math references

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
sine
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math references

Post by sine » Oct 31st 2002, 8:26 pm

After reading posts in thread "put on your smarty pants" this thing about the series popped into my mind: there's quite a lot of references to mathematics in mscl.

There may be more -- feel free to add your observations to the list -- but these are the ones I could come up with (without having a viewing marathon):
  • * Firstly, probably the most obvious: the recuring line "Duh, squared."
    * The name of Jordan's band after Tino has left it, Residue.
    * The line "She asked me if I could come over tonight and explain congruent triangles to her" in ep. 12. And another in the same ep: "You could not possibly conceive of how much studying I have to do tonight! Have you ever even heard of calculus? Geometry is a paid vacation compared to calculus." BTW, what a breeze of fresh air, I think: not one mention of prime numbers! Why is it that usually when mathematics or a math enthusiast is portrayed in a movie or tv series, of all the fields of math, number theory -- and prime numbers especially -- gets the screen time?
    * The "obsession" of characters with number eight (for more on this topic, see thread "Number Eight".
    * Jordan's surname: it's not that far from Catalan, the surname of fairly well-known 19th century Belgian mathematician Eugène Charles Catalan. (yeah, this last one especially may be rather far-fetched, but still it's possible that writers were aware of this link... )
Well, that sums up to 5 or 6 different references -- yeah, it may be debatable if that could be considered as "quite a lot" :)
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Oct 31st 2002, 8:33 pm

I was trying really hard to control myself, but heck it's Halloween, it's almost time to go home, so here goes:

The angle of the dangle is inversely proportional of the heat of the beat.

:D

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Post by Nostradamus » Oct 31st 2002, 8:46 pm

Maybe the show's writers were Terry Pratchett fans; eight is the symbolic number of magic on the Discworld. Wizards are eigth sons of eigth sons, octiron is a magical element, the most ancient and powerful magical tome is the Octavo, etc.

I wonder if the desks at Liberty were made of Sapient Pearwood... :)
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Oct 31st 2002, 8:54 pm

You two are talking about math and numerical significance (although I expect that from people named sine and Nostradamus!) while I'm quoting Beavis and Butthead.

Yup, I suck.

:oops:

As you were.

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Post by sine » Nov 1st 2002, 5:22 am

candygirl wrote: [...] while I'm quoting Beavis and Butthead.
A fine show, nothing wrong with quoting that! And it was an on-topic quote, too :D
Nostradamus wrote:Maybe the show's writers were Terry Pratchett fans; eight is the symbolic number of magic on the Discworld. Wizards are eigth sons of eigth sons, octiron is a magical element, the most ancient and powerful magical tome is the Octavo, etc.
That's an interesting remark. I've yet to read any of the Discworld books, though, but judging by the positive output on this forum I think I really should give them a go.

Now, throughout the series, wouldn't there be an occurence of number fourty-two somewhere?
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Post by Nostradamus » Nov 1st 2002, 8:53 am

sine wrote:Now, throughout the series, wouldn't there be an occurence of number fourty-two somewhere?
Or twenty-three, for that matter. Very big number in conspiricy circles, twenty-three is. What was the number on Brian's football jersey? Someone mentioned it on the forum some time ago, though I don't recall where. Other places to look for significant numbers:
  • Locker numbers
    License plates
    Phone numbers (minus the standard TV 555 prefix)
    Character birthdays
    Chalkboard writings
    Bathroom graffiti
    Homework chapter and page assignments
    Etcetera
Did any of the characters even have a specific birth date mentioned? Rayanne maybe? These are the sort of things I'll be looking for when I get the dvds. This amateur sleuthing may not amount to much in the Grand Scheme of Things, but it sure is fun to have someone to discuss it with. :D
The angle of the dangle is inversely proportional of the heat of the beat.
Uh-huhuhuhuh, you said "beat"! Huhuhuh! :P
I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.
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Post by Sascha (sab) » Nov 1st 2002, 9:24 am

Nostradamus wrote:
sine wrote:Now, throughout the series, wouldn't there be an occurence of number fourty-two somewhere?
Or twenty-three, for that matter. Very big number in conspiricy circles, twenty-three is. What was the number on Brian's football jersey? Someone mentioned it on the forum some time ago, though I don't recall where. Other places to look for significant numbers:
A good source for information is Eric Greyers trivia from early 1995 (which you can find on mscl.com here. )

A little excerpt from his "numbers" section:

1. How old was Brian when the Chases met him? Five years old.

2. What were the geometry test scores (including Abyssinia's 'fake' score)? Angela 59. Abyssinia 98, 60. Abyssinia's friend 66.

3. What did Angela get for Christmas when she was 11? A new bike.

4. What was the number of the sonnet Mr. Katimski reads? 130.

5. At what time of night do Graham and Patty have their conversation about other people's children? 12:15 am.

6. About how long was Tony Poole in the Restaurant business? About twelve years. (only one right answer).

7. Name the seven things Rayanne listed as options to do to her hair. Rat it spray it tease it freeze it spike it shave it or shove it.

8. How much money did Rayanne get from her dad? $270.

9. What three theories did Brad have? Secretly and passionately yearn to do this and if you don't you'll kill yourself or someone else. You'll cave in at the last minute. #3 not explained.

