Thursday, 18 December 2014

"Polar Plot" Singalong

The Story So Far: Personified math made it home, only to be told that their existence was inconsequential. Yet even so, some traditions linger...

A whirlpool formed in the middle of the air. It grew rapidly in size, until it was large enough to discharge a blonde bunny onto the ground. Once this had been done, the portal shrank back down and vanished. Para, the personified parabola, tentatively poked at the ground where she had landed - she was unhurt, quite accustomed to doing calculations for objects flying through the air. Even when she was the object.

A short distance away, a cafe door opened, and a woman with dark skin exited, holding a mug of hot chocolate.  "Oh, there you are!" she declared with a grin. "Come along, we're all ready to finalize the videos... where did you disappear to?"

"CanTor!" Para gasped, recognizing the fractal.  She slowly pushed herself back to her feet.  "Someone was trying to destroy all the Roman Numerals! I was recruited by the Epsilon Project, along with a Teleporter and a Time Lord, to try and stop them!"

Candice Torrent stared silently for a moment. "Okay..."

"No, seriously!" Para insisted. "There was even a connection to Lissa Jous!"

"Right. Well, we can discuss that later," CanTor decided. "As I said, we have to finalize these 'Polar Plot' videos. Holiday tradition, yes? There's Expona's, involving Idina Menzel, and yours, involving Demi Lovato."

Para nodded. "Okay then - though, relatively speaking, I've been gone for something like a day. The lyrics are written down somewhere, right?"

CanTor arced an eyebrow. "I'm amazed the tune isn't still stuck in your head..."

Sunday, 18 May 2014

End of the Line

The Soundtrack for this post is here.

I was left to my own devices.

Many days fell away, when no one would show.

Though my calls kept echoing out for this story that I love...

No crowds rolled over the hills - only darkness from above.

So, where do I begin? The rubble or my sins?


"Taylor's Polynomials" Series 1-3 was the initial idea, almost exactly three years ago (at Anime North). I began publishing in July 2011, and over a year, I gradually broadened a mathematical universe, from polynomials through conics and trigonometry. Mostly for fun, but done in the hope others would like it.

As I approached summer 2012 I realized I wasn't sure where to extend the concept, so before Series 4, I shifted things to a blog, joined twitter, talked to colleagues, bought a domain name, learned video editing, participated in "Mystery Teacher Theatre 2000"... generally tried to broaden my scope, find new inspiration, and promote what I was doing. (For more about promotion, read this post at (x, why?).)

There was a brief spike of interest (from MTT2k), which quickly petered out.

In the couple years (and 100+ episodes) that have followed, I've linked to other subjects, and to educational math websites. I've tried to include more current events. I've pushed the boundaries of my storytelling, employing themes of depression, race, and same sex relations. I've done video recaps and explanation posts. I've created new characters (step functions, fractals), and tried to incorporate more statistics into the mathematical narrative. All to minimal effect.

A single person can only do so much.

It's not that there were no comments. That's sort of typical for most bloggers, you don't question it. It's that there was no interest in talking about it... to others, or even to me.

To sum up, through 3 years and over 220 episodes, I'm aware of:
-A single song parody recommended in a blog, by (x, why?) with this entry. To be fair, live performances tend to be the preference.
-A tiny handful of individual episodes tweeted out, mostly by Audrey McLaren (@a_mcsquared) within the last two months. Twitter is otherwise silent, barring me pulling a "Hey! Listen!".
-No post links to me (outside of x, why) that I didn't initiate. And no brand recognition whatsoever. For example, the whole "Versine" craze of 2013 (after the Onion trig article) happened a year AFTER I used her in my serial, and NO ONE thought of me. In fact I think the only person to send me content prospects (math or otherwise) has been Scott Delahunt.

It led to this rant last November asking what the heck I was doing wrong, wondering how I can improve, and if there was a point to regular updates at all. Like MTT2k, prompted a week of interest, but after that we were back to status quo. Then last week, series' end. As of now, it got 36 views.

Analysis: I suppose the main problem is that I've never been quite sure of my audience. People who like math? People who don't like math? People who like english with math? Teachers? Students? I've handed out loads of business cards at conferences and talked it up, on and offline. Even been recognized on occasion. But the response has consistently been "That's neat. Bye now."

Conclusion: It's not enough to have a product. You need to target it somewhere. Somehow.

Corollary: No one else had a sense of where to target it either.


