Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Earth Still Round

Earth - As our eyes once again turn towards the heavens amidst all of the commotion and scandal of Pluto being declassified as a planet, people have been questioning other facts that have long been regarded as "true." Questions are being raised. Is Black actually White? Is White actually Black? Does it matter to Michael Jackson which one you are? But most importantly, the question is being asked: "Is the world actually round?"

The Greek mathematician, geographer, and astronomer Eratosthenes was the first person to calculate the circumference of the Earth sometime in the third century B.C. He was also known for liking it "Greek Style." This information was lost some time in the Dark Ages and the notion that the world was round became grounds for giving the person that had that notion a good, old-fashioned stoning. Or, to put it in modern parlance, to go "Medieval on their ass." The issue came to the forefront in the late 1400's when a drunken Chris Columbus bet that he could sail around the world because it was "as round as Queen Isabella's ass." The king, humored by Chris' description, took him up on the bet and proceeded to give Isabella "the Royal Treatment" in their chamber. As a historical note, a chamber maid is said to have heard Ferdinand say "It's good to be the king" right before smacking Isabella's globe-shaped bottom.

Now, with the Plutonian debacle, people everywhere are once questioning this precept. Math teachers are in hysterics. "How are we supposed to teach the kids with people questioning the roundness of the earth?" asked Mary Asymptote, a 10th grade geometry teacher. The problem is not just limited to high school, but has permeated every level of education. One kindergarten teacher reported events of youngsters trying to put the round ball into the square hole in their Playskule "Shapes and Colors" toys.

Marcus Radicand, a noted mathematician, squelched the worries of an angry mob outside his office on the campus of M.I.T. (Midland Institute of Technology). The noted number wizard was quoted as saying "Now listen here you mental midgets. The world is round. The world has always been round and will always be round. Now get off of my petunias. They're arranged in a very nice Fibonacci sequence."

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