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Bones, a TV crime drama of which I am a big fan, airs numerous ways to murder people….all fiction of course.  Yet they have to get their ideas somewhere, right?  Last week’s episode, ‘A Spark in the Park’, brought in Olympic Gold Medalist, McKayla Maroney, and some interesting physics equations to help solve a murder.

I won’t spoil the episode and the outcome, but I will tell you that I was very impressed by the math that was created for the show, and I am not a big fan of math.  Being a gymnast takes lots of practice and dedication to get muscles to move just right and to execute all of the flips and turns that seem to defy gravity and what a human body should physically be able to do.  But how would one show all of that movement in numbers and symbols?  It is very complicated and takes a lot of time.

bones-board

In the episode, the father of the murder victim, pays his respects not by crying over his loss but by showing his daughter’s life in a series of equations: her birth, her first steps, her first somersault, her first bike ride, kart-wheels, round-offs, through  gymnastics.  Ultimately, the equations show a stop in motion, meaning her death and final resting motion.  I don’t understand the amount of scribbling on the chalkboard and in the show, the genius forensic anthropologist, doesn’t understand all of it either.

Now, being a show on television, I wondered if the equations were actually possible or if they were simply made up to add some tv magic.  As it turns out these equations were real, the creators of Bones went out to find how this could be possible and contacted the right people to make it happen.  I thought it was very impressive that the show creators would make sure that every detail in the show was not overlooked.  I also thought that math could not be beautiful with its crazy symbols and mixing the alphabet in and showing no numbers at all in its multitude of equations.  I was wrong.  Math can be beautiful.  It was quite an emotional part of the episode, watching the victim’s life of motion represented in math.

A Spark in the Park: http://www.fox.com/bones/full-episodes/77864003651/the-spark-in-the-park

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