Let's face it. The things we do in life never play out quite the way we expect them to. This is good - otherwise life would get boring. Also, there are times when we look to others for direction, or for inspiration, and they cannot provide any insight. This can also be good. It's a sign you're forging new ground, and/or it signifies you have a chance to step up and be more self-sufficient.

There also comes a time when you have to step away. To cut your losses. I guess that's where I am.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I now believe the following is the underlying flaw:
There is no interest in a mathematics blog when it's underlying story is fiction.

What is this, some kinda metaphor??
Because when you're reading my fiction...
-You're not learning from the success or failure of others. Only from stuff I made up.
-You're not learning by following a human character that you can relate to. Unless you can relate to mathematical relations.
-You're not learning by seeing the problems of society mirrored in cartoonish drawings. Most connections are secondary to the storyline.
-You're ONLY learning in a direct way if you follow my copious links - and other websites do that kind of thing in a more straightforward way, so why come to this blog at all??

Well, you're here now, let's hope you can at least learn from my failure.

I do NOT buy that my problem is the serial format - serial entries are supposed to stand on their own, the same way entries to a teacher's 180 blog are stand-alone. (Would you not read Day 53 of a blog simply because you haven't read Days 1-52?) I suppose I can accept that I'm lousy at writing serials. But more likely it's the concept itself. "Fluff" math, for pure entertainment, cloaked in geeky references... is something which has little to no lasting impact.

See, I'm in the rather unique position of managing two blogs. This one, and the one where I post about random educational/writing things. (FYI, this one came first.) When I was crazy busy at the start of April 2014, I didn't post in MathieX at all. Yet I still had almost 2,000 hits for my OLD posts by April 21st. Here, where I managed to keep to my weekly posting schedule, I had less than half that number of hits. (I... won't say how much less.) And while it's possible I'm misinterpreting the hit stats (apparently Readers don't register), I'm doing it the same way for both blogs. Ergo, I see there is more demand for non-fiction.

That said, there was some demand here.

Here's where I thank my regular readers! So much!!! Let me assure you, some days the small act of a retweet has been the ONLY thing that gave me enough incentive to push onwards. (I grant that on other days, I've done it because I'm quite fond of the characters.) Thus last week's conclusion of the "math subject" story arc is as much for you as it is for me, and I do hope you're coming away satisfied.

For the curious, I average between 40 and 50 views (total) on any post. It's skewed - a few posts have higher hits. But as a trend, it hasn't been growing. At all. (Unless we go back to my first six months, when I was lucky to get 5 hits! So there's that!) While I do wish there could have been more, part of me is equally glad it wasn't less. In a sense, thanks to Audrey's recent archive dive, I even feel a bit like I'm going out on top. It's as if some of what I actually intended was finally happening in the end. For that too, I can be grateful.


"Mr. Bruckman, there are hits and there are misses... and then there are misses." --Scully, X-Files

I currently have more than enough material in my head to continue this serial indefinitely. But it's obvious (albeit painful) for me to see that my time would be better served elsewhere.

What might cause things to resume? If there's actual public call for it (doubtful - Facebook page remains under 20 likes), if the march of time shows there was something of use here after all (possible - haven't had the chance to explore all options), or if I can find a way to reinvent this thing to have LOADS less fiction (most probable - yet Series 4 was such an attempt, and it was a flop).

In the meantime, I'm going to have to do some serious rethinking. Along with some soul searching too.

SO. If you are wondering about any loose plot threads, or have any other thoughts, feel free to leave a comment. Similarly, feel free to use the comments to flag any initiative you're involved in! I know firsthand how tough it is to get any sort of internet foothold, and now that I'm not updating, others might want somewhere new to go. I'll likely even check it out myself... once the pain has dulled and my tears stop coming back.


Despite my initial soundtrack... don't close your eyes. There's great stuff happening out there in writing, in mathematics, and in education. Seek it out. Support it. Or if you don't support it, at least suggest what might be the problem with it.

It's all too easy for creative ideas to get buried like Pompeii.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

S6.222 - Home Again

The Story So Far: After leaving Fractal City, personified math must deal with a wormhole that could bring them to Statistics... help point the way back home... or destroy them outright.

Given the lack of wormhole turbulence, Logan managed to set his gazebo down next to the Hyper Jumper. Having monitored the majority of the situation from the bridge, ArcTan was quick to emerge and assess QT's condition. "Exhaustion," he concluded. "If she were trig, I'd say take two pie and call me in the morning. In this case? I'd recommend two root vegetables."

