Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Halloween 2017

Just some drawing therapy as my characters dress up. Bonus points if you recognize who they are meant to be.

QT: We wear the ears better.
QQT: Sure, whatever.

Monday, 23 October 2017

S9.325 - Magic Writes

"Die" being the singular of "dice", with the "magic rite" being Hyper somehow creating them.

And that's it. I managed to go for 52 weeks straight. I'd hoped for more, but it's been massively touch-and-go this month. Teaching computer science is killing me. I can't continue to do things I enjoy; they don't bring me joy any more. Oct 18th was another zero-pageview day (across 280+ posts) anyway.

So we're on indefinite hiatus. Probably until 2018. More information here. Thanks for reading, I'll keep mirroring on Tapas, hopefully. Go check out (x, why?), a math comic celebrating its 10th anniversary soon.


ELLY: For super heroism, my sidekick GPS can take over.
LONGU: GPS would need a solo win to prove that to the public.
QLOGAN: Maybe we can arrange something?
LATTI: There’s also the matter of Ana’s columns.
ELLY: Simple. Ghost writing.
LONGU: Oh, of course...
LONGU: You die, your spirit becomes tied here.
HYPER: Die. Die. Die.
(Hyper flicks dice at Longu.)

Monday, 16 October 2017

S9.324 - Super Markets

Someone should tell Longu that “Password” has been off the air since 1975. (There were revivals, granted.) No one likes passwords now. Not the hackers who have to crack them, or the people, who have to remember all of them.


PARA: So the ana lemma wasn’t part of a proof at all.
LONGU: It’s proof we need Ana to stay here.
LATTI: Ana’s news columns about SuperEllipse? The mystery of her origins? It’s been great for tourism. We can’t lose that.
QCOSEC: Hey, if you want war...
ELLY: No, stop! Let’s talk.
HYPER: Can we help them to market?
PARA: I'm pretty sure removing your pangea password would help.
LONGU: I like quoting ‘You. Shall Not. Pass.’

Monday, 9 October 2017

S9.323 - Identity Property

The multiplicative identity property? It means multiplication by one gives you back what you started with. Maybe Elly needed a better disguise.


LATTI & LONGU: (holding frying pans) Not so fast!
NIS: Take them out. We’re at war.
ELLY: No. They set you up. For where there is injustice, I come to put it right.
LONGU: SuperEllipse, glad you came. Except you cannot leave geography... Ana Lemma.
ELLY: You learned my secret identity?
LATTI: Duh. The analemma’s the pattern of the sun based on Earth’s tilt and elliptical orbit.
QLOGAN: It’s the what now?
LONGU: Seriously, did you do any research before showing up?

Monday, 2 October 2017

S9.322 - Read My Ellipse

The superellipse is a real thing. It allows an exponent other than 2, and uses absolute value bars. There are technically two types, the hypoellipse (exponent under 2) and hyperellipse (exponent over 2). It’s also known as the Lamé Curve, hence Hyper’s comment. Finally, an explanation for the 2017 banner on Facebook.
Oh, did you check the mouseover? This is comic #100!


HYPER: I can’t seem to magic our way out.
NIS: You’d need Sigma. This calls for science!
QCOSEC: Shhh. Hear that?
ELLY: Down from the sky! She’s absurd, likes flat planes, she’s... SuperEllipse! And she's ready to return to math.
HYPER: S-So lamé.
ELLY: I’ve missed you too, Hyper.

Monday, 25 September 2017

S9.321 - Math Busters

The trouble with busting a myth using statistics is the backfire effect. People will forget the evidence and only remember the untruth, particularly if it's something they already believed. A phenomenon which "The Oatmeal" already dealt with earlier this year... wait, assuming the phenomenon exists?
If only math could be clear cut.


QSINE: So, what math myths can the tourism project address?
QCOTAN: ‘Only certain people can do math.’
QROOT: ‘Boys are better at math.’
VERSINE: ‘Math is all rules, no art.’
QSINE: Versine, you’re on board?
VERSINE: I stir up controversy, Sine. It’s my thing. I even made us two signs to be like that TV show.
(VERSINE holds up 'Plausible' and 'Confirmed' signs.)
QSINE: QLyn, keep an eye on her?

Monday, 18 September 2017

S9.320 - Hi Scream

Things have to escalate quickly when there's only four panels. At least Slope got her ice cream, I'm sure you were worried about that.


