Sunday 23 December 2012

S4 Returns Jan 2013


The Personification of Mathematical Equations Web Series




Author Notes:

Yes, I have a buffer, so we're going to resume in January. Over the next ten days, I will also be tweeting recaps with the tag #MTans, so if you're new to the series, feel free to look for them, or follow me. If you're not new to the series (or take the time to look through the archive) feel free to offer suggestions as well, either through email or in the comments below. In particular:
-Is my formatting okay and/or is there a better design I could use for the site?
-Should I continue to provide links to related websites out there?
-Do you have suggestions for additional characters or plot points? (See what I did there?)

Thanks for dropping by!  Hope you stick around for a while.

Gregory Taylor

Also, without further ado, this year's holiday singalong special about:

Which features the site's notable singers (Para, ParaB, and Expona) in images and text, as well as some links offsite to videos by ViHart and MinutePhysics.  Enjoy!

Cotangent, Lyn, Modulus, and Hyper sing too


Sunday 25 November 2012

S4.118c - NOV 25/12

Author Notes:

Update: Well, it's been a month. My personal life is less complicated. But my course prep and marking are still absorbing a lot of my time, and with no/little external incentive to get things going here, I've refocussed in a couple other places. So we won't be resuming regular updates here until the new year, at the earliest.  That said...

-Barring the unforeseen, there will still be a holiday special like last year.
-I have posted up the "Exponential" parody song that I wrote in late August.  (It was going to be integrated into the story line, and likely still will be, but might as well be out there for you.)
-I have been doing some blogging over at My Other Site including a week of blogging about my day, which included some math-tan character point of views as I experimented with different writing styles.
 1) Tuesday, as told by Para
 2) Wednesday, as told by Circe
 3) Thursday, as told by Tangent
 4) Friday, as told by Hevvi

Which was capped off by some reflections about the experience. I've also spent some time here and there doctoring "Magical Lyrical Nanoha" cards to use math personification characters:

Yes, a Period Cane. There's a lot you still haven't seen.

If I had more spare time, or more incentive, I'd probably devise a firmer timeline here. (Tip: Readers can certainly affect the latter, if not the former.) Of course, the series is obviously not going away, as it's remaining part of my daily life... but regular updates remain on hiatus for now.

Sunday 21 October 2012

S4.118b - OCT 21/12

Author Notes:

So, this is going to mark a Schedule Slip in Taylor's Polynomials. The first in over 66 weeks. Because while the strip's still fun, and there's still so much potential in story arcs, as I said back on Jan 1st... now, I get the sense that few are being educated or entertained, aside from me. (Do people even care that I have a few different story arcs going now?) Plus I've got three courses to prep this year, along with approaching report card time, and shades of a personal life that's been more complicated recently.

As such... I'll reiterate what I mentioned yesterday on My Other Blog (the more normal one, which also gets more hits per post). This hiatus will last until I've put effort back into creating a buffer. The real question is, how much effort *should* I put into that? Would people want a resumption before the new year? Or not until July 2013, if even then? Moreover, should I wrap up their story lines quick, let them play out as intended, or take it in some new direction that would be more engaging?

This isn't any sort of ransom either, it's not some juvenile 'I'm not writing my next part until I get 30 likes on Facebook' sort of deal.  We'll simply resume faster if there's actual interest.  Because as fun as it is to have Star Trek Trignometry characters riding around in Logarithm's larger-on-the-inside Gazebo, even as the Beta group use anime while singing their way through the high school curriculum... it would sure be MORE fun if I knew how to make it interesting (or dare I say relevant) to more people.

In the meantime, to my two or three loyal followers, I encourage you to check out the following, dare I say, much better and funnier web-comics:
 (x, why?) - for math and more
 Darths & Droids - for roleplay and scifi
 Head Trip - for doubletakes and pop culture

Thanks for reading.  We'll resume at some point.  Now I need to break the news to Para...


Wednesday 17 October 2012

S4.118 - History/Hertory

"Okay, so we have designs on music," Lyn concluded. "That said, on the off chance that vocaloids corner the market first, let's consider a backup subject."

"History," Cosine suggested. "Dates are numbers, and they can carry particular significance."

"Like birthdays!" Root said. He turned and grinned.

"Well, and there are a number of statistics which play a role in history," Elly remarked. "For instance, the numbers on conscription and drafting for wars... tied in to election results..."

