Friday, February 4, 2011

A Brief Mathematical Explanation of the Theory of Delta-B

What contemptible scoundrel has stolen the cork to my lunch?
---W.C. Fields

Two summers ago, I took some courses in SFU's publishing program. I say "courses", they were actually immersives, and the difference is akin to that between taking a quick shower and, say, drowning. For two weeks, I was thrown together from 8a.m. til the wee hours o' the morning with a group of book-world miscreants in an ever-increasing Lord Of The Flies scenario until Piggy finally got hit in the head with a styrofoam rock and fell off the cliff. I was Piggy.

Actually, I'm just joking: we all got along famously and are now all connected on facebook, whatever that's worth. It was a crucible out of which we all emerged like spectral beings and beautiful butterflies and soaring eagles and.... shit. [/Emily Howard].

I also made an important discovery.

During the lunch break, we would often pop across the street to Steamworks in the old railway station, there to sooth our battered intellects and nosh on burgers and fries. And, inevitably, we'd all have a pint, and once or twice two.

It was about this time I noticed something curious. While before lunch we were as collectively productive as a hive of bees that've just attended a Tony Robbins seminar, our post-lunch output was both greatly reduced and frequently filled with gibberish. In a fit of genius, the idea of Delta-B leapt into my hazy brain. Thus:
Where delta-b is the not the point at which beer is consumed, but where it starts to take effect.
The original graph, drawn on a corner of the classroom chalkboard was so universally admired that it made its way into the following year's course catalogue (without any explanatory caption). I count it among my greatest achievements.

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