NIS: I’m tired of waiting. We’re leaving.
LATTI: No. You are our prisoners.
QCOSEC: Do that and you declare war on math.
LATTI: Fine.
(Latti slams and locks the door)
PARA: That escalated quickly.
QLOGAN: No worries. The others on our ship will come for us.
(On the ship:)
SLOPE: No, I asked if you wanted ice cream.

Monday, 11 September 2017

S9.319 - Map Time

The "projection" joke forecasted by John Golden arrives. Inspired somewhat by Audrey McLaren sharing this article "Making Accurate Maps is Mathematically Impossible" some months back. Of course, I also used the multiple meaning of "dates" here.

"Mercator projection" for a map preserves shape and direction, but it makes Greenland look the size of Africa. Most modern cartographers don't use it any more. There are a number of map variations offered in the video at that prior link, and Hajime Narukawa created the AuthaGraph map and won a design award for it last year.


PARA: We're not changing our minds about seeing Ana.
QCOSEC: So bring her already. It's been hours.
LATTI: You don't even know her significance, do you.
HYPER: Were we supposed to?
LATTI: You math types, with your mercator maps.
LATTI: You're the reason people don't know country sizes. You're why our time zones get so screwed up. You're why I don't get dates!
QLOGAN: Now you're projecting.
LATTI: That is the only way to make 2D maps from a 3D globe.

Monday, 4 September 2017

S9.318B - Meme Nostalgia

I decided that if the "distracted boyfriend" meme was still around on Labour Day weekend that I'd do something with it. (Here's the history behind said meme, if you weren't aware. Hey, I've tackled a meme before.)

I feel like this image works on a few levels:
1. Society and Statistical Literacy believe they are getting along just fine, until Mathematics Education enters the picture.
2. Society wants to return to Mathematics Education as it used to be ("rules based"?), while Statistical Literacy begs to differ.
3. Society is nostalgic for the days when Mathematics Education was cosine curves, not Statistics.
Here's a good TED Talk to watch next.

Also, I've launched my comic on the Tapas site! From the start, so now's your chance to subscribe and see all the early strips three times per week. Thanks for reading here, at the least.

<<FIRST <LAST WK (unlisted!) NEXT WK> END>>

COSINE (labelled "20th Century Mathematics Education") is being checked out by RECI (labelled "Information Society") to the chagrin of PARAB (labelled "Statistical Literacy").

Monday, 28 August 2017

S9.318 - Turn the Fables

Fractal City being a ‘myth’ has come up before.
Back in our world, there’s also a questionable book “The Math Myth”, which itself contains myths... please have someone proofread your mathematics before you publish.


GAMMA: So what exactly do your cards say?
QROOT: ‘Come and learn about myths.’
GAMMA: That's not a bad hook.
ROOT: Hey, there are mathematical myths and legends...
QROOT: We'll use it as a theme - from myth to math, greek symbols, myths and lemmas, finally revealed!
ROOT: And we can rename ourselves Fractal City.
CANTOR: Root, no. That’s not a myth, it’s my home.

Monday, 21 August 2017

S9.317 - Dis A Vowel

I hope they don’t rely on those cards. I’ve been handing some out for over five years now to no effect.

Depending on where you are, be careful with today's eclipse! (I'm in Eastern Canada, so I'm waiting for April 2024.)


GAMMA: What’s wrong?
QROOT: All these cards Root had printed misspelled ‘math’ as ‘myth’.
GAMMA: We need business cards?
QROOT: It’s part of the tourism project. What will we do now?
GAMMA: Well, screaming won’t help.
ROOT: I’d hoped to harvest replacement ‘A’s from my word balloon.

Monday, 14 August 2017

S9.316 - L'Attitude

There’s 360 degrees of longitude running east-west (180 each direction, with the prime meridian), but only 180 degrees of latitude running north-south (90 up and down plus the equator). The fact that her stripes are N-S yet horizontal tends to mix me up, am I the only one? (It doesn't help that I confuse east-west.)


LATTI: Hello! Need a tour guide?
HYPER: Does everyone in geography wear stripes?
LONGU: No, it’s a longitude and latitude thing.
LATTI: Call me Latti!
LONGU: Did your group want anything specific?
QLOGAN: We’re from math. We seek Ana Lemma.
(Longu & Latti react)
LONGU: I’ll take them.
LATTI: No, you’d bring them full circle. Latitude only has range 180.