"Ooh, I don't know about elections," Secant sighed. "The voter turnout numbers in Western societies are rather depressing of late."

"How about immigration stats?" Nat offered. "Then versus now. Though, I dare say it's always interesting to compare historical events to current ones. Lessons from the past reach into the future and all."

"Assuming you can do proper comparisons," Root countered. "In Canada, the long form census was recently turned into a voluntary survey."

Lyn rubbed her forehead. "This is getting too political. Perhaps if we focused only on the history of mathematics?"

"Or merely the mathematicians?" Elly mused. "Not forgetting about all the female contributions, to be sure..."

"Gender is a whole other issue," Cosine observed.  "Actually, interesting fact, the father of HIStory is considered to be HERodotus."

"Word," Root affirmed.  Or possibly segued.


Sunday 14 October 2012

S4.117 - Conic Projection

ParaB and QT had excused themselves from the bridge some time ago. The blonde now sat on a bed in the medical bay, with her head in her hands. "Oh, God, how embarrassing...!" came her muffled voice.

ParaB sat down next to the polynomial, then tentatively reached out to pat the other girl on her knee. "It's fine. I won't tell anyone what I saw."

"Oh, but why did it have to be you under the ladder?" the blonde moaned. "It never even occurred..." Her voice trailed off, and then she looked up. "Actually, maybe it DID. Subconsciously. But of COURSE I blocked it out because... uhm... look, I'll try not to do that again!!"

ParaB stared at the catgirl for a few long seconds. Then she smiled. "I'm okay with it, you know. The fact that you're occasionally biquadratic? And don't worry," she added, off QT's abruptly wide eyed expression. "It's just something I noticed. I haven't mentioned it to Para through our telepathy."

The polynomial let out a long breath of relief. "Thanks. Please don't. It would just be so complicated, you know? Because Para's with Root, and maybe there's a Radik out there I simply haven't met... it's just, maybe some part of me is now projecting Para onto you."

"Seems more like a mapping than a projection," ParaB joked. After a pause, she put her hand back on QT's knee. "It's fine. Really. It's actually kind of cute." She squeezed with her fingers. "Besides, it's not like I'M seeing Root."

y^2 + x^4 = 1?
Their gazes met again. This time, the two equations stared at each other for a longer moment. Much longer. Ultimately, QT leaned in a little closer, her lips parting...

"You two still busy modifying that scanner?" Sine asked, poking her head into the room.

ParaB quickly leapt to her feet, as QT tried to recover before falling on her face. "Yes!" ParaB shouted. "I mean, yeah, we'll soon have a device that can scan for mathematical relations. And we shall call it the Quadcorder, after the two of us!"

"We can even test it out on me first, by doing a cat scan!" QT blurted, while sitting up and smoothing down her skirt.

Sine nodded. "Carry on then." She departed, leaving the two girls to stare sidelong at each other.


Wednesday 10 October 2012

S4.116 - Taylor Who?

"I'll let Lyn and the beta group know, thanks," Tangent said, smiling at Para. Though as she turned to go, she glanced down at the pad the bunny girl had been working on. "What're you up to anyway?"

"Oh! Funny thing," Para replied. "My mental connection to ParaB is fading in and out, apparently because of Logan's Gazebo. From what I understand, his ship is similar to something from a popular science fiction show. So... songwriting. But not really related to math."

The brunette sat back down. "Sing it for me anyway!" she said brightly. "Nothing wrong with being a little tangential while I'm around."

Para blushed faintly. "All right... I'll be swift."

Para  (ax2 + bx + c)  presents....


  (*aka "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together", Taylor Swift)

Official Song Video here 
Actual Lyrics Video here 

I remember when you spoke up, the first time
Saying that you could regenerate, past lives
All filled with people that you used to know
As you, move through, time and space.   ...What?

Then you tell me that it's in the past
Maybe, since past is also future and could change
Let's see, or is that River Song that you've miscast
I say, I've lost you, who are you, you tell me, Doctor ...Who?

Oooooh, you say you had a companion
But oooooh, this time, I'm here with you, I'm telling you,
We will never ever ever, travel back to get her!
We will never ever ever, travel back to get her!
In this blue police box, let's please talk, talk I plea.
Can we just never ever ever ever... travel back to get her?

