versine’s original pitch.


QHYPER: Seems that the i-Tans will pick a polynomial to run.
QPARA: i-Tans?
QHYPER: I consider them to be imaginary.
QPARA: Should we also pick a polynomial?
QHYPER: Too divisive. I’d say our best chance is with Trigonometry.
(QSINE does a spittake)
QHYPER: Besides, we'll need a trig to counter Versine.
QLYN: Who would vote for Versine?
VERSINE: (video) I will fight calculators, and restore trig tables!
QQUINN: Finally, someone else suspicious of calculators!

Monday, 23 May 2016

S8.264 - Poll Dancing

Here’s notes about response bias, not to be confused with non-response bias. That was our first poll from April, the other will feature in two weeks’ time.


PARA: QPara didn't seem thrilled by her name shift...
EXPONA: We must show strength! Now, where’s that twitter vote about “best leader”?
EXPONA: 48% for Polynomials? And Exponential wasn't even an option! Why?!
PARA: Limited space.
EXPONA: Did I at least get a mention in "Other"?
PARA: No... probability, power series, quadratics...
EXPONA: Let's discuss “response bias”!
PARA: You already printed your “All my base are belong to us” campaign buttons, didn't you.

Monday, 16 May 2016

S8.263 - Naming Generator

This whole comic massively violates the One Steve Limit 
(as x-->Steve)


PARA: For convenience, I will now be called Para. This is QPara, as her deity is a Q.
QPARA: What?
QPARA: Naming shouldn’t be decided until AFTER our math election!
PARA: Do you have a better way to differentiate between us?
QPARA: Obviousl--
PARA: A way that doesn’t involve calculus?
QPARA: Okay, no...

Monday, 9 May 2016

Series 8: d(Voted)

SERIES 8: d(Voted) INDEX

<- Back to Index 7

Monday, 2 May 2016

Post S7: Art Aside Specials

These posts are still coming together on a wing and a prayer. Not sure what we'll have next week - but I know what's this week, and that's more art. First, another commissioned piece from ConBravo 2015, this time the new Lyn.
New Lyn, as drawn
by Meg Simmons.
I had asked for a somewhat gender neutral look. The inverse of a linear function is also linear, as opposed to the other polynomials, who have defined male counterparts... so in my redesign, I was trying to consider that aspect of the character. It's an idea that fell a bit by the wayside, as I scrambled to put this comic together every week, but I think that image did a good job of capturing my intent. If you want to see a prior Lyn for comparison, see this art post.

This next image needs some context. I had a student in my 3M class last semester who would draw anime style characters on the backs of her tests. Some rather intricate, depending on how long it took her to finish the actual math. She was really good. I would often respond with little head shots of my own characters. At the end of the semester, I asked if it was okay to have a couple photocopies of my favourites, and she said sure. Then she drew me this:

Unsolicited artwork of one of my characters, for the first time ever. (It's Sine, better than I've ever drawn her!) This is the sort of thing that makes me wonder (again) how such things might be incorporated into the actual strip; time will tell.

And that was going to be it for this post, but then the following was posted to my wall last week for my birthday:

That's by John Golden, who gave me permission to post it here. It even includes math humour! That was the first time I found a use for FBs new 'love' button. I also made my own silly birthday image, which you can see there (if you want more of my usual).

Thanks for having a look! Feel free to personify math yourselves! And come back next week for... something, hopefully... any ideas?

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Apr 27/16

Random Self-Indulgence. No plans to index it. You can do whatever you want at age 40, right? Enjoy.

PARA: QT?! What happened??
QT: The author's age hit degree four. So I surprised him by jumping into a cake.
PARA: B-But don't humans jump OUT of cakes?
QT: Oh. That would explain his surprise.
(~QT whispers: Um, wanna lick icing off my nose?~)

Monday, 25 April 2016

Post S7: Art Aside Para2

April is insane. The comics I've posted this month were all drawn at the end of March, during Easter. Even now, after report cards and the school play, I still need some time to figure out where this math comic is going... hence, another Art Aside. The one I promised in my resumption post, back in July 2015, after ConBravo.

You can see the first Art Aside for Para back in June 2013. That's when she was from "Taylor's Polynomials" and had the bunny ears - now she's from "Any Q-bars" has the twintails. Both of the following were drawn by artists at ConBravo 2015.

NewPara, as drawn & coloured by Tabitha Yi

QPara, as I've tagged her in these posts, looks very sad there - but that is what I specified. Hair down means depression is maximized. Plus the first Para had a whole depression arc in Series 5, so it makes sense that new Para would have similar issues.

I had pretty rough character sketches going into the relaunch; here's what another artist took from my same sketch a day later.

Another NewPara, drawn by Oceantann

I really like this one too; interestingly, I see her mouth a bit differently depending on how I look at it. Shading versus lips. Only me?

More art next week, followed (hopefully) by Series 8, where we start seeing more about the mathematical election. Thanks to those who voted on the Twitter polls! And who ReTweeted! (The second poll got massively messed up around day 4, but I have a screenshot I can use.)

The plan is see more about that going forwards, though any additional comments you have can be left down below too. Thanks for reading! I hope you stick around!

Monday, 18 April 2016

S7.262 - Camp Pain

With this, Series 7 is over. Who will run? Who should win? If you have thoughts about Series 8, let me know.

In the meantime, check out Joseph Nebus who is running Mathematics A to Z, and makes a pretty good case for (P)olynomials.


PARA?: The time travel was pointless.
MAUD: Not entirely! My double's gone. Also, new contact lenses.
EXPONA?: That doesn't help us pick an election candidate.
COSINE?: Bad news. Versine knows too. She's begun campaigning.
VERSINE (video): I will build a wall around science! They're bringing formula triangles. They're rounding. And sometimes, I assume, there's good applications.
EXPONA?: I do hate scientific notation.
PARA?: This cannot end well.

Monday, 11 April 2016

S7.261 - Just Cause

New Twitter vote! Please check it out and share.

I said back in March 2013 that there would be a time travel arc.
At this point, to follow Maud's thread, you'll need to (re)read in the following sequence: #235-88mph, #226-Perspective, #227-4Matted, #236-Glasses, #243-Fashion, #250-BaseAttack, #253-PointBreak and #254-Ionic

Enjoy! (The subtle hint was in the label tagging below. The new personifications are all tagged with a ‘Q’. Not Maud.)


EXPONA?: The Q-tans want an election. How can we get them to vote for one of us?
MAUD: No problem.
MAUD: I've been working with Hyper and Nis. We've integrated the remains of the flux capacitor into Logan's base...
MAUD: They'll bring me back in time. I'll go undercover and show the webcomic refugees how great serials are. Foolproof!
LOGAN?: So why did I hear your double mutter, "Yeah, you try that"?
MAUD: He's jealous he didn't think of it first.
(MAUD slaps the table.)

Monday, 4 April 2016

S7.260 - Lead Time

Happy Square Root Day! Meanwhile, time skip.
Please consider voting here on Twitter.


EXPONA: It's been months. Doubled up personification isn't working.
ELLY: Not true.
SINE: Yeah it's been okay.
(SINE recalls COSINE?: I'm so glad you're alive!)
HYPER: Neither of you have a double!
EXPONA: I'll propose both groups elect one single president.
PARA: Not a prime minister?
QT: They'll need to handle composite values too.