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The Accidental Time Machine

Haldeman, Joe
Matt accidentally assembles a time machine. Very Heinlein-ish, without all the social philosophy. I enjoyed it very much.

Words I Had To Look Up:

no Baedecker for the future (pg. 82) -- Possibly mispeled in the book, Baedeker is a publisher of travel guidebook.

with obvious lacunae. (pg. 123) -- An empty space or a missing part; a gap or deficiency.

"Prenolphthalein. Big deal." (pg. 167) -- A white or yellowish-white crystalline compound used in analysis as an indicator because its solution is brilliant red in alkalies and is decolorized by acids and in medicine as a laxative.

"That's e to the x. Plus C." (pg. 270) -- I don't know what it means. Something to do with calculus.

Here is a joke I don't get, too:

Two mathematicians walk into a risque restaurant. Long-time friends, they discuss the lamentable lack of math knowledge in the general population while ogling the ambience.

Presently, one mathematician excuses himself to visit the men's room. The other calls over a waitress. Snapping gum, the waitress asks "Want another drink?"

"No," the mathematician answers, "My friend and I have a bet going. I'll give you $20 if you play along."

"Sure," the waitress says.

"Ok. When he comes back, I'll ask you a question. It doesn't matter what it is. I want you to answer me saying 'x squared over 2."

"Eggs qwared...over to?" the waitress asked.

"Yes. Just say that," the mathematician said.


The second mathematician returned from the men's room and they again began to discuss math. The first one said "You know, maybe it's not as bad as all that. I'll bet you $100 that if I ask the waitress a calculus question she'll know the right answer."

The second mathematician said "You're on!"

They call over the waitress, and the first asks her "Honey, what's the integral of X?"

She pauses for a second, and then says "X squared over two."

Walking back to the kitchen she continues "....Plus C."