Monday, February 2, 2009

"Now those are square roots..."

So I figured it was time for SO's weekend to pick a movie (it was the last weekend of January, so it was bound to happen at some time...).  It's a good thing I'm writing this all down, because I'll need to remember that when it's the SO's time to pick, she's going to pick more than one movie!  That's right, she broke the rules even before we got this thing really going.  But I'll forgive her this time.  She's been having a rough week, so I figure she deserved a weekend of movies she wanted to see.

And since we watched two movies in total, I thought I'd write a post for each one.  And I'll start with the first movie.  A movie that makes math exciting (even though the SO has me figure out the tip when eating out...I know, she's crazy) and even a little trippy (I guess it was the... 1950s?  So Disney was ahead of the hippies, when it comes to the good stuff).  That's right, Disney's Donald in MathMagic Land.

So I'm all for math, Donald Duck, and cartoons.  And at 27 minutes, it did seem like it ended way too early.  But is it possible to make math exciting for children?  I must say that it was quite interesting to learn how the music scale we take for granted was discovered by Pythagoras and how simple it seems.  Besides this, we are introduced to the pentagram and the golden sections, architecture and art, the human body, nature, games, mental exercises, and the future.  

What do I gather from all this?  One, math is everywhere, but I already knew that.  It did present some things I had never thought about (and I thought I knew a lot about math).  The LSD trips that we had to go on throughout the movie made me wonder who was creating the cartoon.  I'm going to guess some pre-1960s hipsters, but I could be wrong.  But I also had to think, while watching, if I should have been doing the same drugs as the creators of this cartoon.

So what do I think of this movie?  I enjoy Disney (it's pretty apparent from the number of DVDs I have bought that are Disney) and I love Donald (again, I have all of Donald's cartoons on DVD) and I am actually surprised I never saw this cartoon before.  Maybe I did when I was young but I had since forgotten.  I would say that even if you don't like math, you'll be amazed where math can be found (it's everywhere!).  A little dated as a movie, but math will be around a lot longer than we will.  The last quote from Galileo right: "Mathematics is the alphabet with which God has written the universe."

As a postscript, I just realized that I have MathMagic Land twice.  This DVD and also on the fourth volume of Walt Disney Treasure's Chronological Donald Duck.  Yeah, I blame the SO.  She wanted it so badly but never thought to check if we already had the movie.  So we have it twice.  If you see the SO, tell her I'm not the only one who likes to get more than one version of a movie.  She'll appreciate it.  Later!

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