Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Yes, you can mix theology and science.  We didn't always live in an age when people believe the earth is 4004 years old based on a literal reading of the the Hebrew Bible. By the way, this calculation is called the Ussher chronology, not to be confused with the Usher chronology which calculates the earth's age as 10 years for every time Usher says "Yeah!" in a song.  (At least using this method, the earth is 14,000 years old). Anyway, Edwin Abbott was both a mathematician and a theologian, and he wrote a perfectly fine piece of classic literature which is kind of kick-ass when you think about it.  I'm sure when he was at Cambridge in the 1860's everyone called him Kick-ass Eddie. 

Flatland, which is a slim 96 pages, is weird. Good weird.  A square lawyer explains Flatland to us, knowing we live in Spaceland, and we come to learn all about Flatland's politics, women's rights and all about triangle angle-racism.  Its a criticism of Victorian social mores which is pretty clever. It does get a little tedious is the beginning because when you use an analogy to spoof something, I mean, I get it.  My favorite part is the last third which becomes philosophical.  The square has a dream where he visits Pointland.  There, he encounters a point king that cannot conceive of the observable world of Flatland.  Square, when he is awake, is visited by a Sphere, which he naturally mistakes as a circle.  The Square cannot conceive of Spaceland until it becomes first-person observable. Deep, huh.  After becoming a believer, Square dares to postulate a forth and fifth dimension, which the Sphere thinks is really nuts. Very deep.  Three dimensionally deep. 

No one cared about Flatland when it came out but he was later rediscovered after Einstein's theory of relativity.  Abbott was then considered a visionary because he used time to describe other dimensions.  I wonder what Kick-Ass Eddie would do with string theory.  He'd write Stringland. I suspect in Stringland it would difficult to tell a person's mouth hole from his "other dimension."

Drinks:  In Flatland you should drink something extraordinary. Ok, here is one my favorites which makes no sense on paper, so like the Square, you must taste it to believe it.  The Kretchma:  1 oz. vodka, 1 oz. Creme de Cacao, one dash Grenadine, 1 tablespoon lemon juice.  Mix all the ingredients with ice, shake, strain and serve.  Some say it tastes like a cupcake, some say it tastes like the fourth dimension.         

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