For  ...ever?

I'm really good at kicking arse and ass... sometimes.
Failing at it I can act with class. Always.
Or hide away if that's what you prefer, unless
That would make you mad - just give me a sign?

Oooooh, you mentioned her again, just then
But ooooh, it's time. I'm now with you, I'm telling you,
We will never ever ever, travel back to get her!
We will never ever ever, travel back to get her!
In this blue police box, let's please talk, talk I plea,
Can we just never ever ever ever... travel back to get her?

Ooooh. Ooooo-oooh. Yep. Ooooh. Ooooo-oooh.
Ooh, yep. Ooooo-oooh. Yep. Oh oh ohh.

You tell me that, that things, they are timey-wimey.
They still come to you... I respond "Blimey!"

  *sigh* "So he tells me one returned from like, PARALLEL EARRRRTH,
  But I'm like, it's her, I mean you weren't out looking, you know.
  So if they still show up, whatever.  Like, listen..."

Now we, will never ever ever, travel back to get her!
We will never ever ever, travel back to get her!
In this blue police box, let's please talk, talk I plea,
Can we just never ever ever ever... travel back to get her?

Ooo-ooooh. Ooo-ooooh.
Don't go back to get her!
Oui! Ooo-ooooh.
Ohhhh, don't go back to get her!

In this blue police box, let's please talk, talk I plea!
So we will never ever ever ever... travel back to get her!

Sunday 7 October 2012

S4.115 - Noted

"Hey, that was a music video link!" Root pointed out, somewhat redundantly. "We've missed the obvious."

Lyn facepalmed. "Music. Of course. Time signatures. Fractional note values."

"Math and music IS a natural intersection," Elly agreed. "Even Mozart is said to have liked mathematical puzzles - I wonder if that explains the Mozart Effect?"

"And there's always studies being done, attempting to draw correlations between music and health," Nat said gruffly. "Not to mention how instrument string lengths and octaves tie in with frequencies."

"Plus we can do mapping of numbers to notes!" Cosine chimed in. "Like Philip Moriarty, who was interviewed by Numberphile, having made a song of Pi in the key of C major."

"And for those who prefer Tau, vihart did something similar in a song," Secant concurred.

"Okay," Root said, nodding slowly. "Again, I was going in a different direction. I thought maybe Para could do a promotional song for us. But I prefer where you went with it!"

Lyn adjusted her glasses. "Para would be the expert here though, you're right. I can contact her via Tangent," she decided, holding up her arm with the wristwatch on it. "See if our resident Quadratic can give us any advice."

"Yes, we may want to settle in on a particular musical style..." Cosine mused. "Suggestions?"



Wednesday 3 October 2012

S4.114 - Two Point Conversion

Root stared at the floor, now feeling totally negative. "You know," he sighed, "After seeing the other personifications, I feel like mathematics is coming real late to this party. I mean, what's next, personifying sinkholes?"

"Now, now. You might simply be looking at our role in the wrong way," Elly soothed, reaching out to pat him on the shoulder.

"Right," Lyn agreed. "This isn't about taking over some other subject area, or turning me into Hydrogen. It's about remaining true to ourselves, merely in the context of another subject."

"Offering them support," Secant agreed.

"Or possibly adapting their ideas," Cosine said. "Have any of you seen the Periodic Table of Finite Simple Groups?"

"Hm! I suppose we could consider tech courses," Root mused, flipping back to being positive. "For instance, logs. Did you know a finished 2 by 4 is actually a 1.5 by 3.5?"

"Hmph, imperial," Nat mumbled. "Such lumber measures 38 by 89 millimetres in metric. More to the point, conversions are huge. But I don't see us popping up on the nearest chalkboard whenever a student has to do measurements."
"Why not?" Elly asked. "Picture it, the person thinks they're in one course... only to discover they've been metric rolled."


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.

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!"
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


Wednesday 29 August 2012

S4.104 - Gamma Raise

"Are we gamma? I think that makes us gamma," Para remarked to Maud as Lyn and her group filed out.

Expona rolled her eyes. "Maud, you want some help dealing with Para?" the redhead asked. "Students say she's difficult to work with, plus it looks to me like you're an incomplete gamma function."

Maud shook his head. "No, no, we're fine, don't worry. I've got an integral role in mind for Para."

"Hey, does that mean I'm involved?" Cubi said in confusion.