10. What is the phone number of the real estate agency leasing the restaurant space? 412 555-4100

11. How long did Rickie stay at the Chase's? A week.

12. How many members does the chess club have? Six, sometimes.

13. How many names can be seen on the Drama club sign-up sheet (including Rickie)? 6 - five was a common answer.

14. How long does Rayanne tell Patty she has been clean? 33 days.

15. What time does Katimski's class end? 8:57 am.

16. What do Neil and his new girlfriend argue over at breakfast? The 1971 Pirates.

17. How many vocabulary words are on the backboard? 29.

18. How many men has Patty gone to bed with? Five, but had told Graham only 4.

19. What apartment does Mr. Katimski live in? #3.

20. How many years had Neil and his "old" girlfriend been dating? Six.
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geometry

Post by lizardcub » Nov 1st 2002, 12:51 pm

Of course, half of 'Self Esteem' is about Angela's geometry midterm. One thing I really like in that episode is the line "Boys are less afraid...of being wrong." I don't think that line would have worked as well if the subject hadn't been math, which, in the United States at least, is an area that is stereotypically male. I was going to try to ask a question about Abyssinia being black and female, and how her subplot would have been different if the subject had been something else, but I gotta run to school and I don't have time to formulate my question well. :)

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Post by dTheater » Nov 2nd 2002, 2:44 pm

Jordan's last name came from crew member (script supervisor?) Jennifer Catalano.
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Post by fnordboy » Nov 4th 2002, 4:05 am

Nostradamus wrote:
sine wrote:Now, throughout the series, wouldn't there be an occurence of number fourty-two somewhere?
Or twenty-three, for that matter. Very big number in conspiricy circles, twenty-three is. What was the number on Brian's football jersey? Someone mentioned it on the forum some time ago, though I don't recall where.
Well technically 23 is not a conspiracy thing completely. But 23 is a very important (as important as things can get [hardly]) in the Discordian irreligion.

Mainly because 2+3=5 which of course coincides with the Law of Fives...but then again what doesnt ;)
The Law of Fives states simply that wrote:All things happen in fives, or are divisible by or are multiples of five, or are somehow directly or indirectly appropriate to five.
And of course, 00023 (which of course has 5 digits in it) is the page number in the holiest of books The Principia Discordia, Or How I Found Goddess and What I Did to Her When I Found Her that you can find the application for membership on.

So i guess it does come down to a conspiracy thing since the majority of discordians like to grok the disinfo.

fnord, indeed.

Hail Eris, All Hail Discordia!

23 skidoo,

fnordboy

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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Nov 8th 2002, 3:40 am

Nostradamus wrote: What was the number on Brian's football jersey? Someone mentioned it on the forum some time ago, though I don't recall where.
I think it was a 5, but I could be wrong. Anyone who has unwrapped their DVD sets, please feel free to correct me after your 19 episode marathon.
Uh-huhuhuhuh, you said "beat"! Huhuhuh! :P
:shock:

:D

I always knew you were a kindred spirit! You and sine have totally validated my Beavis and Butt-head quote - woo hoo!

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Post by Nostradamus » Nov 8th 2002, 6:39 am

fnordboy wrote:Well technically 23 is not a conspiracy thing completely. But 23 is a very important (as important as things can get [hardly]) in the Discordian irreligion.

Mainly because 2+3=5 which of course coincides with the Law of Fives...but then again what doesnt ;)
The Law of Fives states simply that wrote:All things happen in fives, or are divisible by or are multiples of five, or are somehow directly or indirectly appropriate to five.
And of course, 00023 (which of course has 5 digits in it) is the page number in the holiest of books The Principia Discordia, Or How I Found Goddess and What I Did to Her When I Found Her that you can find the application for membership on.

So i guess it does come down to a conspiracy thing since the majority of discordians like to grok the disinfo.

fnord, indeed.

Hail Eris, All Hail Discordia!

23 skidoo,

fnordboy
Fnordboy, your real name wouldn't happen to be Omar Khayam Ravenhurst, now would it? :wink:

From "The Big Book Of Conspiricies" by Doug Moench:
  • August 23, 1993 -- the day that Mars Observer ceased operating for no reason.
    November 23, 1963 -- the day immediately following Kennedy's death, and immediately preceding Oswald's demise.
    I Ching hexagram 23="break apart" while 23="break the line" in telegrapher's code.
    Euclid's geometry opens with 23 axioms.
    Male and female contribute 23 chromosomes each to a fertilized egg.
    DNA bonding irregularities occur every 23rd angstrom.
    Geosynchronous orbit is 23,000 miles above Earth...
Also learned through another source that 2 gods + 3 goddesses equals, err, eh, a Pentathlon? The Pentagon? Something like that...

Getting back to the eights, maybe the writers were computer nerds; you know, 8 bits makes a byte, 64 bytes make a mega-whatsit, 800 megakilos makes a gigajiggy, 8x8 to the power of 1000 makes Bill Gates' wealth in dollars, etc.
I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.
-- Clarence Darrow

I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.
-- Mark Twain

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Post by Nostradamus » Nov 8th 2002, 6:51 am

candygirl wrote:
Nostradamus wrote: What was the number on Brian's football jersey? Someone mentioned it on the forum some time ago, though I don't recall where.
I think it was a 5, but I could be wrong. Anyone who has unwrapped their DVD sets, please feel free to correct me after your 19 episode marathon.
Thanks, knew I'd seen it somewhere. There you go, fnordboy, Rule of Fives!
candygirl wrote:
Uh-huhuhuhuh, you said "beat"! Huhuhuh! :P
:shock:

:D

I always knew you were a kindred spirit! You and sine have totally validated my Beavis and Butt-head quote - woo hoo!
You didn't think we could let it "dangle", did you? :P
I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.
-- Clarence Darrow

I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.
-- Mark Twain

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Post by Megs » Nov 8th 2002, 10:06 am

I believe the number on Brian's jersey (the one he borrowed from Ricky for Halloween) was a 3.
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Post by Sascha (sab) » Nov 8th 2002, 11:39 am

Megs wrote:I believe the number on Brian's jersey (the one he borrowed from Ricky for Halloween) was a 3.
Ricky borrowed it from Brian, but the rest is correct:

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