Monday, 7 August 2017

S9.315 - Pan-Pan Door Aha

“Pan-Pan” is an international urgency signal, not as bad as a “Mayday” because there’s no immediate danger. (It’s from the French, “en panne” or “broken down”. “Mayday” is also from the French, “M’Aider”.)

Meanwhile, “Pandora” is not necessarily spoken with a stutter. Do people read the titles? Also, "pangea" is the name for the original land mass before the continents drifted.


COUNT VON BEAT: Hey Longu, some folks want geography. Who’s that again?
LONGU: Me. I’ll handle it.
(Math characters are gathered)
LONGU: Welcome to A geography. We're not Hetalia.
QCOSEC: Let’s start investigating then.
LONGU: Five can enter. If you state the password. Here’s your hint. (holds frying pan)
PARA: Pan? Gee, ahh...
LONGU: Pangea is correct, pass.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

S9.314 - Who's the Bos?

Analogies can be interesting, if imperfect. I know MTBoS doesn't have a president (its power and its pitfall), but my comic does, after the 2016 Twitter vote (that most didn't connect to this blog).

For my two regular readers who don't know the connection, this video by Jason Slowbe from last week clarifies that's not a typo in the title. For my two regular readers who know the connection, better believe I revised this dialogue many times, hope it's taken in the right spirit. I think that's everyone out there?
Oh, for anyone discovering my secret club for the first time, the hairstyles are the graphs (that's the whole point) and also check out Jason's video if you haven't already.


QUINN: As part of our math tourism plot, let's change the comic name. How do you pronounce ~Qs? Not Cues? Q Bars? Bah.
(QPARA reads TMC clipboard.)
QUINN: I bet even math people don't get the irrational pun! We're like some secret club here.
QPARA: People are welcome to join us here, or not... we do try.
QUINN: Except our whole point is to be maths inclusive. And funny.
QPARA: One personification cannot decide for our whole comic.
QUINN: I'm fixing community issues. I have DATA backing me up. I'll change, you don't need to join me.
QPARA: Um, we're in the SAME COMIC.
QUINN: So who chooses our name now, readers?
QSINE: I'm still the president.

Monday, 31 July 2017

S9.313 - Tan Lines

Less than 20 views on last week's stats video, eh? How about new 'tans, to go along with Tessie? The "tan" speaking in the last panel is naturally Tangent (aka Slope). If you're wondering why I'm calling them 'tans', well... you DO know about the Mascot-tan RPG, right? I think it's nice that XP-tan is still touring computer science despite being discontinued.

What might really blow your mind is the fact that Ella Mental is now a recurring character. (No? Nothing? Tough crowd.)


HYPER + NIS: We seek Geography!
STAN ZAH: Seeking the unknown; You have found poetry here; I cannot help you.
PARA: Is this geography?
ELLA MENTAL: No, this is Ella’s Chemistry Cosplay. Nice bunny ears!
QLOGAN: Looking for... geo... graphy...
AYEL YEW: (holding flyer) XP-Tan’s giving a CompSci concert, wanna come??
SLOPE: I’m trying to find ice cream.
(COUNT VON BEAT stares at her)
RHYS: Slope, I’m sure there’s some on the ship.

Monday, 24 July 2017

S9.312b - We'll Want Stats

ParaB walked up to the President, who was sipping a glass of water in Maud's bar.

"QSine? Here's the thing," the conic parabola began. "We need you to sign an executive order, which will allow us to run a serial sequence off-panels."

The trigonometry woman looked up. "Like we do at Christmas?"

ParaB shook her head. "No, more. We want this sequence to be a Monday update, within the continuity of PREVIOUS and NEXT."

QSine frowned. "But why? And who's advocating for this?"

ParaB pointed back over towards a group of assembled math personifications. "A bunch of us. Because here's the thing, you know how, this past December, last year's Cubic Formula Song Parody had topped 100 views?"

QSine nodded, having another sip of water.

"It's nearly reached 700 now."

QSine spat her water out all over the table. "600 views in 6 months?! Our last Christmas song barely has 20 views for the same time period."

