By Simon Singh
You have watched hundreds and hundreds of episodes of The Simpsons (and its sister express Futurama) with no ever understanding that cleverly embedded in lots of plots are refined references to arithmetic, starting from recognized equations to state-of-the-art theorems and conjectures. That they exist, Simon Singh unearths, underscores the brilliance of the shows' writers, a lot of whom have complicated levels in arithmetic as well as their unheard of experience of humor.
While recounting memorable episodes equivalent to “Bart the Genius” and “Homer3,” Singh weaves in mathematical tales that discover every little thing from p to Mersenne primes, Euler’s equation to the unsolved riddle of P v. NP; from excellent numbers to narcissistic numbers, infinity to even larger infinities, and lots more and plenty extra. alongside the way in which, Singh meets individuals of The Simpsons’ significant writing team—among them David X. Cohen, Al Jean, Jeff Westbrook, and Mike Reiss—whose love of arcane arithmetic turns into transparent as they exhibit the tales in the back of the episodes.
With wit and readability, exhibiting a real fan’s zeal, and replete with pictures from the exhibits, photos of the writers, and diagrams and proofs, The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets bargains a completely new perception into the main profitable express in tv historical past.
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The aim of this chapter is to give exactly this sense of context. It is a scene-setting chapter in which I outline, first, the nature of McTells, the blinds firm. Next, I turn to give an overview of the people who worked at McTells, of the way in which they regarded their jobs, and of the nature of the “Stayin’ Alive” shop floor culture they created and in which their musical culture was nested. There are also two side steps in this chapter. The first focuses on the social history of the radio in the workplace, and the second examines the film Saturday Night Fever in which I see an important way of theorizing the relationship between pop music and work.
It allowed us to understand the structuring of pop music as primarily antithetical to work, but it could not close off the question of how this pop music is heard on the McTells factory floor. It is the task of the following chapters to address this question. 3 I Got All My Sisters with Me Music and Community When Elvis Presley died in 1977, Lester Bangs wrote in the Village Voice that Elvis was the last thing that we were all going to agree on, that his was the last music that we would respond to as one.
It is a scene-setting chapter in which I outline, first, the nature of McTells, the blinds firm. Next, I turn to give an overview of the people who worked at McTells, of the way in which they regarded their jobs, and of the nature of the “Stayin’ Alive” shop floor culture they created and in which their musical culture was nested. There are also two side steps in this chapter. The first focuses on the social history of the radio in the workplace, and the second examines the film Saturday Night Fever in which I see an important way of theorizing the relationship between pop music and work.