The medic turned to ParaB. "As for YOU..." He shook his head. "I don't even know how to get a reading off of you. Sorry."

"It's okay," ParaB sighed. Her initial horror had resolved itself into a resigned numbness, and she now sat on the ground staring at the ring for the broken Jump Gate. "I think I should revise my earlier evaluation of avoiding 'safe' though... it's equally important not to stretch yourself too far, too fast. After all, you can't do it over again if you're dead."

"Everyone else seems generally unhurt!" ArcCos remarked, helping his brother to his feet - after removing ArcSin's swirled glasses. He turned to look towards the super deformed fractal. "What about the equipment?"

CanTor finished tapping on her iPad before looking up. "Flux capacitor's scrap. Gate looks beyond repair. Even the Dial Out Device is damaged. No idea how much work will be needed." She grimaced. "I'll be stuck here with the rest of you for a while."

"That plan worked though," Expona remarked, as she climbed out of Logan's ship. "According to all the readings we're getting downstairs... our present location is the subject of mathematics." She looked towards the quadratics. "So, congratulations bunnies. Put your minds at ease. You've saved numerology. Once again."

Para pursed her lips. Expona's tone reminded her of the confrontation that had occurred back when she'd proposed starting up the trigonometric orchestra. The redhead was still upset with her. But Para still didn't know what, if anything, she could do about that. Not that it was the best time for such thoughts anyway... she was still feeling the aftereffects of a splitting headache. Literally.

"So... what now?" Signum asked, looking from Maud to the others gathered in the area.

"Good question," Maud remarked. "Are we about to face the wrath of Q?"

Cosine allowed her transformation to fade out. "Well, whether we are or not, how about we get everyone back to the mainland?" the tall trig suggested. "There's nothing for us here."

"Wait. Someone's coming." Tangent lifted her arm to point along the length of the bridge, and the figure who was walking down towards them. Disturbingly, her silhouette looked a lot like that of QT. Though as she got closer, they noticed that she didn't have any cat ears, and that she was wearing glasses and a silver-like bodysuit.

The blonde arrival stopped at the edge of the platform and stared around at the group. There was an uncomfortable silence. Then the newcomer nodded. "Remarkable. You are the originals.”

Everyone exchanged glances. "Is that good?" Para asked.

A pause. "Consider that the universe is large, full of different mathematical interpretations, and other vastly more interesting things," the silver-clad woman said at last. "I'd say without much ado, we can all muddle through without you. So. Can you accept the fact that your methods, your appearances, and indeed your very existence... was inconsequential?"



You have some options at this point. You can read the post that brought all of this to an end. You can read the post that restarted everything as a webcomic. Or, if you want to dive into the narrative, you can read that webcomic from the start (with new personifications) or from this intersection point.


Sunday, 4 May 2014

S6.221 - Ghost of a Chance

The Story So Far: After leaving Fractal City, personified math must deal with a wormhole that could bring them to Statistics... help point the way back home... or destroy them outright.

ParaB was gone. But QT hadn't noticed yet. She was, after all, rather preoccupied, as glowing balls of energy started to get spit out of the temporal crack, flying off towards the mainland. Hyper squinted - it looked like the various spheres contained people. Meanwhile, the wormhole seemed to fight to be released from it's own energy prison, and QT's grip became two handed as she fell to both knees, trying to keep the staff on target.

At first, Hyper thought she was the only one to have noticed Para and ParaB's merging. Then she saw Tangent's face. And Tan's expression of shock and dismay. 'If she feels like that, how's someone like QT going to feel?' Hyper thought. 'As bad as Cosine feels now? Worse?' Her gaze tracked back to the polynomial. 'But what can I do? What can any of us do?'

In an instant, the wormhole was sucked into the large pink ball of energy. It immediately blasted it's way out of their vicinity, through the crack in reality. There was a rush of air, a small pressure wave flooding over the entire isle upon which they were standing. A few more spheres of light were spit out, then the crack started to seal.

'Something. I have to do something before this field shuts down, and Sigma's power is totally depleted.' Hyper decided. 'We already lost Sine, in part because of me. I can't let it end this way again!' She again lurched forwards, this time ignoring the energies that were making her extremities twitch. She forced her way through the magical field. Her hand connected with QT's leg.

