“A math equation landed an Ivy League professor on an American Airlines flight in questioning Thursday under suspicion of being a terrorist. Guido Menzio, an economist at the University of Pennsylvania, was working on a differential equation while waiting for the Syracuse-bound plane to take off from Philadelphia, the Washington Post reported. He had to present the findings of a working paper at Queen’s University. But a passenger somehow mistook the equation for Arabic or some sort of Islamic code for a terrorist attack……….”
Things are beginning to get out of hand in this election year in the land of Milk and Honey, Fruits and Nuts. Any know-nothing xenophobe (who probably can’t even spell the word) can now point a finger at a fellow flight passenger and cause a lot of inconvenience and maybe some misery.
Guido Menzio is not even a Muslim or an Arab or a Pakistani. He is obviously an Italian or an Italian-American. So , because of his Mediterranean dark looks, and because he was solving some mathematics equations, probably some of the calculus problems we all did in college, he was suspected of terrorism. They thought the mathematical equations were some dangerous foreign language, like Arabic. He was profiled. Good thing he wasn’t writing music.
Moral of the story? There probably is none, just that some people can’t tell a Hessian Matrix from a proverbial hole in the ground.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum