That Our Ancestors Weren't Stupid
Just because the Greeks didn't have cell phones and iPods, doesn't mean ancient civilization was barely one step above pond scum. A neat picture on the Astronomy Picture of the Day website shows the Antikythera mechanism in all its encrusted and corroded glory. So what is the Antikythera mechanism? an ancient mechanical analog computer. Take that, Bill Gates.
You can read all about it on Wikipedia HERE and on the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project Home page HERE .
I'd say the Antikythera mechanism is a great example of math in practical application. So why aren't school kids studying this instead of how to calculate ratios of M & M's? Oh yeah, I forgot, M & M's are more relevant. Pretty. Yummy. I sure would have been more interested in science if it hadn't been presented to me as A) only for the mathematical geniuses among us, B) interesting, C) tied to our history, and D) Not taught by those with no interest in anything outside their narrow field. Once they started uncoupling the disiplines from one another, everything went to hell. No disipline is an island. Heck, maybe I need to revisit Venn diagrams too.
Rant for the day is over, you may return to your regularly scheduled indifference now.