"No, you should all... go about your daily business, I suppose," Maud said.

"Objection!" Toc stated, extending his arm out. "We don't even have homes to go back to now! Take that!"

"Look, how about we all report on news stories, whether we do videos or not?" Tangent suggested in a soothing voice.

"Oh! You mean like how Stephen Hawking will be at today's startup of those Olympics... which seem to be named after me?" Para asked brightly.

"Your disability isn't physical," Expona mumbled.

"I know!" Circe said. "We should point everyone at 'To Boldly Flee', the epic Channel Awesome scifi show that has part 3 coming out today!"

"Those guys aren't really in space," Nis protested, finally speaking up. "How about we report on the music coming back from Mars Curiosity?"

"Right! Laser robots - for science!" Hyper chimed in, rubbing her hands together. "Tangent has a good idea, let's all be honourary gammas! Any objection??" She looked pointedly at Toc.

Maud frowned slightly, glancing at Para for her reaction. The blonde merely smiled. "Well, I think that we should try it out to see!" Para suggested. "Yeah, Curiosity will never let me go..."

"Almost the lyrics I'm looking for," Maud concluded, motioning Para into the makeshift recording studio.


Sunday 26 August 2012

S4.103 - Subjective Viewpoint

"Okay, well, that's the exploring team," Lyn stated as Group Alpha headed off. "So who's with me and Cosine for exploring subjects?"

"Me!" Circe said. "You need someone capable of a hostile takeover if the need arises!"

The line facepalmed at the prospect of working with the circle again. "We really don't," she assured.

"Yes, there's no need to combine Lyn and Circe, not when Secant's already there," Reci pointed out.

"I nominate myself to go," Elly chimed in. "As the representative of Conic interests. Seeing as I also have some awareness of the world to which Maud and Radik referred."

"Huh, that's true, she's the one who was talking to me about tweets," Expona recalled. "Why didn't you speak up sooner?" The ellipse merely smiled enigmatically. Circe frowned, but decided not to protest the selection of her cousin over her.

"Well, my comlink with Lyn means there's little point me going along too," Tangent remarked. "So I nominate my inverse to join her group."

"Dammit Tan, I'm a doctor, not a group therapist!" Nat groused. Regardless, he stepped over to join the others, and Tangent flashed him a smile.

"There should be one more guy," Maud decided. "And you're already heavy on Trigonometry. Root, how about you offer your technical expertise? Cotangent can help us here in your absence."

"Sure," Root said with a shrug. "I suppose in some sense I'm the solution to a mathematical equation."

"That makes us the beta group," Lyn concluded.

"Meaning we've got all the standard features but are not yet ready for widespread release!" Root defined with a grin. As the other group members turned to look at him, he shrugged. "Or I guess we could be a social game. They're all beta on Facebook, right?"



Wednesday 22 August 2012

S4.102 - The i's Have It

"No, teams sounds like a good idea," Maud agreed. "Me and Para can be in charge of videos and commentary on the world out there."

"What? Why me?" Para squeaked.

"Because I need a female counterpoint, and Lyn seems to prefer checking out other subjects."

"I'm interested in those subjects too," Cosine piped up. "I hear they're taught in periods."

"I don't know," Sine said, placing her hands on her hips. "I think I'd prefer to go with ParaB. Seeking out new life or new civilizations, that sounds like it would be right up my alley. Anyone else with us?"

Radik III nodded. "I'll join! Since after we find those others, we can mount a strike force to take back mathematics!"

Cubi grinned. "Hey, I'm all over that as well!"

"Bad plan," Quinn countered, reaching out to grab Cubi before she could move to join the others. "You'd spend all your time making out with your inverse. QT, you're nominated to go with the ParaB team to represent Polynomials."

"What? Why me?" QT squeaked, her exclamation having even more power than Para's.

"Don't worry, catgirl," Cosecant said reassuringly. "I'll make you're kept safe. Because Sine isn't going to be traveling without her reciprocal, for security reasons." Secant nodded in agreement, moving to take up her own position next to Cosine.

"Too many females in ParaB's group now," Logan said, adjusting his eyepatch. "I'd better go along too. Besides, I have a ship."

"Okay, six is a perfect number," Maud concluded. "Plus you've got Radik III, who seems to know something about the new world as well... er, where did your information come from, by the way?"

