20 February 2009

A book for the Math Nerd in your life...

I was always a bit of a nerd growing up, but it wasn't until I attended the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science that I found my bats, to use a Stella Luna reference. I'm a word girl now, but there was a time when numbers were my passion.  Physics was my first love in high school. Alas, I wasn't quite clever enough to pursue it as a career because after a certain point I couldn't really wrap my head around the whys and wherefores of the essential maths required to pursue it at a higher level.  Differential calculus kicked my butt and I've been hanging my head in shame ever since.  But I still have a love for numbers and numberplay, even if I'm not particularly good at any of the hard stuff (isn't that just tragic?). 

So that's why I'm telling y'all about this new book published by Hodder and Stoughton called Venn That Tune.  The first time I heard about it was during a visit with my sales rep.  Apparently I was the first buyer among his accounts to order a small stack of this marvelous little book.  The then-associate textbook manager, Darcy (the one who left us to pursue graduate school in physics, actually.  Sigh.), and I were doubled over with laughter about this book--every page brought a new wave of laughter--the kind where you think you can finally stop and then one hiccough later it starts all over again, despite the tears that are now trickling from your eyes and the aches in your abs.  It really was *that* funny.  

Have you ever wondered what the intersection of math geekdom and a love of pop culture might look like?  If so, look no further!  Andrew Viner has put together an entire book of classic song titles in the forms of Venn diagrams -- you know, the various sets of circles whose overlapping qualities form a subset.  For one example: you've got three circles depicting Things That Have Been Done For Me, Things That You Have Done, and Things That Have Been Done Lately.  Where all three intersect, there's a question mark:  it's the venn diagram of Janet Jackson's 1986 pop hit, "What Have You Done For Me Lately."  It's clever, it's nerdy, and it's a whole lot of fun.  Take it from somebody who knows: it's *perfect* for the math geek in your life.  


  1. once more.....with feeling.......hcb

  2. Sorry to report that words are more my life than numbers. Especially since I spent hours last week struggling over my tax return in a vain effort to obtain every last penny of legitimate deductions......it's absurd to have to pay in taxes at my advanced age, living on social security and borrowed time, so to speak. However, if the government sees fit to return a few of those hard-earned dollars, I will consider purchasing the book you recommended. hcb

  3. Well, the book is less about numbers and more about pop songs and the mapping thereof using mathematical diagrams. What's not to love? Okay, wait, don't answer that! :)

    thanks for the comment!


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