For the first time, she sensed her spiritual guide. That is, she felt Sigma's actual existence, as an artificial life form, currently in union with QT. No - more than that. Sigma herself was also the intersection. A proper subset. Hyper further sensed within herself, the potential for joining... but she couldn't do it now, not after the huge effort that had occurred. That said, she could make QT and Sigma aware, and offer them an injection of her own power...

QT's gaze snapped over towards Para's form on the ground. And she knew. "No," she whispered. The crack in the air became a small fissure, temporal energies being sucked back inside. "NO!" QT repeated, her whole body starting to shake. "ParaB! This can't be happening... this can't be happening!!!" There was a final brilliant flash of lightning, then the pink energy ceased production at the end of the staff. The residual static charge in the air began to lift.

"Sigma!" Hyper choked out. "DO IT!"

By our powers combined...

The red crystal in QT's bow flashed purple. "Barrier Jacket! Mean-median mode!" came the AI's voice. QT's appearance changed, and her staff, which had really just been an extension of her factored form, shrank down and morphed. It became a double crescent moon wand, the polynomial's hands automatically extending it out towards the parabola. "Unsealing," the Sigma jewel declared, with Hyper mouthing the words.

ParaB's form started to reappear, getting pulled back out of Para. The blonde let out a cry of pain, then bit down on her lip to suppress further outbursts. Slowly, the orange haired parabola was yanked back into existence... only to be thrown down onto the ground as the fissure fully collapsed, the improbability field surrounding the group snapping back out of existence.

QT's eyes went hollow. She collapsed sideways, out cold, her cat ears and other regular features returning as both her wand and jacket disappeared. The jewel popped out of her bow and reformed as a cube as it rolled across the ground. The cube was dimly lit; Sigma's inner glow was practically nonexistent. "QT," ParaB gasped, crawling forwards and reaching out towards the unconscious blonde.

Her hand passed right through the polynomial. ParaB froze in shock.

"Damnit!" Hyper cursed. "Not QUITE enough juice left."

"What... what just happened?" ParaB asked, lifting her palms up to stare at them in confusion.

"A pretty impressive conic-polynomial joint venture," Hyper said, flopping back on the ground herself. She preferred to think of it as a preference for staring at the sky, rather than admitting to being drained of energy herself. "Which allowed us to grab hold of your spirit." She frowned. "But that's all we got. So I'm afraid you've become a ghost."

ParaB again tried to touch QT. She then reached for Hyper, but both times, her hand and arm passed right through them. "What? I'm a... what?!?"

"A-At least you're a friendly ghost?" Tangent offered up, hoping to lighten the mood.


Sunday, 27 April 2014

S6.220 - Status Breaker

The Story So Far: After leaving Fractal City, personified math must deal with a wormhole that could bring them to Statistics... help point the way back home... or destroy them outright.

"I've got a bearing!" Signum called out.

"I've got a distance!" Maud added.

"Student's t is served!" Para said breathlessly, emerging from the gazebo with a cup and saucer in one hand. She jumped down onto the ground.

"30 seconds until I must blow out the wormhole," CanTor noted. "Meaning this whole area will get consumed pretty quickly... including that unstable temporal crack. Which would be bad."

Nisano adjusted his glasses. "You know, it occurs to me that we'll be centering mathematics on ourselves merely to have the entire subject get swallowed up by hyperspace. That would also be bad."

"Unless we transfer the wormhole away at the same time as we channel mathematics here," Hyper countered, putting her hands on her hips. Everyone turned to stare at her. "What? So long as you're using statistical magic to rewrite the laws of physics, you might as well handle the wormhole too. Surely it's a free action?"

"No, we can't!" Maud protested, stepping back from Signum. "What about Versine? And all of Q's people in math? They'd be doomed!"

The jewel on QT's bow pulsed. "It's okay," the polynomial said, expelling a breath of air. "Sigma says we can pull any existing personifications back here at the same time as I transfer the wormhole!"

"Ah, hate to be a killjoy, but there's hardly enough room on this isle for US, particularly with that Hyper Jumper in the way," Para remarked, setting the t-cup onto the ground. "How will you fit in anyone else?"

"Not HERE here, but back where it's safe, at the cliff edge," QT clarified. "Except if I'm going to do this, I need to start NOW! It will take ten seconds to build up a charge!"

"You have 15 seconds," CanTor noted.

