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Burma Shave Mathematics

One of the positive aspects of many math journals is that they are not shy about including poems that related to mathematics -- a negative aspect of that practice is that the poems are not included in the *Contents* listing for that publication. And so, the fact that my poem "A Mathematician's Nightmare" appears on page 31 of the February 2001 issue of *Math Horizons* is lost to all but those of us who have a copy of that magazine. Also unrecorded in these *Contents* is a page-full of rhymes written in response to a contest that asked for math poems composed in the style of road-side advertising for Burma Shave. From the late 1920s to the early 1960s, US highway travelers encountered various series of small signs advertising the product. I remember, as a child, attempting to guess what was coming next as our family car drove past a series of these signs. Here are two examples (from Wikipedia):
** A shave / That's real / No cuts to heal / A soothing / Velvet after-feel / ***Burma Shave*
**Past / Schoolhouses / Take it slow / Let the little / Shavers grow / ***Burma Shave *
Here are several of my favorites of the dozen Burma-Shave-style mathematics rhymes that I found on page 22 of *Math Horizons *February 2001.
The wisdom of Cantor Math is awesome,
rings through my skull, Functions are cool,
the number of reals You can't escape it,
Exceeds aleph-null! Numbers rule.
Mathematics! Mathematics!
Seth Grossinger Alison Breka

Calculus, Trig, and To multiply binomials
Algebra too You must be loyal
No need to freak out To the process
'cause it's good for you. Known as FOIL.
Mathematics! Mathematics!
Ryan Sullivan Kathy Pepper

The Problem

ReplyDeleteIs Real

But How

Do You Deal?

Make Sense

To Reveal

Mathematics!

Thanks, John -- for your blog-visit AND for your contribution!

ReplyDelete