Trig or Treat
On Mischief Night, I spent a long time explaining our Halloween decorations to my neighbor. But I understood why he was confused. After all, they didn’t look like Halloween decorations.
There was the WITCH of Agnesi taped to our front door…
…the SKELETON of a cube hanging from our tree…
…and Napier’s BONES drawn on the sidewalk in chalk.
After I set our neighbor straight, I went for a walk in the woods.
I came across a mathematician stirring a cauldron in the middle of an open clearing. One by one, she added the eye of a newt, two whiskers from a black cat, a pinch of wolf’s bane, a dash of bat’s blood, three hairs from a mermaid, the ear of a troll, and finally a dollup of dragon’s breath. I asked her, “Why don’t you just add everything at the same time?”
“Oh, no,” she said. “To make an effective potion, the ingredients must be integrated by parts.”
Finally, a math equation for today: