mathnow! presents

The Strombolis Theory

a little-known mathematical theory that forms the basis for geometry and the basics of life

last updated: July 16, 2004


The Strombolis Theory, created by Señor Ean Halezandaer Aidans II, forms the basis for many thoughts of society, geometry, physiology, psychology, geology, random trivia, and much more. Many have tried to replicate Señor Ean's masterful work with little success.


As a boy, Ean did not particularly like school, but he perservered because his family struggled day and night to earn a living. He knew his parents worked overtime in sweat shops and fields to make enough money to fund his education. In 1973, their work payed off: Ean graduated summa cum laude in cursu honorum (with highest honor, in a course of honors) at the top of his class from the University of Michigan.

Ean later decided he had had enough of school, and went off to be a freelance photographer for the local paper, "The Daily Trumpet". After some time, he met a man who offered him a 45% stake in a relatively new computer start-up named Microsoft®. Several years later, the company took off, and Ean and his business associates raked in the dough.

However, Ean was soon betrayed by the business man who sold him the stake. The man accused Ean of insider trading and libel, and attacked him in Michigan District Court. Ean's law team was no match, and soon Ean was on the streets, penniless. Ean left the city to find a solitary, isolated hole to live in. He soon found a place whose name was suited to what he was going through: Hell, Michigan.

Señor Ean thought much on his years in school and his life lessons. He decided to uphold his legacy with something he would be remembered for. Work on the Strombolis Theory was completed in 1996, when Ean patented and published his work.

This was not to be, though. Very few mathematicians today recognize the importance of the Strombolis Theory, although several years back, a mass effort was started on MySpace and 4chan to include the Strombolis Theory in the Rhode Island public school curriculum.

In 1997, Ean fell ill and died. He left this world with his only significant contribution; his gift to humanity.

The 26 rules of the Strombolis Theory

  1. Many things in life can be either pushed or pulled. Pick one.
  2. If a regular polygon has less than the length of a normal line, it is still a polygon.
  3. The type of triangle that a triangle is, is stated in its name.
  4. Sometimes small openings to another dimension appear before one. Never enter it.
  5. When in doubt, fake it out.
  6. The "funny-bone reaction" is only funny to others.
  7. A pentagon is a polygon with 5 sides.
  8. A hexagon is a polygon with 6 sides.
  9. A heptagon is a polygon with 7 sides.
  10. An octagon is an octopus.
  11. A Qui-gon is a Jedi who was sent by the Chancellor as an ambassador in The Phantom Menace. His main character was short-lived because he died in the end.
  12. The angles of a triangle can never equal 181°.
  13. If ever you are troubled, think.
  14. Common sense: it's not that common.
  15. You can if you can-can.
  16. I do not vomit, I make gastronomic corrections.
  17. Note to self: don't buy Microsoft®.
  18. Google is very powerful.
  19. If you utilize an augmentedly distressed vocabulary, people won't know what you mean.
  20. If you spell it wrong, don't.
  21. Oh yeah? Well, I hope you're happy!
  22. Utilize your utilities.
  23. If ever there arises a second Bermuda Triangle (god forbid,) it will cause people to inexplicably drown/kill themselves.
  24. Emoticons are lame. Get a life. :)
  25. Many comic strips are funny to smart people.
  26. If there ever arises a need to create nuclear fallout shelters, do not trust Vault-Tec.