As you may recall, a couple of weeks ago, I reported that Luke Miller, a freelance FPGA design consultant and EE Times blogger, has a hitherto unknown talent for cartooning.

Mathematicians and other practitioners of the Exact Sciences (like logic design) like to sneer at the Inexact Sciences, like chemistry and physics. Before calculators became common, practitioners of the Inexact Sciences often multiplied using logarithm tables, because they were more accurate than slide rules.

Here's the joke:

Two chemists need to multiply 2 times 3. One of them says: "OK, let's take the log of 2... and the log of 3... add them... take the anti-log... let's see... we get 5.99... well, call it 6."

Chemists seem to be the butts of Math jokes. It's probably because we work in the real world.

One upperclassman told me a story about Dr. van Hook, our Physical Chemistry (PChem, also known as something that almost rhymes with PhysChem) prof. He supposedly one day spent a while deriving an equation on the blackboard that had "log(this) and "log(that) and "log(some-other-thing)." He told all the math majors to close their eyes and when they did, he divided through by "log" to get the final equation. My kind of mathematician.

I think Dr. van Hook was older than most chemicals. He said he was the first Chemical Engineer to be licensed in he state of Idaho (I think it was), but there wasn't a category for Chemical Engineer so he was licensed as a Civil Engineer, which included being licensed to make surveys even though he knew nothing about surveying land!

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