"And the Christmas song wasn't in a continuity of PREVIOUS and NEXT," ParaB said, crossing her arms. "So for the new Statistics video, which we've been planning over the last couple weeks, we want to draw more attention to it. I mean, when you think about it, Stats is even more important than Cubics. Plus it doesn't help that, with the whole Twitter Math Camp thing going on soon, it'll be easy for educators to miss this one."

QSine blotted the water as best as she could with some napkins. "What's the new video use?"

"It's the tune of a Savage Garden song, one which was also used in a recent anime. There's shout-outs. It'll be cool."

QSine looked back up. "Well, maybe. I don't think we can put it on the Index page for Series 9 though... you really think mere continuity will help?"

ParaB shrugged. "Given how this site still gets zero view days across close to 270 posts of material? We actually don't know. Which is kind of the point. Can't hurt, and gives us some data. Woo, data!"

QSine looked back over to the others who were watching them, then back to ParaB. She half smiled. "Can I be in this video too?"

ParaB smiled back. "For sure."

President QSine pulled out a pen. "Consider your approval granted, retroactively. You think people coming here will click on the video link? Or for that matter, will have even read this far?"

ParaB ran her palm down over her face. "Gawd I hope so."


Monday, 17 July 2017

S9.312 - Over Board

"Lemmata" is an acceptable plural for "lemma" (which is like a mini-theorem). Hence, "Hakuna" (from Swahili, there is not) and "Lemma" (from Greek, something is assumed). Assume nothing!

With another shout-out to Tessie there, know that recently, pentagon tiling has solved a century old math problem. The other big math news this week: Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman to win the Fields medal, died from cancer. Cancer sucks.


PARA: We’ve found that publicity bulletin board Tessie mentioned.
NIS: Seems to be for elective courses.
QLOGAN: Hmm... tape our flyer up anyway.
 (Flyer: Come to Math for Equality!)
HYPER: Hey...
HYPER: ...someone trying to get our attention here?
 (Flyer Piece: Geography. Home of AnaLEMMA. Hint, hint.)
PARA: What are they trying to prove?
QLOGAN: Hakuna lemmata?

Monday, 10 July 2017

S9.311 - Hear We Go

Cubic splines are a real thing for curve approximations. Maybe you’ve seen them mentioned in drawing programs (for interpolation)? Here’s a quick overview video. (First minute’s a simple explanation, last two minutes involve actual calculations.)


RHYS: QCubi, can you come up with a hearing aid for Signum? She mishears QLogan’s orders.
QCUBI: Dammit Rhys, I do splines, not spines! Why does QLogan think I can be a medic? Just because QT did it?
RHYS: (thinks) Maybe since you’re as testy as ArcTan?
QCUBI: Anyway, Signum’s only here to point us back to Maud. What’s QLogan ordered her to do? Bring him tea?
RHYS: No. *sigh* That’s my job.
SLOPE: Tea? Come on, where’s the ice cream on this ship? I came along to relax.

Monday, 3 July 2017

S9.310 - Raze the Bar

A throwback to July 3, 2011, when Maud was in disguise.

I actually did a 3 panel comic in 2012, a year in, when I started this blog. In 2013, July included Art Asides. In 2014, I shut everything down, having less than 20 people interested. In 2015, I relaunched as this comic. In 2016, I maybe did have 20 people interested? Today the FB page has 35 likes.
Six years. 310 Entries, plus extras. Damn.


MAUD: It’s six years to the day since I opened my math bar.
LYN: Oh? Feels like yesterday.
ROOT: Time runs weird here.
PARAB: There were breaks.
QSINE: You say #310 but it's only comic #88.
QCOTAN: 88 mph!
EXPONA: Readership is NOT exponential.
MAUD: Still, six years to the day...
MAUD: And now you want me to stop serving alcohol?!
QSINE: For tourism, Maud, high school tourism!

Monday, 26 June 2017

S9.309 - Tile And Error

It's the first "math-tan" to be associated with another subject, with my thanks to John's remark last week. The design was based on how there's only 3 tessellations with regular polygons (triangles, squares and hexagons), with a Schlafli symbol tossed in for good measure. There's an online tessellation artist at that link if you want to play around.

As an alternative link, the sign in the Connecticut deli asking to refrain from mathematics discussion has been explained.


