Thursday, October 15, 2009

Umlauts and Cumquats

Dr. Gork,

I can't tell you how good it is to have you back. I've been mustering the courage to ask this question for a long time, and I know everyone wants to ask but won't--Why are we men so attracted to boobs? I mean, when you consider what they really are, doesnt the whole thing seem a little overdone?
Wheeling, WV


That question has been asked since the dawn of questions. If you didnt know that, you haven't paid any attention. Joe Dirt once mused rhetorically, "I don't know, why is the sky blue? Why are boobs good?" Myriads of theories have been put forth, but none have been proven.

One school of thought is the almost disgustingly pragmatic and logical notion that the attraction is somehow an instinctual response; some inate feeling born into us since caveman days. That is to say, we love boobs because they characterize a superior female; one that will be able to sufficiently bear and sustain our progeny--the bigger the better as far as that goes. I personally put little stock in this idea. It seems way too easy. Plus, early humans were notorious for their dimwittedness. If you buy this theory, you're basically as dumb as a caveman, right?

If you want a more ridiculous explanation, you might be interested in Dutch mathematician Nicholas VanHüten's approach. In 1677, VanHüten released his Matchmaking Made Mathy in which he postulates that if you graphically model a woman's chesticular profile as a 2-dimensional cardioid, the area of that cardioid is equal to the sum of the digits of your perfect mate's birthday. In other words, a woman's breasts covertly (but uniquely) identify a set of perfect male suitors.

A VanHüten Cardioid

Believe it or not, the VanHüten method actually caught on for a while. In early 1700 Holland, it wouldn't be hard for you to find an Eigenbüber, or roughly translated, Breast Inspector, to carefully measure and cardioidically model your hooters, and direct you to your soul mate. Don't get too excited though. Johann Gauss, the infinitely more successful German mathematician, later called VanHüten's works "the grandest and most pompous perversion of mathematics since the invention of Pi." Besides, VanHüten posthumously debunked his own work in the 1970's when an ancestor donated his memoirs to a Dutch museum. In them, he describes his method as "fondling without all the litigation." So basically, he was just a perv.

No matter how you slice it, there's no answer to this question. I suspect if we ever do nail down an answer, we shall have discovered the meaning of life. Godspeed.


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