I know this sounds incredible, especially in view of NYC's nationwide appeal to bribe unsuspecting math and science teachers to teach in the NYC public school system, but a friend just sent me this shocking story that is hot off the presses ...
Teacher Arrested At JFK Airport in NYC
NEW YORK -- Shortly after midnight today, a man was arrested while trying to board an international flight at JFK airport in New York City while in possession of a ruler, protractor, setsquare, slide rule, log tables, and a calculator. The 37-year-old man, whom officials declined to identify pending further investigation by the homeland security team, was revealed to be a math teacher in the New York City public school system.
At a press conference this morning, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-Gebra movement. He is being charged with transporting weapons of math instruction.
"Al-Gebra is a fearsome cult," Gonzales said. "They desire average 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 that they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval, with co-ordinates in every country. They test the limits. As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say: 'There are three sides to every triangle'."
When asked to comment on the arrest, President Bush said, "If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, he would have given us more fingers and toes."
(Yes, I rewrote it a little bit to make it more realistic. I am pleased to report that a friend read this story and initially was outraged at the homeland security team until she realized it was .. punny.)
ROTFL! I just read it out loud to my wife and we are both laughing. Thank you!
Just a bit of trivia: algebra is also an Arabic word from Arabic al jebr "reunion of broken parts" as in computation, used 9c. by Baghdad mathematician. A clear link there between maths and terrorism!
I never could understand algebra as a youth, so I'm willing to concede the wisdom of our government officials. I'm sure the teacher will be classified as an "enemy combatant" and will thus have no rights. Should be a protracted imprisonment, a swift trial, and more imprisonment. That heavens for that Republican War on Science!
I always fought against the dreaded Al-Gebra in school along with those sects like G-metry and cal Cul Us.
Nice bit of humour.
Can you imagine if he were allowed on the plane? OMG, forcing people to solve quadratic equations, forcing flight stewards to solve things like If passenger x in seat y buys a beer for $5 and I give you a $10 for wine, how much change does passenger z get?
The horror, the humanity.
I'm glad the government is working hard to protect high school students from the terror of al-Gebra.
Somebody explain to Bush that some of the early tetrapods were better mathematicians than us - some of them had 8 digits
Thanks a bunch, Hedwig - it provided me with a much-needed laugh.
I can't wait for next Cohen's op-ed. I bet he will be gloating!
This is a delight! And even a lowly English teacher lke me got (most of) the puns. What a hoot!