Exposé: My son’s moral protractor

Spoken by my younger son today:

“I don’t have a moral compass.

I have a moral protractor!”

protractor - 1

It’s moments like this that make a geek mother smile. Also, the fact that my neon protractor from eighth grade has somehow remained in my possession for thirty years is a point of pride.

Yes, the standard clear model is easier to use, but it’s less massively awesome. Like, totally.

If I were really cool, I’d have a slide rule handy to add to the math tool photo spread. Alas, I’m a product of the pocket calculator age. I did inherit my grandfather’s slide rule cuff links, however, making me capable of geek chic if I wear French cuffs.

The cuff links are purely decorative facsimiles of the venerable manual calculator, of course. That’s the first question everyone asks. Imagine how tiny those logarithm scales would have to be to fit on something that slips through a buttonhole!

°

Inspired by Math with Bad Drawings: “I’m not going to tell you what to call your cat’s mustache.”

Usually, I’m admiring Ben Orlin’s mathematics-oriented comic sketches for making his point-of-the-moment. Today, however, I was so tickled by a phrase therein (a quote from his wife) that I am re-blogging just to continue poking around in my fascination with these few words.

It’s right at the top of his post, and you needn’t follow any of the math to appreciate the sentence with which I’m enamored.* My interest is in the words and the absurd.

Math. Cats.

via A Mathematician Looks at a Cat — Math with Bad Drawings

Now, for the bit I love:

[Ben Orlin’s] WIFE: … I’m not going to tell you what to call your cat’s mustache.

I love this sentence: the absurdity of a cat’s mustache; the interplay between husband and wife when an argument can’t—or needn’t—be won. It’s perfect.

And all of it came nestled in the excelsior of math humor—a fascinating subject, frequently misunderstood, most especially by those who could benefit the most from plumbing its depths.

Excelsior - 1I’m in my weirdest, wordiest, quantitatively nerdiest happy place with this one.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to start repeating this to my family at moments they will find annoying. Previously, they had to suffer primarily through Christopher Durang quotes from The Nature & Purpose of the Universe.

If you’re curious, read more about this one act play on the playwright’s site. It is decidedly dark and wouldn’t be palatable to all audiences.

If someone refers to me as “she,” I quote the play and quip, “She is the cat’s mother. I am the Pope!”

Now, I can follow up with: “I’m not going to tell you what to call your cat’s mustache!”

Perhaps I only spout absurdist quotes about cats. Then again, cats might represent the ultimate expression of the absurd.

What is “the nature and purpose of the Universe,” really?

I think it has something to do with cats.

Batman lego fairy

*But we should talk later about finding your own personal entrée into a love of mathematics. Math is for everyone! And, no, that’s not a threat. It’s more like an invitation to join a cult.

Exposé: Footpads in our midst

I purchased a useful accessory for my new favorite piece of camping equipment, my Disc-O-Bed Cam-O-Bunk XL bunk bed cots.

Read more about how the Cam-O-Bunk makes camping comfortable again for a camper with arthritis.

Disc-O-Bed Cam-O-Bunk foot pads - 1

In spite of my familiarity with the product and my thorough knowledge of their intended use, the pedant in me read the label on the box and shouted:

“Oh no! We’ve got footpads in our midst!”

Define footpad 1

Merriam Webster clarifies my little joke, though also proves that clever Disc-O-Bed carefully spelled their product’s name “foot pad” instead of “footpad.”

I’d say the second definition would allow for the former in all correctness.

Define footpad 2

While I’m unlikely to have the opportunity to take my Cam-O-Bunk XL as far afield as outer space, the purpose of its foot pads is precisely that of NASA’s footpads. Neither of which poses too much risk to passing pedestrians.

Exposé: Gai King wants ewe

Did anyone else watch Force Five in the early 1980’s?

My husband and his best friends did, and now they are binge re-watching them together once a month or so.

DH’s newest fascination is collectible toys from the franchise. He’s not the sort to keep a toy pristine in a box, however. Naturally, he’s been playing with them.

This morning, he ended up in the kitchen, posing Gai King in front of an interesting backdrop (a backlit Rubbermaid Cereal Keeper.) DH conscripted a molded beeswax candle of mine—one shaped like a resting lamb—into his vignette. He snapped a few more photos.

My son, observing from the breakfast table, intoned in his best Uncle Sam impression:

“I want ewe

to eat this sheep!

Gai King wants ewe.jpeg

And that’s how we got here today.

 

Exposé: offendages

Discussing his day at school yesterday, my young son described a judo-based maneuver he employed while wrestling with friends:

“First, I grabbed his offendages…”

offendages-venn-diagram.jpgIn the Venn Diagram of physical altercations, I’d say these reside in the intersection between appendages and the offense created by one’s actions.

The kid has a way with words!

definition appendage