Journal of Humanistic Mathematics

The Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, a new online-only, peer-reviewed mathematics journal, is in its first issue. The Journal of Humanistic Mathematics aims to provide an open forum for both academic and informal discussions on the various threads of mathematical inquiry. The focus of submitted papers should be on the aesthetic, cultural, historical, literary, pedagogical, philosophical, … Read more

Strange Fruit

The poem was written by Abel Meeropol, and the performance here is by Billie Holiday. A film telling the story of the song is here. Strange Fruit Southern trees bear strange fruit, Blood on the leaves and blood at the root, Black body swinging in the Southern breeze, Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees. … Read more

Zen Valentine

My good friend Manolo Santiago lived in Toronto in 1996 when he wrote this poem. Zen Valentine Before Valentine’s Day: Ride subway, walk briskly, look grim. On Valentine’s Day: Ride subway, walk briskly, carry flowers, look grim. After Valentine’s Day: Ride subway, walk briskly, look grim. (This post first appeared at my other (now deleted) … Read more

Black Earth Into Yellow Crocus

Perhaps my favourite joke of all time is actually an anecdote that I read in the wonderful book Thirty Years that Shook Physics, by George Gamow. The book is available in an inexpensive Dover edition, and would make a fine complement to a course textbook in modern physics, which amounts to introductory quantum mechanics. Gamow … Read more

The Disney World of Good vs. Evil

One of the traditional purposes of culture is to educate. Before books were common, the spoken word was the essential tool for teaching. Stories are memorable, and so telling stories was an effective way to pass on life lessons, particularly moral lessons. But in recent times, “information media” have been used overwhelmingly often only for … Read more


There is one art / no more, no less / to do all things / with artlessness. —  Piet Hein The merely poetic destroys poetry. — Vladimir Holan (This post first appeared at my other (now deleted) blog, and was transferred to this blog on 25 January 2021.)