QT jammed the end of her staff into the t-cup. The length began to vibrate and crackle with energy. A pair of wings sprouted out at the forked end, near to the jewel. Sigma's electronic voice came again. "Count IX. VIII. VII..." All of the energy in the area began to be drawn in towards QT. She began to glow faintly.

"Maud and Signum! Coordinates!" QT shouted. No sooner were the responses given, then a stray energy pulse hit the flux capacitor. It exploded. Nisano moved quickly to shield Hyper from the blast, and Maud pulled Signum back out of harm's way. The sparks of crackling energy continued to collect around the quartic function, now swirling around her, moving faster and faster.

"III... III... III..." Cosine shook her head to clear it, wondering if she'd really heard the count of 3 three times, or if the problem was in how space and time were starting to distort around all of them, the flux capacitor no longer regulating the rift.

"II... I... Count Zero." A large magical circle appeared under QT. She angled her staff forwards.

"Status.... BREAKER!" QT shrieked.


A huge ball of light appeared, and four beams of bright pink energy shot off the forked tines of the staff. Which is when CanTor's hand came down on the detonator. The Jump Gate ring shuddered as one of it's rails got blown off, and the wormhole, on the verge of collapsing down, thereby sending it's destructive shockwave back through hyperspace... instead had it's horizon expand out. Where it was immediately caught by two crackling pink energy fields. The other two energy fields were currently blasting a path deeply into the crack in reality, zeroing in on Maud's coordinates.

"Nnnn... NNNNGH..." QT gasped, sweat popping out on her brow, her whole body shuddering as the air continued to crackle with energy. She sank to one knee, but kept the staff aloft.

Hyper checked ArcSin for a pulse, then pushed him off of her. "I have to help," she murmured. "If I can. Too much pink energy is dangerous..." She pushed herself up, stumbled towards QT - and was repelled by the glowing energy around the magic circle.

Is it a victory?
Which is when Hyper noticed that Para and ParaB were phasing back together. They had already begun sliding towards one another, not of their own volition, and now the two bunny girls were beginning to overlap. Each quadratic stared at the other in shock, seemingly unable to prevent what was happening. "The Peabody-Sherman Effect," Hyper deduced. "Polynomial and conic, becoming one body again, as the infinite improbability field is undoing the effect of my Z-Axis Points Module!"

'I... I can't stop this!' Para thought at her counterpart, realizing she was becoming the dominant mind, ParaB's awareness getting submerged. 'I'm sorry!'

'It's okay... don't fight it, you might get hurt!' ParaB thought back. She swallowed. 'After all, it's as Koch said to me. If you go to Stat'st'cs, you won't die... and I didn't go. So I'm going to die.' A tear ran down her face. 'All I ask is... about QT... oh, QT, I'm so sorry! Para, please take care of her... I don't care if it's against our laws, I-I love--'

And just like that, the overlap was complete. ParaB was gone.


Sunday, 20 April 2014

S6.219 - Heart of Gold

The Story So Far: After leaving Fractal City, personified math must deal with a wormhole that could bring them to Statistics... help point the way back home... or destroy them outright.

"All we need now, is to see if our distance and direction pair can spot mathematics," Dr. Nisano concluded, careful not to speak too loud. "If so, we hop on the gazebo and go!"

Magnitude & Sign reunited
Maud and Signum eyed each other. Then they both extended out an arm, joining hands and pointing towards the crack in the air. "We'll be tapping into our latent abilities in order to search for Versine," Maud told his sister. "Her essence will be the same as Cosine's appearance now."

"Of course, her hair will be arcing the other way," Cosine quickly added. Signum nodded, moving her head in to touch it against Maud's forehead. Their eyes closed. Their index fingers began to move about in the air.

"We're not going anywhere though," ParaB said, disengaging from QT. "None of us."

"Beg to differ," CanTor said, pointing at the wormhole, which was now visibly pulsing, the rails of the Jump Gate starting to warp. "No way can we stay."

"On the contrary," ParaB said, tight lipped. "After a bit of time to think, I've figured out what Koch meant. If we go somewhere else, we won't die... but we'll still be at the mercy of higher powers. I'm done running. So, we're staying! And once Maud and Signum find mathematics, we'll act by bringing our subject BACK TO US."

For a moment, there was stunned silence. Then electricity arced out of the wormhole, got deflected by temporal energy from the rift, and very nearly took out the flux capacitor. Dr. Nisano yelped, and Tangent was unable to keep from screaming. "ParaB, staying isn't safe!!" QT pointed out.

"Safe is boring," the conic countered. "Safe is uninteresting, safe is not where the learning happens. We have to demonstrate that we're self-sufficient - and we'll probably never have a better opportunity than right now! Besides, we still don’t know what’s waiting for us in our subject, and I wager our accuracy chances haven’t improved THAT much from the original 1%. On the other hand, QT, I'm guessing you're somehow interfacing with statistics. How much access DO you have to probability?"

QT eyed her large factoring fork. "I-I'm not sure... why?"

"You want to take advantage of the warped reality in order to increase our chances of something crazy working," Hyper reasoned. "Now that's some good conic thinking!" Her eyes narrowed. "Wait, how crazy, exactly?"

ParaB took in a deep breath. "Infinite improbability."

QT's eyes went wide. "Wow. Give me a moment..." She closed her eyes, and the crystal on her bow shone a bright red for a moment. "Sigma thinks it can be done! We just need a fresh cup of very hot Student's t-distribution. As many degrees as possible!"

"I'll get Para to bring one out," ParaB concluded.

"Hm! Mixing normal with abnormal to pull infinity into a finite space," CanTor mused. "How very fractal of you. Unfortunately, I don't think your improbability field will last very long."

"We won't NEED it for long," ParaB shot back. "Now, when will you have no choice but to blow the Gate, in order to save the network?"

"In 47 seconds."

ParaB grimaced. "QT, is that enough--"

"Shooting Mode, Acceleration," came a female electronic voice from QT's forked staff. The inset crystal pulsed with light. "I can be shot."

"S-Sigma seems to be good to go," QT stammered. "Moreover, she thinks that with infinite improbability in place, a blast aimed into the crack, directed precisely towards mathematics... would initiate transference. Our subject could be channelled back here, while this Purgatory would be sent over there. Same basic idea as the original Cone of Science, but with a concept, not our physical selves."

Tangent leaned in towards Cosine. "Uhm, should we maybe ask about the possibility of success for this plan??" she muttered.

Cosine shook her head. "NO. Never tell me the odds."


Sunday, 13 April 2014

S6.218 - Cracking Up

The Story So Far: After leaving Fractal City, personified math must deal with a wormhole that could bring them to Statistics... help point the way back home... or destroy them outright.

"It's time. We have to evacuate into hyperspace, and blow the wormhole remotely," CanTor stated bluntly.

"NO!" QT protested. "ParaB and Signum WILL get here, we HAVE to let--"

"Look at the time! You've got less than four minutes!" the fractal retorted sternly. A bolt of lightning zapped out of the overcharging wormhole, discharging into the atmosphere.

QT sucked her lower lip into her mouth. The red jewel on her front pulsed again. "Sigma says there's still a statistical chance. I'm waiting!" Most of personified math was now out of sight, having hurriedly boarded Logan's ship. The gazebo was now floating nearby, ready to pick the rest of them up. The only people still out by the Jump Gate with CanTor and QT were: Maud, Cosine, Tangent, Hyper, and Dr. Nisano. They all exchanged uncertain glances.

"Flux capacitor... fluxing," Nisano remarked to no one in particular.

"Damn. Damn, damn," QT whispered, clasping her hands together and bringing them to her heart. She turned to face the wormhole. "Come on, ParaB... please, I... I have such a deep regard for you....!"

The gate chevrons began to light up. As they finished, a Hyper Jumper was expelled from the network with a sound like a sonic boom. The small ship executed a whiplash spin in the air before setting itself down on the platform, not far from the Dial Out Device. The hatch at the back immediately began to open, and the orange haired parabola vaulted through the space as soon as it was large enough to accommodate her.

QUIZ: Can you spot all the SciFi references in this episode?

"You're late! Do you have no concept of time??" QT chided, running towards the other woman, tears stinging the corners of her eyes. She wasn't sure if she was more upset or relieved.

"Hey, come on!" ParaB retorted. "How could I know this Jumper was preprogrammed for the steppe?? Me and Signum, we had to drop off Heaviside and Flora first - we got here as soon as we could!" The two math relations met in an embrace, QT burying her head in ParaB's shoulder. The conic squeezed hard, almost lifting QT off her feet. "This a new look for you? I like it."

"Oh, gag me," Hyper said, rolling her eyes. "Okay ArcSin, let's tear it up. You sure your brother's calculations were accurate?"

