Scholastic Math Mag: “Roswell” Spoof – MUST READ!!!

I’m saving one of the best for last before I head to bed since I think it’s one of the best things I’ve seen lately..

Special thanks goes out to Wisters for sending this in and scanning and transcribing the article and pictures:

One of my students gave this Scholastic Math Mag to me today, volume 21,
Number 8, January 22, 2001.

On the cover is a picture of Max and Liz with the caption, Roswell’s Alien
Area. Inside is a two page spread. It was a spoof on Roswell called
Reciprocals, followed with some junior high type math problems. There is a
great cartoon of Max, Liz, and Michael.

I have transcribed the spoof and scanned the cover and cartoon.

Here is the article and pictures..


When Whiz learned there were aliens in her high school, she flipped. Now, she’s flipping fractions.


Smax: the teen aliens’ fearless leader

Whiz: human waitress, and Smax’s girlfriend

My-call: Smax’s opinionated alien friend

Scene: The Crashdown diner

Smax: Hey, Whiz—check out these new orbs we found in the desert! We think they may give us clues about our home planet.

Whiz: Or they’ll make great paper weights.

My-call: Smax! She’s not one of us. She doesn’t know what it is like to be an alien. And she has no buisness with these orbs!

Smax: She is my girlfriend My-call. So that makes her, like, an honorary alien

My-call: Does not!

Smax: Does too!

My-call: Doesn’t!


Smax and My-call start to wrestle

Whiz: Guys! Settle down! I think I’ve discovered the secret of the orbs. Look, the fraction on Smax’s orb is the reciprocal of the fraction on My-call’s.

My-call: Uh what is a reciprocal? We don’t have those on our planet.

Smax: You just didn’t pay attention in math class!

They begin to fight again, Whiz separates them.

Whiz: To find the reciprocal of a fraction, flip the numerator and the denominator. If the answer is an improper fraction, divide the numerator by the denominator. Reduce the answer’s fraction to lowest terms. For example..(omitted here)

To find the reciprocal of a mixed number, convert the mixed number into an improper fraction. Then flip the numerator and the denominator. For example (omitted here)

My-call: Not bad. For a lowly human, that is.

Smax: You’re out of this world Whiz!

Whiz: Actually you are.

This is followed by some practice problems with these instructions.
Help Smax, Whiz, and My-call use reciprocals to unlock the secrets of the orbs.