Download “2-14-11.mp3

You don’t have to ask.  Yes -- it’s autobiographical . . .


It’s Valentine’s Day, girl.

The day of love.

And I’m gonna speak love to you.

I’m gonna speak love to you

In the universal language

Of . . . mathematics.

(It’s Valentine’s Day...)

Yeah, girl.

Talkin’ love.

“r” equals one minus the sine of theta, baby.

Oh, yeah.

Am I goin’ too fast?

That’s alright, baby . . .

We can take it slow . . .

I’ll show you what to do . . .

Here we go . . .

Watch me trace around this unit circle.

At every point, we’re lookin’ for a sine.

We’ll put each y-value on the Cartesian plane

And then watch as theta continues to grow.

(It’s Valentine’s Day...)

Oh yeah, baby -- that’s right.

You’re gettin’ it now.

Trace your pencil along those

Sinusoidal curves . . .

And now baby,

Let’s move to the table

And see what happens

When you start with one,

And then take away all those “y”s . . .

That’s it.

Yeah -- just like that.

There’re no negatives any more,

Are there, baby?

Mmmmm . . .

Now let’s take it to the next level;

Switch to polar coordinates

And start graphing “r” against theta . . .


That’s nice.

See how things start to

Move in a new direction

When theta gets to ninety degrees?

(It’s Valentine’s Day...)

Yeah, you see what’s happening.

You like it, don’t you?

This cardioid graph?

Well, that’s just the first half,

‘Cause baby?

We’re just gettin’ started . . .

Let’s get . . . topological.

Alright, baby.

Just lean over

And grab a construction paper


Make a loop.

Give one end a half-twist,

And tape those ends together.

That’s right.

Now grab another


And do it again,

But this time,

Twist it in the opposite direction.

Yeah -- you’re doin’ it.

That’s fine, girl.

You just made a couple of

Enantiomorphic Möbius strips.

Now baby,

Choose a spot on each strip

And put a big piece of tape

Orthogonally across each band.

Then use that tape to join

Those two Möbius strips together

So their . . . intersection

Is . . . perpendicular.

Now cut each strip

Lengthwise in half.

Yeah, baby.

Keep goin’.

Don’t stop.

Cut the second strip, too.

See what you get?

Two interlocked hearts?

That’s me and you, baby.

Our love is true, baby.

(It’s Valentine’s Day...)

It’s Valentine’s Day . . .

Lesson’s over, baby.

Whad’dya wanna do now?

Let’s also let it be said?

The use of the word “enantiomorphic” in this lyric joins “while spurts of blood arced from the stumps of their ankles” in my own personal “Hall of Fame” for oddities of lyric writing . . .

(And if you want them, you can download the worksheets for this lesson here . . .)

(Download the movie as an .m4v file.)