Algebra: Weightlifting for the Brain

Dec 24, 2008 by

A holiday gift from me to you. My friend Mat Moore is a budding illustrator looking for work, and so I commissioned him to draw me a cartoon for Christmas to give to all of you. Here is the cartoon.

This cartoon was inspired from a quote attributed to a high school algebra teacher named Dean Sherman.

“…people don’t lift weights so that they will be prepared should, one day, [someone] knock them over on the street and lay a barbell across their chests. You lift weights so that you can knock over a defensive lineman, or carry your groceries or lift your grandchildren without being sore the next day. You do math exercises so that you can improve your ability to think logically, so that you can be a better lawyer, doctor, architect, prison warden or parent. MATH IS MENTAL WEIGHT TRAINING. It is a means to an end (for most people), and not an end in itself.”

Mat has given the cartoon a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives license, which means that you are allowed to use it on tests, print it and hang it in your classroom, or use it in presentations, as long as you don’t change it, don’t make money off it, and keep the attribution to Mat. You can download the jpg file for this cartoon here.

Hope you enjoy and use the cartoon! There is a whole series in the works as soon as Mat gets his website up and running. If you need a cartoon for some nagging idea that you’ve got in your head, but lack the drawing skills, send Mat an email at garlicandcoffee at gmail dot com and negotiate a price.

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