SIGNUM: Picking up an automated transmission.
QLOGAN: On screen.
SIGNUM: Ice cream?
PARA: I’ll put it up.
TESSIE (on viewer): Hiyo, Tessie Layshun here! Come to Art for all your tiling needs.
TESSIE (on viewer): We can Escher you right in, so keep us in your pattern buffer. Our ad is on the regional bulletin board. ... Hiyo, Tessie-- *click*
QLOGAN: Hmm, opinions?
SLOPE: I could go for some ice cream.

Monday, 19 June 2017

S9.308 - Scan Dull

The gazebo's back, slightly redesigned so it's easier to draw. It was last seen on the mission QLogan's referring to (from 2015!) "88 mph". The "Beta Group" Para references is from the serial days, the original subject exploration. (It's a searchable term, if you only want to see their entries.) Now, to be fair here, Maud's failure may not have been due to the staffing.

In math news, apparently last Saturday (June 17) was the second annual World Tessellation Day. Yay?


(External shot of Gazebo/Logan's Ship)
PARA: QLogan, how exactly did you pick your crew for this subject exploration?
(Internal to the Ship)
QLOGAN: I scanned old records.
PARA: You mean for the beta group?
QLOGAN: No, for sending Maud back in time.
NIS: As head of science, I say you can’t add a magical switch!
HYPER: As chief engineer I say I can!
QCSC: You two want a trip to my brig?!
PARA: You know Maud’s mission failed, yeah?
QLOGAN: I wasn’t scanning that closely.

Monday, 12 June 2017

S9.307 - Tourism de Force

That mouse rollover text has been an idea for over a year, that I haven't used. Incidentally, it's true that more numbers are irrational than natural - there are levels of infinity. There's the same number of fractions as there are integers though.

Unrelated, apparently for this Council meeting arc (that started a couple weeks back) some characters took off their earrings. I have no excuse.


EXPONA: Having a casino would help with tourism.
PARA: Casinos aren’t fair. Let’s have a fair, and ferris wheel!
VERSINE: No, an escape room. To trap people here.
ARCTAN: Let’s create the curriculum’s biggest something.
QROOT: Biggest fights?
GAMMA: Could we use a healthy slogan? Like ‘Our numbers are all natural.’
QHYPER: More numbers are irrational than natural!
QLOGAN: I’ll go recruit, then see what other subjects are up to.
QSINE: Should we somehow consult TPTB?
QCOTAN: A tourism pamphlet can have math models.
QLYN: Right...
QCOTAN: Math swimsuit models.

Monday, 5 June 2017

S9.306 - Side Kicks

In the absence of suggestions, that's what we get. It's not quite retroactive continuity, I've been careful not to show that part of the table, and why else would the others all sit on the same side?

If you have tourism ideas to bring other subjects into math, the field is still open, as the buffer is empty again.


QSINE: Tourism won the vote. We’ll need a minister of transport, so I chose QLogan, as he has inherited the gazebo ship.
QROOT: As education minister, I must ask if he has the same qualifications as his former serial counterpart.
 (One side of the room stares)
VERSINE: Since when are you a minister?
QROOT: Since the start. Pay attention to this side of the table.
QCOTAN: I keep forgetting to come to meetings.

Monday, 29 May 2017

S9.305 - Be Trade

Got any thoughts of subjects to bring in? (I know, I never learned my lesson from Series 4.) Or anything touristy? Also, last chance for anyone to suggest a new minister for the Council Table. Environment and Education will be filled one way or another.

Meanwhile, there was another Art Aside last Thursday, if you missed it.


QSINE: We should contact the other subjects. We'll need materials to fix the Jump Gate.
VERSINE: Time for a raid! I’ll recruit. QLyn, how many phasers are available?
GAMMA: Or, we make math a better tourist spot. Other subjects visit, and we can open trade.
QHYPER: Oh, sure. We’ve been sooo good at publicity.
PARA: Can’t you be more positive?
QHYPER: Do I look like an ellipse?

Thursday, 25 May 2017

S9.304b - Art Aside: Sine

The end of every month is becoming a bit of an Art Showcase. To end February there was a Hyper FanArt, to end March there was Expona Commissioned Art and to end April I was dealing with the Series Bible. (I still may, at some point, get around to doing new images for the fractals.) So, as it's the last Thursday of May, here is the President of Mathematics, Sine.