"It's genetic. From my imaginary roots," Radik said, grinning.

There was a pause. "Uh, does he have to be a part of our group?" ParaB asked.



Sunday 19 August 2012

S4.101 - Group Theory


"Okay, our video episode got a couple tweets, over 100 hits and we've had a few comments," Maud remarked. "That's really good! The latest thing now seems to be Khan's success at Computer Science..."

"Oh, how does it compare to the Computer Science Circles instruction from the University of Waterloo?" Root wondered.

"Look, that doesn't solve our problem," Circe said in annoyance. "We've been cast off, set adrift from the math curriculum!"

"Yes, I can feel that," Para said sadly. "Though we still exist, it's without all our helpful children. Like x2 + 1, x2 + 2, x2 + 3 --"

Tangent nodded. "We feel it too, Para."

"(x + 1)2, (x + 2)2, (x + 3)2 --"

Cubi grimaced. "Hey, uh, Para..."

"2x2, 3x2, 4x2 --"

"Para!" Expona snapped. "We've all experienced an infinite loss! The question is what do we do about it!"

"We find a new curriculum!" Lyn said, clenching a first in determination. "I mean, didn't you see that Khan Academy website? There's so many other subjects out there that could use us!"

ParaB shook her head. "No. I think there are other mathematical personifications still out there, waiting to be discovered, as I was. We should seek them out."

"What happened to exploring this new world?" Maud protested. "I want to do more videos! Though... they do take a while to put together..."

"Split into teams," Sine said, crossing her arms as her command mode kicked in. "Alpha, beta and gamma."

Hyper glared. "You trig functions and your Greek letters... didn't they create enough trouble LAST episode?"


Wednesday 15 August 2012

S4.100 - Yes We Khan

"Okay!" Root declared in triumph. "Me and Cotangent have hacked up a way to keep the story going on the blog!"

"And your 100th episode video is now up and running!" Cot said to Maud with a grin. "Don't worry if it pauses at 301 views by the way... that's more a feature than a bug."

"I've already seen it," Radik III said, shaking his head. "It's terrible."

"Hey, that took WEEKS of prior preparation!" Maud said in annoyance. "What's wrong with it?!"

Radik III eyed the absolute value function. "There's no robots."


Sunday 12 August 2012

S3.41 - Bar None

"So that's the situation," Maud concluded. "This may be our last episode together." He looked out at all the other parent equations, which he had summoned to his bar, in order to impart the bad news.

"I should have realized who Maud was from day one," Lyn remarked to Slope, standing beside her. "It should have been as obvious to me as your identity."

"We all should have inquired after his remark about parenting," Root chimed in. "Though it's not like this is his fault."

"So now we're... unemployed?" Para said, her lower lip quivering. "Does this mean no more form changes?"

"No!" Circe declared, rubbing her hands together. "We can take over another curriculum! Turn people into animals if we have to!"

"I think a hostile takeover is premature," Maud said carefully. "There's a whole other world out there to explore first. The very world that registers on your mathematical assistance scans."

"Is this connected to that Facebook thing we managed to access after the creation of ParaB?" Hyper said, crossing her arms.

"Or that odd sense of deja vu deja vu we've been having lately?" Sine and Cosine chorused.

"I've also heard mention of tweets!" Expona cut in, Logan nodding his head slowly in agreement beside her.

"Precisely," Maud said. "Having anticipated the worst, I've spent the last month creating digital backups and alternatives, along with monitoring current mathematical trends. It's time to show we CAN expand our horizons! To that end, I have designed our one hundredth episode in video form!"

"Hey, that's extremely positive for once!" Reci said with a grin.

"Problem," came a new voice. Everyone's eyes turned towards the individual standing in the corner.

Radik III stepped forwards under the scrutiny. "I have heard of this world. However, when Specials are accounted for, our group has already passed one hundred. The next episode will be something like 119."

Maud frowned. "I was trying to avoid overcounting like that, for fear that we would get cancelled in the middle of a sent


Wednesday 8 August 2012

S3.40 - Final Examination

"Here's another thing," Maud added, to fill the ensuing silence. "If I rule against them, does that not overrule my OWN existence?"


"Well, no... but your alternative seems to be that mathematics be done merely by automation! Or with numbers on a chalkboard! That seems so... so devoid of feeling... or intuition!" Maud stood a little straighter. "In fact, you know what? I rule in favour of keeping the Math-Tans. I think they - we - do serve a purpose!"

