Math Mistaken For Terrorism

Blonde Math

Did you hear the joke about the blonde who mistook a math equation for terrorism?

Officials with American Airlines certainly have.

Italian economist Guido Menzio was working on a math equation while waiting for his Air Wisconsin flight to take off from Philadelphia. Unfortunately for him, Barbie was sitting next to him. Instead of saying, “Math class is tough,” as she had done previously, she declared, “Math is terrorism.”

From Fox News:

“An Ivy League professor says his flight was delayed when a fellow passenger mistook his scribbling on a math problem as a sign he might be a terrorist.

American Airlines confirms that a woman expressed suspicions about University of Pennsylvania economics professor Guido Menzio.

He was flying from Philadelphia to Syracuse on Thursday to give a talk at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. He was working on a differential equation, but said he was told the woman thought he might be a terrorist because of what he was writing.”

From the Washington Post:

“The curly-haired man tried to keep to himself, intently if inscrutably scribbling on a notepad he’d brought aboard. His seatmate, a blond-haired, 30-something woman sporting flip-flops and a red tote bag, looked him over. He was wearing navy Diesel jeans and a red Lacoste sweater – a look he would later describe as “simple elegance” – but something about him didn’t seem right to her.

She decided to try out some small talk.

Is Syracuse home? She asked.

No, he replied curtly.

He similarly deflected further questions. He appeared laser-focused — perhaps too laser-focused — on the task at hand, those strange scribblings. . .

. . . this quick-thinking traveler had Seen Something, and so she had Said Something.

That Something she’d seen had been her seatmate’s cryptic notes, scrawled in a script she didn’t recognize. Maybe it was code, or some foreign lettering, possibly the details of a plot to destroy the dozens of innocent lives aboard American Airlines Flight 3950. She may have felt it her duty to alert the authorities just to be safe. The curly-haired man was, the agent informed him politely, suspected of terrorism.

The curly-haired man laughed.

He laughed because those scribbles weren’t Arabic, or another foreign language, or even some special secret terrorist code. They were math.”

NBC News reports, “American spokesman Casey Norton said the Air Wisconsin crew followed protocol to take care of an ill passenger and then to investigate her allegations. Norton wouldn’t specify the details of the allegations, but said officials determined them to be non-credible. The woman was rebooked on a later flight.”

With people like that female passenger giving blondes a bad name, it is no wonder that the Barbie Doll has gone bald.

Clarity sought, clarity found
Weekend Caption Contest™ Winners May 6, 2016
  • Commander_Chico

    Attention whore Barbie wanted attention!!

  • fustian24

    It’s those damned Arabic numerals.

  • jim_m

    No surprise here. Teach For America claims that Math has ” traditionally been seen as the domain of old, White men,”

    Therefore they teach social justice math, or as they call it:

    “Critically conscious mathematics can be understood as the intersection of what is being taught – the curriculum – and how it’s being taught— the pedagogy. Our children need an education that activates their voices and ensures that they are able to advocate for themselves and their communities to be treated equitably, even or especially if that means reorganizing societal institutions—not just an education that helps them pass state tests.” Grace Chen, Managing Director of Math Design

    This is exactly what it sounds like. Math is the basis for teaching racial outrage and hate. When people are ignorant the will do ignorant things. That is what the left wants.

    The fact is that while the ignorant lady did do the right thing, she made a fool of herself because of her ignorance.


      Wow, you see a left wing conspiracy in math, the most apolitical of disciplines?

      I have two nieces currently taking math classes. One is in college and taking calculus, while the other is studying trigonometry in high school. Do you know what the text books look like? They are no different from what I remember from decades ago.

      • jim_m

        Um no. Follow the link.

        Teach for America believes that Math is a conspiracy by the evil white patriarchy to keep the black man down.

        If you go and look at what Teach for America is saying they are trying to make math a subjective subject that is completely infused with political messages.

        No, this is not all math. Not yet. But it is where the left wants to take math.

        • WHO’S THE BUSTER

          Math is math, arithmetic is arithmetic, just because someone has an obscure opinion about the discipline is irrelevant.

          How is it possible that many on the right see someone hiding in the bushes trying to make all subjects political, no matter how ridiculous it seems. This is a numbers-based subject, there are no politics involved.

          Wow, when people say that the right constantly sees the sky falling, it just might be true that it might be a good time to be in the umbrella business.

          It must be hard to wake up in the morning when one thinks that everything, and I mean “everything” that one holds dear, is under attack. By the way, it’s not.

          • jim_m

            I agree with you, which is why I am pointing you the idiocy of the Teach For American loons. If you would bother to follow the links you would see what I am talking about. Come to Chicago and you would see that these idiots are running the whole public school system. Laugh at your own risk, but these are the sorts of people who run our universities today.

          • Retired military

            You mean like your God given constitutionally protected right to use the bathroom of your choice no matter what any one else may think.’

  • Thats what you get for flying DairyAir

    • fustian24


  • …but to put everyone in the mood.

  • Retired military

    All the terrorists are now joining
    Al Gebra

    and they are using weapons of Maths destruction

    Credit to another site (don’t remember which one)

  • You never see a constipated mathematician,

    They work it out with a pencil