Letters to the Editor

Jul 9, 2003 at 12:00 am

Down to business

Thank you for bringing Lizzie Seagle’s story to light (“Dizzy over Lizzie,” Metro Times, July 2-8).

I have always had trouble with the quadratic equation, and her method works better for me. Now, if she could discover an easier way to write a business plan, I’ll nominate her for the Nobel Prize. —Robert J. Abramczyk, Detroit

Four out of four

Originally I wanted to write and point out that the method discovered by Lizzie Seagle is minimally different from the way we have been teaching factoring at Grosse Ile High School for at least the last six years.

An extremely similar method was brought back years ago by one of our teachers attending a conference for mathematics teachers. This fact, however, will be brought to Mrs. Newman’s attention when she submits it for review to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, assuming the original discoverer has previously published his or her idea.

Instead I find myself writing to congratulate you on celebrating the success and ingenuity of a young person in the area of mathematics. We Americans rarely acknowledge our brightest students and even less often want to write or talk about mathematics.

Lizzie’s method, similar to the one we use, really is not well-known but should be used by all students of algebra. Why you cannot find it in textbooks is a wonder to me.

It was nice to see a full-blown article about a young woman succeeding in mathematics, as you rarely see any two of those items (young, woman, success and math) put together, much less all four. —Bryan Richards, Wyandotte

She’s no Angel

I was really angered by Erin Podolsky’s review of the new Charlie’s Angels movie (Metro Times, July 2-8). I have never seen a Charlie’s Angel’s movie, but I’ve read about them from actual critics.

These are deeply sexist movies. Three seemingly talented, able-bodied women must report to the man. This is the underlying premise here. And all the sex-object, violent junk that makes up the movie flows from this premise.

This kind of utter trash, marketed to teenage girls, should provoke the feeling of outrage. Instead, Podolsky takes a let’s-try-to-please-everybody non-stance.

She notices that Bernie Mac is given the “Sambo treatment,” but not that the young women are shamelessly used in a very offensive way. She acts like this kind of movie is business as usual, yet she never protests this very disturbing fact.

Podolsky has no opinions and can’t step outside her blasé outlook enough to be a critic. She can’t seem to raise or even find her voice.

This review is terrible. —Mary Hoffman, Royal Oak

Blame the head

All these allegations about the mayor are tainting Detroit. I work in the city and the only lot or park that I see being cleaned or being mowed is the park right by the mayor’s house.

If the Manoogian Mansion was somewhere like Southwest Detroit the neighborhoods around it would be spotless, free of abandoned and burned homes and free of thugs hanging on corners. We might even see actual police patrols in the neighborhoods.

Detroit receives plenty of financial support from the state and many donors. (Don’t tell me Kwame’s best friend, Gov. Granholm, won’t give him any help.) Where does this money all go? Ask the mayor.

Wait until the Super Bowl arrives and the whole world gets to experience what it’s like living in a dump with a mayor living the high life on taxpayers’ sweat! —Edgar Perez, [email protected], Dearborn Heights


The article “Dizzy over Lizzie” (Metro Times, July 2-8) should have said that solving quadratic equations finds where a parabola crosses the X-axis, not the Y-axis.

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