Sine by Tannistha (May 2016)

That commission is from Anime North last year (2016). (Tannistha mailed it to me after the con.) She'll be at Table F08 at Anime North this coming weekend, so if you're in the area, maybe check her out. (I'll be around the convention too this weekend, though I haven't really decided on commissions yet.) Note that's a full version of the image I used for Sine's podium way back in "Word Choice".

It's also worth mentioning here that John Golden sent me more fan art for my birthday last month, namely Maud, Rhys, Root and Expona head shots. I'm keeping that one to myself for now, though will mention I kind of love how Expona's hair covers one of her eyes, that's a fun look for her. Also in April, I got a rough sketch of Hyper by the creator of "Astria Legends", a comic which has colour personified angels. Consider checking that out too.

That's all for now, new comic Monday! Feel free to comment (I changed the header art, does that work?), send some art in, or simply sketch your own versions of math at home. I am, as has been said, a pretty niche market, but if any of this inspires you towards math (or comics), that makes me happy. Thanks for reading.

Monday, 22 May 2017

S9.304 - Reciprocatings Aw

Rhys is, of course, RhysPlus for a=0. Not sure about keeping Logan's eyepatch on the new Reci. Thoughts?


RHYSPLUS: Cool new threads. Now let’s see how my “a” value works.
RHYS: Before, I was a special form of Hyper. Now I’m a special form of RhysPlus. I can’t win.
RECI: You’re female now. At least that’s different.
RHYS: Probably means I’m destined to marry him.
RECI: You think? Because maybe I marry RhysPlus first.
RHYS: Your iPatch seems to be giving you a superiority complex.

Monday, 15 May 2017

S9.303 - Secant Touch This

You probably need this explanation for that very old reference.

Meanwhile, Rev. Fitz has been checking out new serials every day this month, including the start of Taylor’s Polynomials (from back in 2011). You can read his analysis here. He also runs a comic called “Mr. Square”, check that out here.


TANGENT: Becoming Secant unnerved me. I’m going to stay as Slope for the moment. Away from trig.
QSINE: I understand.
QTAN: (grabs Tan) Everyone else has had more sec(x) than me!
QTAN: (grabs Para) Does anyone else get that feeling?
QTAN (off panel): Does everyone - does everyone - does everyone think -
QSINE: Pardon our Tangent.

Monday, 8 May 2017

S9.302 - Sixth Sense

Para got to decide because she's Minister of Justice. This may be the first time I've indicated that degree number is tied to figure/bustline (like memory for the original OS-tans). Assuming it's true, I probably haven't been consistent about it in the drawing.


SEXI: I finally have a webcomic counterpart. Even if she’s going to jail.
QQUINN: I never stole anything. Only did what I felt was right. So Para freed me... sentenced to stay this way.
QQUINN: The worst part? Well never see Versine's good ideas. A wall around scientific notation, no more calculators...
SEXI: Good ideas for whom? Should progress be denied? Change is inevitable. We must adapt.
QQUINN: Fine, fine...
QQUINN: So how do you manage a proper workout with this extra curviness?
SEXI: You’ll adapt to that too. (pats QQuinn's shoulder)

Monday, 1 May 2017

S9.301 - Discouraging Words

Welcome to Series 9. New index page exists. I'm now drawing with new "B" (not HB) pencils I got for my birthday.
If you're simply clicking "next" you missed the Character Bible and Settings Info posts. I found that handy, reminding me of characters we hadn't seen for a while.


QSIN: RhysPlus is off adjusting, so I’m out a vice president. Would your ArcSin be interested in the role?
NISANO: QQuinn had my missing science stuff! This is an outrage! We'll throw the book at her. Find a big book of science!
SOC: Equal Temperament.
NISANO: I feel like playing music. Oh, hello QSine, lovely day, yes? Fare thee well.
QSIN: As I was saying, would YOU be interested in the role, ArcCos?
SOC: Sure, thanks.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Series 9: eVolution

SERIES 9: e-Volution INDEX

<- Back to Index 8

9.5 : Be Trade
9.6 : Side Kicks
9.7 : Tourism de Force
9.8 : Scan Dull
9.10 : Raze the Bar
9.11 : Hear We Go
9.12 : Over Board
9.13 : Tan Lines

9:16 : L'Attitude
9.17 : Dis A Vowel
9.19 : Map Time
9:20 : Hi Scream
9.21 : Math Busters
9:26 : Sticky Situation

Monday, 24 April 2017

Math Settings Info

Accurate up to and including Episode 300, so SPOILERS, obviously. Though this is not as plot revealing as it was last week, for characters.