"Hey! Don't ever take sides with anyone against my family!" Nisano warned, shaking his finger at her.

"Speaking of family," Maud remarked, grinning as Signum emerged from the ship too, "how has my step sister been?" He went to grasp her hand.

"Stressed!" the step function retorted. "I got shot through a wormhole. I'm in a distant part of the universe!"

Cosine sighed. "Everyone's reuniting with their loved ones," the tall trig function murmured sadly. "If only..."

Tangent reached out and squeezed Cosine's hand. "I'm here for you. Think calming music. Maud and Signum need you as OneMinusCos, to find Versine. You can handle that! I know you can! ...cos-tan."

Mighty Morphism
Cosine smiled despite herself at Tangent's use of the silly moniker. "Right." She stepped to the side, pulling some hair back off one ear, with her other hand tapping at her belt buckle. "It's morphism time! Cosine, transforming!"

An axis flower sprouted out near the edge of Cosine's wavy hair. The twelve petals rotated, then unfolded, to reveal the number 1. At the same time, a necklace appeared in the air, the ends of it encircling Cosine's neck and clasping itself in behind. As the pendant for the necklace settled onto her chest, it flashed a large minus sign. "Negated amplitude, axis up one!" the brunette declared.

"Tear a-forming now!" Nisano advised, flipping a final switch. Sparks flew everywhere, not just from the flux capacitor, but also the wormhole itself. Then, in the air, a large crack opened up in the fabric of reality.

"Oooooh, that's disturbing," CanTor said, looking worried as temporal energy began to spill out. "Tell me when it's safe to blow out the wormhole, Doctor Nisano."

"Doctor... Who?" Signum yelled, raising a hand to her ear. Her words seemed to echo in the air.

"Don't shout!" Hyper hissed, crossing her arms. "Your words might spill through that crack into alternate realities!"

Maud pursed his lips. "I seem to be having a tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle," he observed.


Sunday, 6 April 2014

S6.217 - Give Me a Sine

The Story So Far: After leaving Fractal City, personified math must deal with a wormhole that could bring them to Statistics... help point the way back home... or destroy them outright.

"It occurs to me that we have a problem."

"Just one?" Cotangent said dryly. She had moved off to the side, to allow Root, Hyper and the science trigonometry to monitor the flux capacitor.

Maud grimaced. "One more problem then. In terms of locating mathematics." He tugged on his earlobe. "See, me and Signum, we can't centre in on a location unless it contains something familiar. I've been trying to think of what we can use."

Cot placed her hands on her hips. "Are ye sayin' there's nothin' familiar ta ye in mathematics??"

"Not exactly... it's the revised mathematics that this Q seems to have created which worries me. It may be totally different," Maud pointed out. "Plus any things that are the same there may ALSO be found here, confusing us. I only know of one exception." He paused.


Maud sighed. "It's... okay, here's the thing. The reason Elly had been trying to make contact with mathematics was to get help for Cosine. Specifically, she was looking for Versed Sine."

"VERSINE?!" Cotangent sputtered. Everyone now turned to regard their conversation. Maud winced.

"Yes," the modulus function continued. "And according to Elly, Versine IS there. Now, I've been trying to think of an alternative item to centre on... but, I've got nothing," Maud sighed. "So, while Q's Versine might be different, she must remain recognizable as '1 - cos(x)', meaning with Cosine's help, me and Signum could locate..."

"Cosine," ArcCos cut in with a glare. "Who's been overworked AND has been suffering from depression ever since her sister's death. Are you serious?!"

Maud straightened his posture. "If you have an alternative, I'd love to hear it." The two of them glared at each other until Root stepped between them.

"Look at it this way," Root suggested, attempting a smile. "If we get back to math... Q might have a Sine there! Cosine could be helping to reunite the two of them."

Cotangent exchanged a surprised look with the other trigonometry. "Och. That had nae occurred ta me. Though... at this point, I'm nae sure if such a meeting would be for th' better. Especially if there's a Cosine there too."

ArcCos pursed his lips. "That said - I have no better suggestion. All right, Maud, Versine it is. But let me be the one to break the news to Cosine, once Logan's gazebo gets back."

"I hope that'll be fast," Can-Tor remarked as she approached. "Explosive devices are installed, and I'll have to blow them in the next... 7 minutes and 22 seconds." She held up her iPad.

"What?! Let me see that," Hyper groused, grabbing the device from the much shorter woman.