There was a long pause. Then, finally: *OVERRULED.*

"WHAT?!" Maud sputtered.


Maud clenched his fists. "So apparently you didn't need me to serve as an observer at all!?!"


"And how are they supposed to do that without a Taylor Series to act as a framing device??"

If the entity observing them were able to shrug, Maud sensed it had just done so.  *IF THEY'RE WORTHY MATHEMATICIANS, EXPANSION SHOULD COME NATURALLY... DON'T YOU THINK?*


Sunday 5 August 2012

S3.39 - Hat's Off

Maud stared at the message. Well, he couldn't reveal himself to the others now... not before this meeting could take place. In fact, it was with a certain degree of trepidation that he approached the designated coordinates later that week. Once there, he removed his hat and sunglasses, and waited.

*ABSOLUTE VALUE?* came the voice from above.

"Call me Modulus!" Maud called back. "I'm a complex individual!"

A pause was the only acknowledgement, followed by: *WHAT IS YOUR DECISION?*

"I need more time!" Maud retorted. "I've only been observing the Math-Tans for, what, a year? And even then, it's only been the Polynomials, the Conics, and the Trig, I'm sure given another Earth cycle..."


"Look, thirteen months is NOTHING on a cosmic scale!" Maud said, getting irritated despite himself. "Are you seriously planning to wipe out an entire race of characters merely on my say-so?"


Maud rubbed his forehead.  "Can you at least stop SHOUTING?" he requested.  "You'll make me as deaf as my sister Signum..."


Wednesday 1 August 2012

S3.38 - Slippery Slope

A few days later, everyone found themselves back at Maud's bar. This time, it was a farewell party for Slope. "It's not goodbye though," the brunette assured everyone. "Even though I'm moving back into the AZ, they passed the motion which lets me visit as Slope. Same as before."

At Maud's request, Para gave him a rundown of the events which Lyn and Circe had experienced. "Make no mistake, by the time we arrived, all the excitement was over," Para concluded. "Though apparently it's got Hyper interested in possible new applications for her asymptote rings."

"So it's a happy ending," Maud said slowly.  "That's fortunate..."

Para canted her head to the side. "Are you okay?"

Maud frowned slightly, then shook his head.  "Oh, fine, merely some things on my mind. I... well, I'll fill you in soon enough."

Across the bar, Tangent aka Slope approached Lyn, and held out a box. "Um, hey," the brunette said a bit uncertainly. "I got you a present. For going into the AZ and helping my sisters and generally being awesome."

Lyn blinked. "You... you didn't have to."

"Well, I did anyway," Tangent said, trying not to blush. "So open it."

Lyn smiled a little, then pulled the lid off the box. "Oh!" the blonde said in delight. "A pair of slippers! And they're ruby red, like your whole Trig Command motif."

Tangent nodded. "Not that you can forget me, what with our comlink, but it's so you know I'm thinking of you and... look, you get why I can't leave my sisters now, yeah?"

"I think so," Lyn said with a small smile.  "After all, what it really comes down to is... there's no place like home."


Sunday 29 July 2012

S3.37b - Interlude

Expona soon located a microphone.


Wednesday 25 July 2012

S3.37 - Sing Song, Put Tan to Bed

"So," Versine concluded, looking towards the command trig, "Are we done with this enterprise?"

"For now," Sine answered.

"But we'll be keeping our eyes on you," Cosine added.

"Careful, you'll get a complex," the green-shirted trig shot back, before looking towards Expona. "As for you... pick your battles better. And maybe sing a showtune with ME in it for once!"

Circe blinked and also turned to the redhead. "Expona, you still singing? I thought you were giving it up because it added to the confusion between you and Para."

"Bah! I've decided that the blonde doesn't know musicals," Expona shot back. "So no, I'm staging a return. In fact, someone find me a microphone, I'll demonstrate..."

For her part, Lyn had spent the last several minutes with Cot and Nat, as the latter looked over Tangent. "She'll be fine," the medic finally said gruffly. "Just overexerted herself. Needs rest."

"You're sure?" Lyn said worriedly.

"Well, rest and food," Nat amended. He glanced at Cotangent. "Have her take two pie and call me in the morning."