In fact, locations were never really much of a consideration for me... Series 1 took place in Maud’s bar. Series 2 took place in Maud’s bar and at the Conic residence. Series 3 took place heading to the “Angle Zone”, which I loosely based on “Land of Oz”. Then Series 4 kicked everyone out into some new purgatory.

It was only starting with Series 5 that I started to give some thought to where some places might be in relation to other places. By the time of Episode 190, in Series 6, I had made a map. After all, that’s when Lyn said she was “writing out a map of our Purgatory” and that the characters were “living in a relatively similar configuration to how we were back in math”. Find a nicer version of that map below, along with some other key location data.


Note the fact that there are roads is a bit misleading, since the characters don’t drive. The closest we’ve had is Expona’s motorcycle (and sidecar). Everywhere is reachable by walking, though it would likely take a day to get from one side of the map to the other. (No exact scale is available.) Most scenes occur in the vicinity of Maud’s bar, identified with |ABS|. Presumably, there are some other buildings in the vicinity (like Hyper’s research facility, or Sine’s Council room) which aren’t specifically labelled.

1. Polynomials. Episode 159 establishes that Para lives in an apartment. (It seems like it might be one room?) In fact, all known polynomials (so up to degree 6) live in that building, located at the base of Polynomial Way. Their polynomial children (x+1, 2x+1,5x-2, etc), referenced in Episode 101 and seen in Episode 259, live on the avenues which split off from Polynomial Way. All streets march off towards infinity, implying that you can never really enumerate all children.

2. Conics. They all live in the same mansion, which lacks right angles and consists of different conic sections. (Lyn found a path to Hyper’s lab using some Transverse Axes in Episode 39.) Part of the exterior is seen in Episode 237, though that was before unification, so it may appear a little different now. The Conics had also rigged an exterior alarm system, seen in Episode 44, and I suspect they’re positioned on a hill, though that’s not canon. Reci lives just down the road, being a hyperbola.

3. Trigonometry. Having their own zone, they don’t interact as much with the others, the Conics being the closest. (Tangent was said to have an external rental property as “Slope” in Episode 60, and Expona visited the “Bowditch” in Episode 244 before going in, so there must be some structures by the Off Road.) The place is a mashup of “Wizard of Oz” and “Star Trek” in terms of the locations and colour scheme. In the middle is “origin central”, where the older archaic trig (greens) hang out. No specific home location can be given for the trig in charge - as Circe said in Episode 62, “They’re constantly on the move”. Either all regional houses in the AZ are similar, or trig don’t have much material wealth to carry with them (or both).

4. Other Functions. Like 'Polynomial Way', the 'Root Route' heads to infinity, implying an uncountable set. Root lives near the base, then Radik... and presumably there’s structures to allow for a 4th root, et cetera, despite them not being formal characters. Opposite the downtown core to Polynomial Way, Exponent Place is a dead end. Expona only needs one house, as she can become all manner of different bases and transformations; if there are “children”, as with polynomials, they have never been referenced. (On the other hand, Para can transform too.) Meanwhile, although Logan spends much of his time in his gazebo Base (see below), presumably he has a house near Expona where he can kick back and relax too.

5. Subject Fog. This northern area is where the explorations of other subject areas took place in Series 4, with random, nebulous encounters of other personifications. The Beta Group likely never strayed far from the Off Road. Circe and Elly ran off this way towards the end of Series 6 and disappeared.

6. Stats Cliff. Called that because if you fall off, you’re “just a statistic” - unless you can fly out, as Para did in Episode 175. The “hidden bridge” was discovered by Reci in Episode 199, and it leads to the Jump Gate and Dial Out Device. Episode 218 provides the best look at that small plateau, along with the Gate, and a Hyper Jumper.


Since it’s effectively a ship, it’s worth it’s own section. The exterior was first seen in Episode 106, resembling a gazebo, referred to by Logan as the “crow’s nest”. It is possible to have the subscript hatch open while the base is in flight. There is a phaser ring around the blue light at the top.

