Friday Flashback: The Mathematics of Love

Discussing those two awesome Fun Fun Records albums from this week sparked another about other children’s music and television programming. When that happens, I always go back to one of my favorite shows when I was younger, Square One TV. I know I’ve talked about this and posted videos elsewhere, but it deserves the full Friday Flashback treatment. So let’s jump back in time to the late 80s/early 90s.

For those unlucky enough to not know, Square One TV was a Children’s Television Workshop educational program focusing on math. I would regularly tune in to PBS after school just to watch this. I totally loved this show… about math. That really explains a lot about me.

Anyway, the show was basically made up of short, math themed sketches. A popular one was a Pac-Man parody, called Mathman. In this, Mathman is faced with only being able to eat numbers that fit a certain mathematical criteria. Take this for example, where Mathman may only eat multiples of 6. There were other parodies as well, like General Mathpital and my constant favorite Mathnet. It was a parody of Dragnet and it was the shit.

But why am I talking about all this? Well, it’s because mixed in were some awesome math related songs. I’d like to start with my absolute favorite,  “The Mathematics of Love”.

“You Romans is too much!”

We must remember this program focused on math, not grammar or accuracy of accents and costumes. I actually love that the backus and uppus are wearing Chucks. However, one problem I do have is that if he’s only taught Roman numerals I to X, then how does he know M is 1000? Tell me that, Tony baby! In all though, it’s kind of a cute song. I’d totally serenade some lucky lady with this. Ladies? No?

Something else we must remember is that this show originally ran from 1987-1994, so there was definitely some sweet, synthy goodness involved in the music. For example,  “Angle Dance”. But beware, the video includes graphic descriptions of obtuse and acute angles.

Here’s more of a surfer tune called “Tessellations”.

And I’ll leave you with another great synthy jam called “Time Keeper” featuring Vanessa Huxtable herself, Tempestt Bledsoe.

Happy Friday folks!


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