UnNews:Math broken, Universe in chaos

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24 November 2007

NEW YORK CITY, Wisconsin: For untold centuries, humanity's math nerds have been secure in the knowledge that, even though they must always be on the lookout for hairy jerks who might give them a wedgie at any time, the mysteries of the Universe can be expressed and defined in mathematical terms. Math is perhaps the one thing in all the world that never changes, and can never be wrong if applied correctly. Put simply, math always works. At least that's how it was, until approximately thirteen hours ago, when mathematics, completely without warning, broke.

The first report of this breakdown in the abstract foundation of all existence comes from Patrick Shlepfelderson, who noticed that a rubber ball bounced against the floor of his 5th grade Math teacher's classroom floor did not fall back down according to the Earth's generally accepted rate of gravitational acceleration of 9.8 m/s². Said Patrick of the incident,

Cquote1 So I was bouncing this bouncy ball on the floor, right? 'Cause Ms. Gonkerp's class is totally freaking boring. Then I started noticing, 'Hey, is it just me or is this thing falling way faster than normal?' And it got even weirder when it started falling slower than normal, and by the time Ms. Gonkerp came over to take it away, it was doing all kinds of crazy shit. It started stopping in midair and floating back up, up and down all over the place out of Ms. Gonkerp's reach. It was really funny, but when Frankie Jebsimmons got an 'A+' on his math test, we knew something was messed up, right? On, like, the metaphysical level. Cquote2

Satellite images from shortly before the incident (which caused their orbits to take on a square-like shape and then explode) recorded the actual origin of the break, which occurred in a very high-powered University's College of Mathematics that you've never heard of. After working our way through teeming masses of English and Literature majors, who were celebrating the incident to an absurd extreme, we spoke with with an anonymous nerdy professor of Theoretical Mathematics (he's not actually anonymous, we just didn't bother to learn his name because he smelled funny and was annoying to listen to) who revealed that math was broken when one of his graduate students, in a strange fit induced by substances stolen from the Chemistry lab, somehow proved that the square root of negative one is equal to infinity minus eleventy-squillion-and-three.

"At first I was elated," said Prof. Anonymous Nerd, "I thought this new formula, if proven correct, could answer all the questions of the universe, and teach us how to be at one with it. Unfortunately, it seems it would have been better if I'd simply burned that paper as soon as I received it. This is a total disaster."

Before, two plus two always–always–equaled four. Now, two plus two can equal pi if it wants to, and pi no longer necessarily represents 3.14159 etc. Circles have been found with circumferences equal to exactly three times their diameter, four-sided polygons with three right angles are popping up everywhere, and atoms have been exploding randomly as the cosmological constant that binds them together has gone willy-nilly. The hypotenuse of a right triangle could equal anything, even a negative number. The entire planet is expected to look like a Cubist painting within the week, and the whole Universe could be affected by next month. This is assuming, of course, that time continues to flow according to normal rates, which cannot be guaranteed if math in the fourth dimension starts breaking.

Some crackpot scientists have gotten very excited about this, claiming that this new development could lead the way to the invention of an Improbability Drive, indicating statistics charts that no longer conform to standard deviation. They claim that this could make all kinds of random shit possible, but this reporter just wants his third dimension back. Typing in 2D is a pain in the ass.

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