The best shot of the bridge occurred in Episode 150. The ladder at the back comes down from the hatch above, implying a lack of wheelchair accessibility, though gravity can be modified on the bridge, as a work-around. There are three consoles at the back, for Engineering, Security/Weapons, and Science. Opposite to them is the main view screen. In between is Logan’s purple easy chair, and another hexagonal console for navigation and operations. (An early version had a side exit towards engineering; this was scrapped.)

From Episode 150

The ladder at the back continues down into what must be some sort of complex hallway system. As ParaB said in Episode 110, “a single new room increases the complexity by a factor of ten”, and it takes some time for characters to get from one place to another, implying the rooms aren’t stacked on top of each other.

Such rooms would include: (1) a medical bay, where QT had conversations with some characters; (2) an engineering room with sliding doors, where Radik and Csc argued; and (3) living quarters, where the Step Functions were confined. Presumably the quarters are more functional than comfortable, as the characters preferred to stay in the Hilbert Hotel after arriving in Fractal City.

There may be other rooms within the ship, but (unless I missed something, which is possible) they have not been referenced. For instance, I’m pretty sure there isn’t a swimming pool like in the TARDIS, but you never know.


Elizabeth Weierstrass explained about the network in Episode 192. There are at least eight jump gates. Travel between them is not instantaneous, meaning one could be lost in hyperspace (think “Babylon 5”), but it’s faster than any alternatives. They can be powered down, thus may work intermittently, but take about 1.21 gigawatts to activate. (After activation, they pull in minimal power.)
From Episode 204

The gates connect the following locations:

1. Fractal City. Their Jump Gate is located beneath the X-Mansion. Down there with it, is a control room, an interrogation room, a place to store Hyper Jumpers... it’s basically some crazy cross between StarGate Command and Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. Other notable locations in the City include the Overline Bar, the Hilbert Hotel... and not much else is known.

2. Lesser Used Functions. This is where characters like Mae, Mink, Con... and even Gamma (not canon, but pretty sure) are from. It has never been seen. Also not seen, but strongly implied (by Julia in Episode 172) is that Fractal City is connected to this place via a “Heighway”. Meaning the portal is simply a faster route. (Do fractals drive? I’m not sure.)

3. The Steppe. This is where Signum, Hevvi, and Flora have a house. There may also be discrete functions living in this area, but that’s only a vague idea, far from canon. It may be possible to get from the Steppe to the other locations without portals, but there is no formal road. That would explain how Logan’s base crashed in the midst of nowhere, after leaving the Steppe.

4. Statistics & Probability. This gate is password protected. The fractals were not authorized to provide it - in fact, in the canon side story, the password was changed, barring them from accessing this location as well. Implying no way to otherwise access the land of Statistics. It’s not clear what this place looks like.

5. The Argand Plane (the Complex Plane). A place for plotting with the x-axis as reals and the y-axis as imaginaries. Nothing further is known.

6. Unknown 1. Acts as a beacon. Password protected. Non-canonically, I’ve wondered if there’s a Polar Plot out there somewhere. It may not have functions living there, but turns visiting functions weird. If so, the fractals have some knowledge of what it would do, based on the image shown to QT in Episode 196.

7. Unknown 2. Acts as a beacon. Password protected. Non-canonically, CF had to come from somewhere other than the Lesser Used Functions. Maybe this gate has something to do with sets? But then, maybe that’s part of probability instead. Who knows?

8. Math Subject. On the plateau off the edge of the cliff, it was added to the network by the main characters. But as Can-Tor determined in Episode 204, it lacked a regulator, and would have imploded, causing trouble to the existing network. It was taken offline, by being deliberately damaged. Although Can-Tor said it looks “beyond repair”, she also said the flux capacitor was scrap, yet it was retooled to send Logan’s Gazebo back in time.

Con was also seen using a portable portal device (as was Sine in the canon side story). Presumably these devices don’t let a person pop in just anywhere, in fact, my suspicion is that a person might have had to visit the location in some other way, to punch in the proper co-ordinates. But that’s non-canon, so as with anything else that hasn’t formally appeared, the logistics could be modified to suit a future plot as needed.


This post, and the previous one, have summarized all characters and locations. The plan is to launch Series 9 (e-Volution) next week! It will feature the return of an old character, along with a reference to the Analemma - both things you would already have been tipped off about by looking at the 2017 banner for the Facebook page. Just saying.

Thanks for reading. Hope you’ll return (or join us) for Episode 301.