"Hmph. Rude much?" Dr. Nisano said to Hyper, tugging down on the lapels of his lab coat.

"Oh, shut up," Hyper shot back. "At this rate, I'll never get to do my own union with Sigma! Stupid polynomials, bloody QT..."

"Look on the bright side," Root offered up again. "QT will be dependent on Hyper if she wants to exceed the Geometric distribution... right?"


Sunday, 30 March 2014

S6.216 - Mahou Shoujo Statistical Coping Flaw

The Story So Far: After leaving Fractal City, personified math must deal with a wormhole that could bring them to Statistics... help point the way back home... or destroy them outright.

"You're intersecting with MY magical guide!" Hyper shouted, shaking her fist at the quartic.

"Yeah, that's not typical factored form for you," Para noted. "Though... the pink hair... is a nice touch." For some reason, she felt her cheeks growing warmer the longer she stared at QT.

Mahou Shoujo
Magical Girl
"Hyper, you can talk with Sigma as soon as the crisis has passed," QT assured the green haired conic. The magical girl grabbed for one of the support posts on the gazebo, as the ship pitched slightly to the side. It was hovering just above the ground, near to the rapidly overloading Jump Gate. "But right now, I'm better equipped to understand the A.I.'s statistical information." She took a deep breath and pointed with her large factoring fork. "Here's the thing. While going to statistics won't kill us, I've learned that without proper understanding... pure stats can drive the ignorant insane!!"

"Bwahahaha! That's fine! I've already turned a replimator into a flux capacitor!!" Dr. Nisano said, throwing his head back and laughing in delight.

"Meaning you're already insane," Root pointed out, as he attempted to plug in a section of cable under the Dial Out Device. Nearby, ArcCos sighed.

"It's fine," Maud said to QT, from off to the side. "We have a back up plan now - returning us to mathematics. I'm here waiting for Signum, and for the flux capacitor to get enough charge."

"'Cept I'm nae sure about tha device," Cotangent remarked. "Wi' th' flux, seems like we mae return ta math before we e'en left!"

"Well, regardless," Can-Tor said, climbing out of the gazebo's floor hatch, "I need to set the charges on your Jump Gate to prevent the implosion." She ignored the stares from everyone assembled, nimbly jumping off the gazebo and striding over to the active wormhole.

"Huh. You weren't kidding about her," Root remarked to Para. "And the rest of the fractals... they all look... that way?"

"What? Er, yes." The bunny girl finally pulled her attention off of QT. "Time we loaded everyone over at the cliff into Logan's ship! You guys can handle the rest of your technical stuff without more supplies?"

"Yeah, we're good," ArcCos assured. "The timing's going to be interesting though. The tear in reality and the Jump Gate wormhole might not interact well, but of course we need the tear before exploding the wormhole. I'm working on some calculations."

"Hmph! And so long as my magic's been HIJACKED, I might as well give things a final scientific once over!" Hyper said, glaring daggers at QT.

The polynomial function elected to turn away from the conic. She moved to the central gazebo hatchway, as Para jumped on board. "Logan, we're good, head for the cliff edge!" QT shouted down. The ship shuddered and tilted a bit as it flew off, sending Para tumbling to the floor. QT hurried over to help her up.

"It's fine, I calculated my rate of descent," Para mumbled, though she accepted the help standing.

"So... we're going to math? Not statistics?" QT confirmed. "Because ParaB is still in Fractal City! How can we go back to get her if we--"

"Actually, she'll be coming here with Signum. I think."

"You THINK??"

"Our telepathy is spotty when one of us is in hyperspace," Para explained. "Which is where ParaB definitely is now. Thing is, I couldn't quite pick up on the how or why... and she broadcasted something strange to me right before we lost contact. Say, maybe you can make sense of it?"

"Maybe?" QT said uncertainly.

"She sent 'We have to stay and fight!'. But I don't see how we're supposed to do that, as this whole area is going to get totaled by that wormhole."

QT opened and closed her mouth.  "I... I don't know either. Give me a second to see if Sigma has insights." She closed her eyes, and the jewel in the bow on her front briefly flashed red. Ultimately though, QT shook her head. "All she can say is that the probability for us fighting TPTB and getting to math is non-zero."

Para pursed her lips. "Well, I suppose the probability for any two non-mutually exclusive events is non-zero. That doesn't necessarily mean anything." And yet both of Taylor's Polynomials were left wondering.