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Math on TV: Look Around You

With the weekend close upon us, no doubt many of you are looking forward to a reprieve from the work week. The more popular among you may even have some engagements lined up. Even for those of you with “friends” or “hobbies,” however, there always comes a point when the evening begins to come to a close.

Suppose it’s late and you’re looking for a good time. Temptation runs rampant in the midnight hour of a Saturday night, especially for those of us in the fast-paced world of graduate school. But before you open that bottle, or pick up the phone to talk to live singles in your area, let me take the opportunity to inform you of a new way to spend your time during the late night wind-down: starting this weekend, you will be able to relive your childhood through the nostalgia-inducing satire that is Look Around You.

That’s right: starting this weekend, Adult Swim will begin airing the former BBC series on Sunday mornings (or late Saturday nights, depending on who you ask) at 1 a.m. The show lasted only two seasons, although I am of the firm belief that the first season was the more inspired of the two – it took it’s motivation from science videos shown to children during school on those rare days when teachers “rewarded” us by letting us watch an educational video during class time. The show’s parody of these old videos is nearly dead on, and the dry delivery with which the program makes its absurd statements only makes the show that much better. Plus, those of you with a keen eye may notice some extras who are now clearly much more famous than they were when these programs were produced.


You may be wondering what this all has to do with mathematics. The answer is that one of the educational videos is all about maths. The video is pretty fantastic, and shows that it is possible to make math funny to a general audience and a mathematical audience at the same time – something that most t-shirt designs fail to do.

The clip itself is on YouTube, but because the show is coming to Adult Swim, I’m not sure how long the video will stay up. If you haven’t seen it, take 10 minutes and watch – I promise it will be worth your time. Just make sure you have your copy book nearby.


Here’s wishing a happy weekend to you all. As for myself, I’m off to the store to buy more razor blades and Garry gum.

3 comments to Math on TV: Look Around You

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