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"Consider hybridisation in the following way. The mixing of a unicorn with a dragon leads to a hybrid, the rhinoceros!”
December 7, 2012 4:45 AM   Subscribe

Thanks, Textbooks. A Collection Of The World's Finest Academic Writing. (Updated Every Monday). *or not
posted by Toekneesan (26 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite

 
These are really funny. But I have to admit I don't get the first one with the red-headed office worker. What's going on with that?
posted by cincinnatus c at 5:08 AM on December 7, 2012


Sadly my introductory psych text book is at work in my office, or I'd be able to submit a picture of its graphical illustration of the attribution theory of arousal (man running in a marathon, versus business man being chased by a T-Rex.)
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 5:17 AM on December 7, 2012


I loved "bonjour perverts!". My husband showed me this last night and I can't remember the last time I laughed that hard. Great stuff.
posted by victoriab at 5:17 AM on December 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Love this. I wish there were citations for the sources -- I would enjoy reading more probability [marital] problems from that book.

Also, is the disembodied hand in the image from "The Birds, the Bees, and the Beginning of Life" showing cervical mucus being checked?
posted by mean square error at 5:39 AM on December 7, 2012


The Swizzle.

That is all.
posted by Katemonkey at 5:51 AM on December 7, 2012


Yeah, The Swizzle. Which oddly reminded me of something / someone else...
posted by Wordshore at 6:08 AM on December 7, 2012


I always keep a running score of how my day is going using complex numbers. I don't see what's so strange about that.
posted by wittgenstein at 6:14 AM on December 7, 2012


The first page of posts is great, but the earlier Chinese Pants Explosion is, for me, where shit got real.

Thextbooks.
posted by anthom at 6:29 AM on December 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


I remember the unicorn/dragon explanation from my organic chemistry text! Here's slightly better context for it.

To explain a bit more: a molecule such as benzene is sometimes drawn as a combination (or "resonance hybrid") of structures with alternating double and single bonds. Neither of these structures on its own accurately represents the bonding in benzene, whose bonds are actually all the same: of order 1.5, halfway between a single and double bond*. Indeed, like unicorns and dragons**, neither resonance structure actually exists! However, it's sometimes useful to draw benzene (and many other molecules with delocalized bonds) as a combination of two or more such structures.

* as (questionably) discovered by August Kekulé in a really trippy dream.
** this explanation is suffering from a dearth of cats. you may substitute a two-headed cat and a two-tailed cat if you prefer!


My analytical chemistry text also featured a Good Chemist riding in on a white horse to help you with your equilibrium woes, who I worried might be one of the horsepeople of the apocalypse.
posted by beryllium at 6:33 AM on December 7, 2012


Compulsory: THEXTBOOKS
posted by Drexen at 6:35 AM on December 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


Can anyone explain the red-headed office worker to me?
posted by cincinnatus c at 6:52 AM on December 7, 2012


These are really funny. But I have to admit I don't get the first one with the red-headed office worker. What's going on with that?

There is no reason to describe the color of her hair. Just "an office worker" would be sufficient. It's kind of weird to point out that she's red-haired, especially since you can observe that for yourself.
posted by emjaybee at 7:46 AM on December 7, 2012


I love the chicken-egg one. I like to think that whoever made that worksheet did that on purpose.
posted by not that girl at 7:50 AM on December 7, 2012


"'Why the hell are we lubricating a hamster?'"

Pet store was sold out of the perfectly spherical ones, duh.
posted by griphus at 8:15 AM on December 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


Can anyone explain the red-headed office worker to me?The only thing I can think of is that it's a language-learning textbook, and they wanted a sentence that could act as a kind of two-fer, so you practice the word for 'office worker' and 'red-headed'.

(Rosetta Stone does this quite a lot, though usually less awkwardly.)
posted by kalimac at 8:22 AM on December 7, 2012


It's demonstrating hyphenation rules, I think. Red-headed (a compound adjective) is hyphenated. Office worker (a noun plus simple adjective) isn't. Looks like a college-level English language text.
posted by Wylla at 8:27 AM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


HORSE_E_TEXTBOOKS
posted by special-k at 8:53 AM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's demonstrating hyphenation rules, I think. Red-headed (a compound adjective) is hyphenated. Office worker (a noun plus simple adjective) isn't. Looks like a college-level English language text.

Yeah, I assumed that. But, perhaps because I've recently been doing a lot of language studying, I couldn't really see why it was weird/funny/inappropriate.
posted by cincinnatus c at 9:03 AM on December 7, 2012


Out of context, it's not clear why they specify that the worker is red-headed, making it seem weirdly specific, like maybe the author of the textbook has something against red-headed people. (The Twain quote supports this interpretation.)
posted by stebulus at 9:26 AM on December 7, 2012


It must be really boring to be a textbook author.
posted by Gordafarin at 9:27 AM on December 7, 2012


These were awesome!
posted by thelastcamel at 9:56 AM on December 7, 2012



It must be really boring to be a textbook author.


Unless they slid the original 'easter egg' tricks past boring editors? ("Chinese Pants Explosion"? -- that couldn't have been by mistake.)
posted by Surfurrus at 2:23 PM on December 7, 2012


I still haven't figured out this one. Sperm, egg, and ... a hand with a tiny breath mint? Testing cervical mucus? What is ingredient #3?
posted by hattifattener at 5:38 PM on December 7, 2012


The world's tiniest violin playing "Let's Get It On."
posted by griphus at 6:25 PM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


A sperm-sized boombox playing "In Your Eyes".
posted by stebulus at 6:52 PM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh man...how did I forget about the 2nd safest way to travel?
posted by victoriab at 10:47 AM on December 8, 2012


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