Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Al Gebra

I received this bit of geeky humour through e-mail today from a friend:

Teacher arrested in New York

NEW YORK -- A public school teacher was arrested today at JFK Airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a set square, a slide rule and a calculator.

At a morning press conference, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-gebra movement. He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction.

"Al-gebra is a problem for US," Gonzales said. "They desire solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in search of absolute values. They use secret code names like 'x' and 'y' and refer to themselves as 'unknowns', but we have determined they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country. As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, 'There are 3 sides to every triangle'."

When asked to comment on the arrest, George W. Bush said, "If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, He would have given us more fingers and toes."

Aides told reporters they could not recall a more intelligent or profound statement by the President.

Does anyone know the original source?


  1. Jason said...

    I read this some months ago. Hilarious!! I dont remember how i had found it though. Here is a link to it

  2. Anonymous said...

    All I know is that the joke is at least 3-4 years old. Saw it on a professor's door once.

  3. Patrix said...

    I would think The Onion

  4. Anonymous said...

    Dear Abi,

    Looking at the way it is written, I thought it might be from Onion. However, the earliest reference I could get by googling is a University of Texas homepage.

  5. Abi said...

    Jason, Confused, Guru, Patrix: Thanks for your comments.

    Brian Leiter's blog post (mentioned by Guru) is certainly the oldest citation: it is from November 2003. And he may well be the author of the original (and longer) piece.