An Introduction to Pumpkin Chunkin’

In a recent episode of ABC’s Modern Family, Cameron and Mitchell (the show’s unambiguously gay duo) are with some friends talking about Thanksgiving when Cameron decides to tell a story from his youth which, in his opinion, is quite compelling. Mitchell knows better, but doesn’t have the heart to tell him that this particular story suffers from some basic structural flaws. As Mitchell puts it, the story can be summarized as follows: “Once Cam and his friends tried to slingshot a pumpkin across a football field. Three seconds. That’s all you need to tell that story.” Readers in the U.S. can see the full clip below:

Needless to say, Cameron’s version of the story is much more embellished. In his rendition, their experiment was a success; as he puts it, the pumpkin flew across the field, “goal post to goal post.”

When I first heard him say . . . → Read More: An Introduction to Pumpkin Chunkin’

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Scott Pilgrim Vs. Gravity

More than three weeks after its opening, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World appears to be limping towards the end of its theatrical run. For whatever reason (some blame marketing, others blame Michael Cera exhaustion, for others the fault lies with a crowded weekend of opening releases) this action comedy with a video game aesthetic and a heart of platinum has failed to find an audience. Critical response has been very positive, and everyone I know who’s seen the film has enjoyed it, so it’s unfortunate that this level of support hasn’t translated into higher revenues.

While I’m sure many people have their own explanations for why this film didn’t resonate with a larger crowd, I would like to posit my own: that our culture’s math anxiety runs so deep, we instinctively run when there’s even a hint of mathematics afoot. For if you . . . → Read More: Scott Pilgrim Vs. Gravity

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