March 11th, 2009


Snarky and Gargle

When I was just entering Jr. High (Now it is called "Middle School") I took a summer course in mathematics. I would like to be able to say I took the class because of my personal enthusiasm for the topic. In reality it was because the class concluded with an overnight trip to Chicago museums.

A big part of the class was learning to use a slide rule. That was a corollary of learning to use such functions as sines, cosines, and tangents. I was thinking about that class today and recalled seeing a series of 16mm movies in class with a couple of marionettes as the protagonist. Their names were Snarky and Gargle. (Apparently Snarky had a TV show of his own at one point.) They would run into various problems and have to solve them with mathematics as explained by the human host.

Anyway, this 1957 Time magazine article pretty well sums up the shows:,9171,825346-1,00.html?iid=perma_share

I well remember the one two, one two, and the heap, counting by the marionette cave man.
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