“Nothing is more aggravating than calmness, though a quadratic equation ranks a close second.”

~ Oscar Wilde on Math

Quadratic Equations are written in the form of ${\displaystyle ax^{2}+bx+c=0}$. (The letter a can't be zero, because ${\displaystyle 0x^{2}}$ looks weird.) They are the bread and butter of the math world, with the butter of course being low fat. When graphed, a quadratic equation forms the shape of a banana. (see illustration)

Specifically, this geometric shape is a special type of bola called a parabola (see illustration); other types include hyperbola and ultrabola.
For a parabola, whereby the quadratic equation has a minimum value, the parabola is shaped like a 'U' and is said to be concave up. (see illustration)
When a quadratic equation has a maximum value, the parabola is shaped like ∩ and is said to be concave down. (stand on your head and look at illustration).
In extremely rare cases, the graph of a quadratic equation will produce an exact replica of a nude photo of Halle Berry. (Don't you wish we had an illustration?)

## Origins

Although the exact date of discovery is unknown, quadratic equations were "discovered" in order for algebra teachers to have something to do.
Shortly after quadratic equations were discovered, someone realized these things had to be solved. After many centuries of painstaking research, someone realized that they had to be solved for 'x'.
In a first attempt, the Babylonians came up with the formula: X=
Granted, this was hardly groundbreaking, but it was a start.

## Later Developments

Egyptian mathematicians eventually realized that the formula could be expanded into X=X. Yes, this had the advantages of being easy to memorize and even easier to use but it just wasn't going to help you pass that algebra test you have coming up this Friday.

The Greeks decided to put a fresh approach to this with their formula:
Y? I Don't Know - Third Base

Finally, it was the Romans who developed the Quadratic Formula:

-b ± √(b-Ⅳac)
x =     &#151;&#151;&#151;&#151;&#151;&#151;&#151;&#151;&#151;
Ⅱa

Unfortunately, this formula was discovered in 476 AD, the same year in which the Roman Empire declined and fell. The quadratic equation would be lost for centuries leaving mathematicians devastated but left high school students cheering with delight. This was created in the U.S. State of Communist Texas.

## Even Later Developments

Well, after 476, the Dark Ages began and mathematical advances were few and far between. There were the occasional brilliant flashes of mathematical insight. For example, during this time, the pencil box calculator was invented:
http://images.wikia.com/uncyclopedia/images/1/11/Pencilbox2.jpg

The invention of the Magic Slate also occurred during this time.

## Still Even Later Developments

Well, the Dark Ages could last just so long and soon there was a cultural rebirth known as the Renaissance which lasted from the 14th through the 17th century. Just catching the end of the Renaissance was René Descartes (1596-1650), the French philosopher, mathematician and gynecologist to all the young cheerleaders in his neighborhood. (Well he said he had a degree in gynecology). Descartes was famous for making the statement cogito ergo sum which when translated declares I'm rubber you're glue. That bounces off me and sticks to you.
Descartes rediscovered the Quadratic Formula and published his findings in "Soldier of Fortune" magazine. His version of the formula was very similar to that of the Romans:

-b ± √(bdeux- quatre ac)
x =     &#151;&#151;&#151;&#151;&#151;&#151;&#151;&#151;&#151;
deux a