The Mountain That Defied Science – Chapter 7, Act 2, Strip 55

Morale still seems to be pretty depressed around our valiant band of adventurers. Not that that’s difficult to understand – they’ve known Silhouette Mountain, and similar mountains of equal, triple or nonuple height, since Chapter 2…and they’ve never enjoyed the climb up any of them. (Although the first easily remains the worst, as that often goes.)

While the others give free rein to their desperation, the Professorian feels compelled, by lifelong habit, to at least try and soberly assess their situation. And sober assessment definitely involves maths, in his opinion…or, at least that used to be his opinion. At the moment, however, he can’t shake the feeling that his skill at mathematics is no longer quite on the level on which he remembers it to have been. His memory is a bit dim, but he does clearly remember winning the Abel Prize – and that probably indicates that he was way better than 28*76=28 at one point…

The decline is clearly tied to his newly acquired nature as underage Barbarian, who tend to count with their fingers…and only need four of them: one, two, many, more than can be imagined. That he has any skill at maths left is only due to the height of his former accomplishment in the field – if Biff had become the Barbarian, he’d probably have difficulties counting to one by now.

The book horse doesn’t approve, but since I mercifully* removed her ability to speak, there’s not a lot she can do.

There’s really only one consolation for the Barbessor right now: if he can bring his new incarnation up to snuff on mathematics over time, he’ll possibly be eligible for a Fields Medal for the first time – originally he was already over their age limit when it was first awarded. **

As far as consolation in connection to the Silhouette Mountain situation is concerned, however, he’s drawing a blank as well.

More on Thurs…uh, Monday.

* Mercifully to the readers, not to her.

** Funnily, at first I was going to have the Professor refer to having won a Fields Medal, but then I did the maths…since the Professor stated he was 113 years of age when he was introduced in 2005, he would have been born in 1892, making him 44 in 1936 – and thus ineligible for the Fields Medal from its inception.

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